7 Foods That Give Your Metabolism an Extra Kick
It is incredibly common to hear people suggesting that some certain foods can ‘ignite your metabolism’ or contain ‘negative calories’ – and I would be the first to say that 99% of these claims are genuinely way too good to be true.
BUT (there is always a but…), as with most things in the health and fitness industry, there are very few constants. And research has now shown us that there are actually a number of certain foods that can lead to an increase in our metabolic rate (the amount of energy we use to maintain the body’s metabolic processes during rest).
This means that by including these specific foods within our day to day diet, we can cause small increases in the amount of energy we burn each and every day – without the addition of any additional exercise.
Now it is also important to note that I am not by any means recommending that you substitute exercise with these foods (as this would be detrimental to health), but I am suggesting that the specific foods outlined in this article may have the capacity to improve weight loss and boost your metabolism – and will therefore be an excellent inclusion to any healthy diet and exercise regime.
1. Jalapeno Peppers
It has long been thought that hot peppers have the capacity to boost your metabolism – and we are only now finding this to be true. This is particularly true for Jalapeno peppers specifically, as they contain large amounts of a compound called Capsaicin.
Capsaicin is known to stimulate various sensory receptors in the body, increasing blood circulation throughout the body, which in turn leads to a significant increase in metabolic rate. In fact, some studies have shown that the inclusion of Capsaicin into the diet can boost metabolism by a ridiculous 10%.
2. Green Apples
We often hear people say that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ – and to be honest, they are not too far from the truth. Apples (and Green Apples in particular) contain a huge amount of fiber.
While technically considered a form of carbohydrate, fiber is interesting in that it is not broken down and absorbed by the body. In fact, it actually passes through the digestive system completely untouched – often taking additional fat molecules with it.
As a result, eating apples on the regular can reduce our absorption of fat and reduce our daily energy intake significantly.
3. Lean Turkey Breast
Turkey is one of the leanest meats on the planet. Within this, we also know that turkey contains a HUGE amount of protein, and next to no carbohydrates or fats. With this in mind, it is important to note that protein is hands down the most difficult macronutrient for the body to breakdown and digest – so much so that we need to expend a substantial amount of energy to do so.
Therefore, by increasing our consumption of lean turkey meat, we increase the amount of energy we need to use to breakdown and digest our food. This causes a noticeable increase in metabolic rate, which can contribute to fat loss significantly.
Long gone are the times when eggs were considered bad for your health. Recent research has suggested that the fats, nutrients, and proteins found in eggs, are essential to healthy functioning of our cells – and as a bonus, by starting your day with eggs you are likely to see a 10% increase in your metabolic rate throughout the remainder of the day.
Like I needed another excuse to eat more eggs.
5. Greek Yoghurt
Not only is Greek yogurt a delicious, high protein, snack – it is also extremely low in energy content and contains a huge amount of Calcium (which is substance known to increase metabolic rate substantially). By eating Greek yogurt throughout the day we can noticeably increase our metabolic rate – leading to a further increase in energy expenditure.
Bonus tip: you can also try adding a squeeze of lemon juice to your yogurt to boost the metabolic effects (lemon contains an abundance of vitamin C, which is known to increase the absorption of calcium).
Still well and truly on the fruit train here, oranges (and a host of other citrus fruits) contain a huge amount of vitamin C. Not only is Vitamin C known to improve your ability to absorb other nutrients, it has also shown to increase fat mobilization throughout the body.
This allows us to breakdown and use fat for energy at a much faster rate, which can greatly improve our rate of weight loss. This effect is improved tenfold if we combine vitamin C intake with exercise, in which our ability to use fat for energy is increased in a HUGE way.
Not only are berries one of the tastiest snacks on the planet (they should really be considered a form of low-energy candy), they can also have a positive effect on our metabolism. Similarly to apples, berries also contain large amounts of fiber.
As we know, fiber cannot be digested by the human body. Interestingly, the body still tries to breakdown and digest fiber as a normal carbohydrate – and burns an abundance of energy in the process (which is represented by an increase in our metabolism).
By increasing our intake of berries we can increase the amount of energy the body expends on digestive processes – without actually increasing the amount of energy we absorb from our food. This will in turn lead to an improved rate of weight loss.
Now I will be the first to admit that relying entirely on specific foods to increase our metabolism is in no way the best way to promote long term sustainable weight loss – BUT – I do believe that when combined with a good diet and solid exercise regime these foods can give your metabolism the little kick it needs to speed up the weight loss process.
These foods have been shown to increase metabolism through a number of different mechanisms, meaning that eating them together may also have the capacity to increase their effect on metabolism to much greater rate than if they were eaten in isolation. Just some extra food (pun intended…) for thought!