Boost Your Metabolism for New Year
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just wanting to maintain your sleek physique, boosting your metabolism to a higher rate is always a good idea. There are several ways to give your metabolism an extra push—including exercising early in the day—but eating can also be a factor in its elevation.
Increasing your metabolism means your body burns calories at a higher rate. So if your metabolism is high, it’s burning calories even when you aren’t working hard at the gym. A sluggish metabolism can cause you to gain weight, because you’re consuming more than your body is burning.
Here are foods that have been shown to help give your metabolism a boost and get you on your way to a fitter you.
Just to clarify, I’m not talking about the sugar-laden single-servings packages of instant oatmeal that come in a million different flavors. I’m talking about plain, boring, large, slow-cooking rolled oats.
Oats are a great source of both insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber’s cancer-fighting properties are due to the fact that it attacks certain bile acids, reducing their toxicity.
Soluble fiber may reduce LDL cholesterol without lowering HDL cholesterol. LDL is bad; HDL is good. Soluble fiber also slows down the digestion of starch. This may be beneficial to diabetics because, when you slow down the digestion of starch, you avoid the sharp rises in your blood sugar level (insulin spikes) that usually occur following a meal.
The phytochemicals in oat may also have cancer-fighting properties. Oats are a good source of many nutrients including Vitamin E, zinc, selenium , copper, iron, manganese and magnesium. Oats are also a good source of protein.
There are plenty of spices out there that have been shown to be able to charge up your metabolism. Up for your consideration are Curry, Black Pepper, Mustard, Cayenne Pepper, and Cinnamon. You don’t have to eat spoonfuls of these spices directly, but don’t be shy with them, as they can help to add flavor to otherwise bland foods. If you spot other foods on this list that you don’t fancy eating, try spicing them up with the above spices and you’ll be serving up a one-two punch to a sluggish metabolism.
Almost 2/3 rds of our body weight is “water weight”. Blood is 83% water. Muscles are 75% , the brain is 74% and bone is 22% water. So what do you think happens when we aren’t adequately hydrated? Our bodily processes can’t function optimally. We’re depriving them of an essential nutrient.
Without chemicals, additives, or anything unnatural, a steady dose of 8 glasses of water a day (ideally 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water) will: Improve your energy, increase your mental and physical performance, remove toxins & waste products from your body, keep skin healthy and glowing, help you lose weight, reduce headaches and dizziness, allow for proper digestion, and help to keep you more Alkaline (prevents the build up of acids).
Green tea has plenty of health benefits, and shows up as a superfood on many lists of the healthiest things you can put in your body. If you’re looking for increased metabolism production you might be surprised to learn that the EGCG in green tea is often used by diet pill manufacturers for this very reason. Rather than mess around with the risk and expense of weight loss pills, it’s better to go with the natural source and increase your intake of green tea. If hot tea isn’t your thing, brew a pot and let it cool or pour it over ice.
Beans are often suggested for those wanting to lose weight because their nutrient makeup is such that they have a very positive effect on your metabolism. While they may be colloquially known as the musical fruit, they are definitely worth exploring if you don’t currently include them in your regular diet. They make a great side dish for most lunches and dinners, and they can easily be added to soups and chili to make them more robust and flavorful.
The B Vitamins that are contained in foods like Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and others has a healthy effect on your metabolism and can really start to turn things around if you previously didn’t give much care or attention to the matter. These aren’t the easiest veggies to increase your intake of, but if you look for recipes that contain them they’ll usually include them with other ingredients that make them taste better than eating them straight.
You don’t want to go too big on the almonds, because their fat content can undo any boost they have to your metabolism, but research suggests that almonds and other tree nuts can help you out due to the essential fatty acids they contain. The good thing is they taste great, so you can use them as a snack to hold you over until your next meal, or you can chop them up and use them to top a main or side dish. Green beans are one vegetable that lends itself well to slivered almonds. And if you want to liven things up you can get similar benefits from other nuts like walnuts or cashews.
Stop thinking that carbs are the enemy. Whole grains like oats and barley have great nutritional value and can even help control your appetite. The short-chain fatty acids from whole grains help us eat less because they stimulate fat cells in our stomach to release leptin, the satiety (or “I’m full”) hormone . The high levels of fiber in whole grains also help us feel full by slowing blood-sugar release and steadying insulin levels. The trick is to eat grains that are truly whole — no refined carbs like white bread.
Garlic and other foods in the allium family (onions, leeks, chives, shallots, and scallions) work to stimulate the production of glutathione, an antioxidant that is especially important in the liver, where it helps remove hormone-disrupting chemicals.
Alliums also lower total cholesterol while raising the level of HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind). Preliminary research suggests that garlic may boost testosterone, giving you more energy, while onions have anthocyanins, effective free-radical destroyers that might also help combat obesity and diabetes. Crushing, chopping, or chewing garlic helps release enzymes that trigger many of its beneficial actions.
If you include any (preferably all) of these foods in your daily eating plan, your body will thank you with extra energy and longevity. There aren’t many foods out there that can help keep you fit AND healthy, but these are a great start.
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