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7 Foods that Boost Metabolism

Cellulite. Extra pounds. Flab. These are a few of today’s buzz words in the realm of diet and exercise. How to lose or maintain weight is a question so many of us have, and pharmaceutical companies and the food industry have answered with all kinds of diet shakes, super smoothies, magic pills and elixirs. Even being so well-armed we are still losing the battle of the bulge.
While there is no sure fire way for everyone to achieve their desired figure, researchers have discovered that there are certain foods that will give your metabolism a kick. Here are a few I’ve found to be helpful:

1. Chili Peppers
Stoke your metabolism by adding hot chili peppers to your recipes. They contain capsaicin, which is a compound that gives them their spice. A heating process within your cells, called thermogenesis, is jumpstarted by capsaicin. Thermogenesis heats up your entire body, so that it has to work to cool down, which burns more calories. This effect can last a few hours after you eat peppers.

2. Turkey, chicken, lean beef
Lean meats boost your metabolism because of their high protein content. Protein demands more work from your body to process it than the other macronutrients, carbohydrates and fat. Protein also helps with muscle repair after workouts. Countless studies have shown that protein can help boost metabolism, and help you lose fat by replacing it with lean muscle tissue so you burn more calories. Turkey and chicken are versatile, lightly flavored sources of lean protein to add to your recipes or eat alongside a healthy whole grain and vegetables. I advise eating beef less frequently because of its saturated fat content.

3. Tempeh
If you prefer not to eat meat or if you are reintroducing heartier foods back into your diet after an illness, tempeh is a fermented soy product that offers the benefits of being versatile in recipes and offering complete protein because it has a complete amino acid profile. Because this soy-based food is fermented, its phytic acid content is neutralized, so consuming it doesn’t interfere with absorption of micronutrients such as calcium, copper, and zinc. This vegetarian/vegan meat substitute contains 15 grams of protein per ½ cup serving.

4. Fish
Chock full of protein, this aquatic superfood also contains healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. These special fats offer a multitude of health benefits, with metabolic enhancement as one of them. Regular consumption of these healthy fats increases leptin production, which is a hormone that regulates metabolism and signals your brain when you are satiated at meal times.

5. Coffee
The caffeine in coffee increases your energy level, decreasing any perceived lack of energy, and speeds up your heart rate. Your body expends more energy several hours due to the few extra heart beats and this produces heat, which elevates your metabolic rate. It’s best to drink coffee black, without sugar, cream or syrups, and limit it to 2 cups per day.

6. Cinnamon
This sweet and pungent spice warms your body similarly to chili peppers and bumps up your metabolic rate slightly, but this is not the only benefit to enjoying it in your favorite foods. Beside its splendid taste, cinnamon is helpful with glucose (sugar) metabolism in particular, making it a wonderful choice for individuals who are concerned about the risk of diabetes. It improves the way fat cells respond to sugar, meaning you are less likely to produce more fat cells in the presence of insulin. Consuming just ¼ teaspoon daily increases insulin sensitivity and helps lower blood sugar levels.

7. Water
Obviously not a food, but it will boost your metabolism. You can drink fruit juice, fizzy drinks or health tonics until the cows come home, but there is no substitute for pure water. When your body is deprived of any essential substance, such as food, proper rest or adequate hydration, your metabolism will go into starvation mode. When this happens, your metabolism slows down significantly to conserve your body’s reserves. Water flushes cells when they become loaded with toxins, and this helps to prevent sluggishness in metabolic processes which generate energy and maintain your metabolic rate.

Make it a habit of including at least one of these into your diet daily. Combine them with a regular exercise routine, a good, regular sleep pattern and a balanced diet for best results.