When it comes to losing weight and being healthier overall, increasing your metabolism plays a big part. A faster metabolism helps you with digestion, and helps burn off fat and pounds, even while you’re sleeping. Here are 22 foods that have been shown to help give your metabolism a boost, and get you on your way to a fitter you!
1. Avocado: high in healthy monounsaturated fats, which are less likely to be stored as body fat and also have been shown to reduce weight when eaten in place of carbohydrates. They also contain a sugar called mannoheptulose, which is associated with blunting insulin release, and since excess insulin is directly involved with fat storage, maintaining normal insulin levels can go a long way toward keeping normal body fat levels.
2. Berries: berries keep your metabolism working by (1) providing fiber, which helps to keep you fuller longer and (2) providing the needed sugars to curb your cravings, without a lot of calories.
3. Cayenne pepper: contains the fat-burning compound capsaicin. Capsaicin also helps to moderate caloric intake by stimulating brain chemicals that signal fullness! It also has a thermogenic effect, meaning it causes the body to burn extra calories for 20 minutes after you consume it. Jalapeno peppers, chili powder, and paprika also contain capsaicin.
4. Cinnamon: this thermogenic spice has been connected with burning fat, curbing cravings, and improving blood glucose control. A half teaspoon of cinnamon a day has been shown to significantly decrease blood sugar levels, triglycerides, and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
5. Curry powder: the turmeric found in curry powder is a well known fat-burner.
6. Edamame (aka soybeans): the isoflavones found in edamame are connected with less belly fat. They’re also a healthy body-friendly appetizer!
7. Eggs: A great source of protein, they’re great to help you stay fuller longer while providing your body with the necessary protein needed to help build and maintain muscle.
8. Ginger: boosts metabolism in two ways: (1) it burns more calories by increasing oxygen consumption by muscles, (2) it increases lactic acid production, which in turn increases growth-hormone production, which then increases the amount of fat released from fat stores to be burned as fuel.
9. Grapefruit: naringenin is an antioxidant found in grapefruit that has been linked with fat loss. In a 2004 study at the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California, researchers found that eating half a grapefruit before a meal can actually help people lose weight. And half a grapefruit has only 39 calories!
10. Green Tea: this might not be a food, but green tea is a great slimming solution. Researchers have found that green tea consumption can increase calorie burning by up to four percent. It speeds up fat oxidation and raises the metabolic rate, thus helping people lose weight. Some research points to five cups a day as the magic number for fat loss. Green tea is also loaded with antioxidants, promotes heart health and regulates blood sugar.
11. Ice water: few people realize that by drinking ice water versus room-temperature water, your body will burn an extra 9 calories per glass, totaling to 25 calories per glass for ice water (vs. 16 calories from room-temperature water). Eight glass of cool water a day can burn 200 calories! Plus, water is essential for all of your bodily processes, including your metabolism. Water also flushes out fat deposits and toxins.
12. Lentils: are genuine belly flatteners. They help prevent insulin spikes that cause your body to create excess fat, particularly in the abdomen.
13. Nuts: almonds and walnuts contain fat-burning omega-3 fatty acids. Not only do omega-3 fatty acids work to keep your cardiovascular system healthy, but they trigger genes that increase fat-burning and turn off the genes that regulate fat storage.
14. Olive oil: like avocados, olive oil has healthy fat that increases satiety, reducing your appetite. Also, research has shown that it has another slimming feature in its anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation in the body is related to metabolic syndrome.
15. Parmesan: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who had one serving of whole mile or cheese daily were less likely to gain weight over time.
16. Salmon: like almonds and walnuts, salmon contains fat-burning omega-3 fatty acids.
17. Spinach: spinach provides both magnesium and B vitamins, which are needed for proper metabolic function.
18. Tofu: genistein, an isoflavone responsible for many of soy’s health-promoting effects (from reducing the risk of several cancers to promoting cardiovascular health), also appears to be the main factor responsible for boosting fat-burning, as it reduces appetite and abdominal fat.
19. Tomatoes: contain citric, malic, and oxalic acids, which support your body’s kidney functions, which helps your body eliminate more fat and waste from your system. They’re also a good source of fiber and contain high levels of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been proven to have several anti-carcinogenic properties.
20. Whole Grains: one of the best sources of dietary fiber, which helps to keep your body’s metabolism firing.
21. Yogurt: a great combination of carbohydrates and protein, which is great for building muscle and keeping hunger away.
22. Zucchini: this fibrous, water packed vegetable fills you up and is easy to digest.