The two most important keys to boosting your metabolism and burning fat include getting enough exercise and practicing healthy eating habits. One way to ensure your body performs at its optimal efficiency and that your metabolism remains intact is to eat a diet rich in fibre and high protein foods.
Here are some foods that might help boost your metabolism:
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish including mackerel, tuna and salmon may have a positive effect on your metabolism. The Australian Heart Foundation recommends that people eat one portion of these fatty fish at least twice weekly. Although the evidence is inconclusive, Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to increase your body’s level of fat burning enzymes and decrease the level of the enzymes that store fat in your body.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are high in fibre. Fibre helps your body burn fat by moving food through your digestive system quickly. For men and women up to age 50, the recommended daily intake of fibre is 38 and 25 grams respectively. As an example, a one-cup serving of blueberries contains 3.6 grams of fibre which will provide men with 9 percent of their recommended daily intake of fibre and women with 14 percent.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant. As such, it increases the heart rate and triggers your metabolism to burn fat at a higher rate. Additionally it stimulates fatty acids, which in turn reduces the storage of fat. There is approximately 30 milligrams of caffeine in a single cup of green tea. According to a 2010 study published in the journal “Physiology and Behaviour,”* a combination of caffeine and green tea can help with weight control and work to improve fat oxidation. Although not harmful when used in moderation, too much caffeine can cause insomnia, high blood pressure and nausea. These are some things to consider when using green tea to speed up your metabolism.
Hot peppers and other spicy foods contain capsaicin, a chemical compound that boosts your heart rate and your metabolism. Capsaicin also increases the internal temperature of your body, which will help you to burn more calories. Additionally, capsaicin may help promote weight loss. According to a recent study from Canada, men who drank coffee and consumed foods containing red pepper burned as many as 1000 calories more per day than those who did not.
Foods rich in protein including lentils, grains, nuts, turkey, chicken and lean beef help increase metabolism. These protein-rich foods help keep you feeling fuller for longer while working to build lean muscle. Protein rich foods such as lean beef not only increase your metabolism but also increase energy because of the essential amino acids that they contain.
Low-Fat Dairy Products
Calcium rich, low-fat dairy products play an important role in the regulation of metabolism. Some of the best sources of calcium include low-fat yogurt, milk and cheese. They also aid in weight loss by providing our bodies with other essential nutrients and high-quality proteins that effectively suppress the appetite.
*Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Physiol & Behav. 2010; 100 (1): 42-46.