You can try all the crazy diets you want, but at the end of the day, eating good, real food is truest and simplest way to maintain a healthy weight. Because you have to eat, you might as well eat foods that keep your metabolism at its peak.
Scroll through to find out what they are!
Are you getting enough iron? Over 20 percent women are not, and your body needs iron to carry out its calorie-burning processes effectively. Iron facilitates the flow of oxygen throughout the body, which helps increase energy and your metabolism. Just one cup of lentils provides 35 percent of your daily iron needs, plus protein and fiber, which aid in digestion.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts contain three essential nutrients that power your metabolism: B vitamins, calcium, and vitamin C. They also have high water and fiber content, a combination that increases your body’s ability to burn fat.
Beans (think red and black, not refried) are loaded with fiber, which lowers insulin levels after eating and improves insulin sensitivity over time. The result? Your body stores less fat. The B vitamins and zinc in beans boost testosterone which helps increase energy and build calorie-burning muscle.
Your body works harder when digesting protein than when it’s digesting fat or carbohydrates. Eating good lean meats like white meat chicken and turkey helps speed up your metabolism simply because they require so much energy to fully digest. Plus, all that protein helps preserve your muscle mass to keep your metabolism at its peak.
Berries, especially strawberries and raspberries, are high in fiber that your body can’t digest, but tries to anyway, burning calories in the process. Eating red berries also releases certain hormones and enzymes that benefit digestion.
Oats not only keep your insulin levels low after you eat them, preventing blood sugar spikes that signal your body to store fat, but they also have plenty of fiber. As your body breaks down that fiber, it burns calories.
Citrus fruits, especially lemons and grapefruits, are great for digestion. They’re low in sugar and contain an antioxidant that can help lower your blood sugar response after meals—and the vitamin C helps your body metabolize fat faster.
Spicy foods have natural chemicals in them that fire up your metabolism. Capsaicin, the compound that makes peppers hot, is also precisely what helps your body burn more energy. Can’t handle red peppers? Even just a pinch of cayenne has been shown to boost metabolism by up to 25 percent for three hours after you eat, while also curbing hunger.
Several spices (like cayenne pepper as you just learned) are known to rev metabolism, but cinnamon also curbs your sweet tooth, helps balance your blood sugar, and improves insulin sensitivity. Add it to your dessert to help thwart post-meal blood sugar spikes.
Garlic supports a balanced blood sugar and a healthy metabolism. Studies have also shown that eating garlic can increase the number of calories burned throughout the day, while decreasing the body’s production of fat.
Oily fish like salmon, herring, and tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce resistance to the leptin, a hormone that plays an important roles in determining how fast fat is burned. They also balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, both of which help to regulate metabolism.
The short-chain fatty acids in whole grains trigger the release of leptin, the satiety hormone, helping you to eat less. The high levels of fiber also slow down the blood sugar release and even out insulin spikes, all which means extra energy is used for digestion.
Both anti-viral and antibacterial, coconut oil works to keep a healthy balance of good bacteria in your gut, which is necessary for efficient digestion. And it’s high fat content (good fats) works to give your metabolism a boost.
The high protein content of nuts makes your body burn more fat in order to digest them. They’re also a low-glycemic food, which means eating them keeps your blood sugar very stable.
Hemp seeds and flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, both of which reduce inflammation and improve blood flow to your muscles to kick your metabolism into high gear.
Do you have any tricks to keep your metabolism going strong? Share them in the comments!