Metabolism is the process that helps our body convert the food we eat into energy needed to perform crucial functions, including breathing and digestion. This complex process combines calories and oxygen to generate and release energy. We should understand that a healthy metabolism is important for maintaining good health, which assists our bodies to work faster. But, if you have a slow metabolism and physical activities often make you feel tired, we may be able to help you.
Eating the right foods can improve your metabolism and make you feel stronger. At the same time, if you want to lose or control your weight, you should add certain food items to your diet to boost your metabolism. But do remember that increased intake of these foods does not guarantee weight loss. These only complement a fairly balanced diet with limited calorie intake that supports weight loss.
Metabolism boosting foods
Five metabolism boosting foods to help you control weight:
1. Protein rich foods
Foods rich in protein are the best option when you are trying to boost your metabolism. The body needs more energy to break down proteins and digest them. If you eat protein-rich foods, such as fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts and seeds, they will boost your metabolism. Eating these food items will also keep you full for a longer time, stopping you from overeating. A higher protein intake increases levels of satiety hormones, while reducing your levels of hunger hormone ghrelin. This significantly helps reduce hunger pangs.
2. Foods rich in iron and selenium
Your thyroid also helps regulate your metabolism. Both iron and selenium are required for proper functioning of your thyroid gland. Foods rich in iron include meat, seafood, legumes, nuts and seeds, while seafood and Brazil nuts contain the highest amounts of selenium.
3. Dark greens
Green, leafy vegetables, like spinach and kale, boost your metabolism, thanks to their iron content. Iron is vital for boosting metabolism, growth and development. Many leafy greens also provide good amounts of magnesium—another mineral that supports metabolic functions and plays a role in over 300 processes in the body.
4. Coffee/Green tea
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world and contains caffeine, which is a well-known stimulant that has been found in numerous studies to aid fat burning and improve exercise performance. It provides benefits like appetite control and also improves your metabolism, which can help you to lose weight. Although a cup of green tea holds some amounts of caffeine, it really shines in its antioxidant content. According to some studies, drinking a cup of green tea increases the amount of antioxidants in your bloodstream.
5. Spicy food
Studies also show that eating spicy foods, like chilli peppers, may help increase the body’s release of certain hormones (adrenaline), which stimulates metabolism and increases calorie burn. This is due to the presence of capsaicin, which is found in peppers that increases uncoupling proteins found in the muscle. This causes our mitochondria to produce more heat, thereby increasing the metabolic rate. Dried mustard and chilli powder are also known to have a similar effect.