With the New Year upon us, many of us are thinking of ways we can lose weight or just get healthier overall. Thanks to our recent indulgences, some of us are left with sluggish metabolism and pants that fit a little too tightly.
With the adoption of New Year’s resolutions, you might be on the lookout for tasty foods that also boost your metabolism. A healthy metabolism is an integral part of good health; let’s read on to discover what Mother Nature has already provided.
Here are 21 foods that boost that fat burning furnace:
What Role Does Metabolism Play In My Health?
Metabolism is a two-part process consisting of anabolism and catabolism. During anabolism, energy is created and stored in your body. Catabolism releases that energy. Your body works to convert everything you ingest into some form of energy. Your body will use some of this energy immediately while your body stores some for later. The faster your metabolism, the faster you can burn calories, even while sleeping.
While everyone burns calories at a slightly different rate, certain factors affect its function. These include genetics, age, gender, and weight. You can either increase your energy production by eating the right foods, or make it even more sluggish by ingesting the wrong combinations. Why not crank it up a notch? Eat the following, and you’ll shed some of those unwanted pounds in no time:
Almonds are the perfect portable snack. Power-packed with healthy fat, protein, and fiber, all these elements keep you fuller longer. They also benefit your cardiovascular system; just 14 almonds a day can dramatically reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke! Use almonds for a mid morning pick me up. Munch on a few just before going to bed to tide you over until morning. Your heart and your waistline will thank you.
Asparagus is a low-calorie, nutrient dense food that will naturally detoxify your system. It will speed up your metabolism at the same time. This vegetable contains B2, known to increase metabolism by aiding the absorption of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Beans are packed full of fiber, which helps to promote healthy digestion. They also contain resistant starch, which is linked to faster metabolism and reduced fat storage. Add a heaping helping of black beans to rice and chicken for a healthy, low-fat meal that will satisfy you on many levels.
All cruciferous vegetables—cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage–have very high water and fiber content. This combination increases metabolic rate by over 30 percent.
One very thermogenic food, celery is a natural fat burner. Celery has very high levels of calcium, which inhibits the body’s ability to produce calcitrol, a hormone that promotes fat storage. Pack a few stalks in your lunch for a power-packed afternoon snack, and watch those pounds fly off!
Coconut oil’s unique chain of fatty acids provide a very powerful effect on the body. Just 15-30 grams of these fatty acids will create an overall burst of energy production by 5 percent, or 120 calories. Over time, this will compound itself and cause those extra pounds to drop.
Coffee is a God-given gift that not only metabolizes fats, it can boost metabolism by as much as 11 percent. You no longer have to listen to those caffeine naysayers who preach the evils of excess consumption. Drink up!
Cucumbers are a natural diuretic, and they will help hydrate your body while providing vitamins, nutrients, and dietary fiber. They are also rich in vitamin C, which will naturally boost metabolism.
Berries are very high in fiber, which acts like a fat-absorbing sponge as it moves through your digestive system, carrying excess baggage with it. Blueberries and raspberries in particular contain the flavonoid anthocyanin, which is known to boost metabolism.
Ginger has long been used for its medicinal purposes. Recent studies have also revealed its metabolic benefits as well. One study performed in 2012 showed clear connections to a higher state of thermogenesis and lower levels of hunger. Add this pungent spice to many Asian dishes for a boost of flavor and fat burning benefits.
Consuming green tea is one of the easiest ways to stoke the fat burning furnace. Consumption of this delicious drink can increase fat burning benefits by as much as 4 percent over a 24 hour period, and its natural boost of caffeine keeps you mentally alert and ready for what your day throws at you.
Turkey, known for its high protein and low fat content, is a great way to add lean muscle to your physique. A study performed at Pennington Biomedical Research center concluded that, among 16 adults who were fed excess calorie diets, those who consumed higher levels of protein and leaner foods stored those extra calories as lean muscle, not fat. Bring on the drumsticks!
Lemons, limes, and grapefruit not only have an invigorating and refreshing flavor, they are natural fat burners. High levels of vitamin C present in these fruits help to safeguard against insulin spikes that might cause excess fat storage.
Oatmeal is a well-respected health food; with its high fiber content and presence of beta glucan, it will aid in keeping hypertension, insulin resistance and high levels of fat in the blood at bay. As little as one bowl per day will keep you full and satisfied for hours and balance out your blood sugar, making you less prone to snacking between meals.
A chemical compound in peppers called capsaicin is known to increase heart rate and boost metabolism. In fact, studies show that consumption of capsaicin will increase metabolic rate by as much as 20 percent within a few hours after ingestion. Peppers with a heat factor also crank up the fat burning furnace in your body, burning more calories per hour than mild peppers in comparison. Don’t be afraid to make those taste buds sizzle as you burn off those extra pounds. Can you stand the heat?
Chowing down on that spinach salad will give you an extra dose of magnesium, a crucial mineral for a healthy body. Lightly steamed spinach with a lightly seared chicken breast makes a delicious and satisfying dinner as well. People who consume adequate magnesium are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Never underestimate the power of a fresh glass of water! It is recommended that a person drink half his or her own body weight in ounces daily. It may seem excessive at first, but this recommendation is based on bringing your body and all of its systems into a state of optimum efficiency. Drinking lots of water not only aids the body in organizing its own natural detoxification process, it is known to boost metabolism by as much as 30 percent!
Rich in omega 3 fatty acids and dripping with protein, salmon can boost natural fat burning enzymes in the body. Metabolic rate improves by as much as 400 calories daily; find a grocer that offers fresh fillets on a regular basis and make this a staple in your new, clean diet.
Apples and Pears
Apples and pears have known weight loss benefits. Both are rich in fiber and have a high water content which promote fat burning. The phrase, “an apple a day” takes on a new meaning as we see those who consume 2-3 pieces of this fruit daily drop some serious weight.
Whether you eat warm soup in the dead of winter or a nice, cool gazpacho in the summertime, soup will fill you up while slimming you down. There is no shortage of delicious flavors and combinations that become available to you as you sip and savor a cup, a bowl, or a whole tureen of your favorite. If you have a sweet tooth that must be indulged, then try a blended fruit soup, which is not only refreshing but deliciously nutritious as well. Stay away from the cream-based soups, and opt instead for powerful combinations of veggies, lean proteins, and wholesome broth. Yummy!