7 foods/drinks to boost your metabolism

hot pepper

Hmm, now well into the New Year –  how are the those NY Resolutions going?!  Great? –  well,  if not, remember every day is a fresh new opportunity to make yourself proud!

Here is  just a short  list of 7  foods/ beverages  that can  help boost the metabolism  –  every little bit helps!   Think of them merely as aids towards a fitter and healthier body.

So,  that’s in conjunction with:

  • regular healthy protein rich meals (Emphasis on PROTEIN –we burn twice the number of  calories trying to digest protein than carbs),
  • regular exercise (comprising cardio and weights/resistance – to build up muscle which then burns more calories than fat, hence revving up your natural metabolism)
  • adequate sleep  (needed for hormonal balance hence preventing fat storage)
  • stress management

…blah, blah again.  OK, lets gone on with it!

1. Water

Several studies have shown that water speeds up metabolism and hence adequate water intake can contribute to weight loss.  It’s important to start the day off drinking some water- at least 2 glasses or  a litre if you can as toxins would also have built up overnight so good to flush those out and give the system a bit of a clean! Consider taking this with some fresh lemon juice (detoxifier and alkalinising, great for the liver) as well as your daily nutrient supplements- at least a multivitamin/mineral supplement.

2.  Green Tea

There are several studies supporting the role of green tea catechins (EGCG)   in boosting metabolism, amongst other benefits such as reduction in heart disease and cancer. Aim to drink at 2-3  cups daily.

3. Hot peppers

Capsaicin, a chemical found in jalepeno, habanero  and cayenne peppers, helps to boost metabolism, as has been found in several studies.  One such observation  was that metabolism was  boosted by 25% for about 3 hours. So, sprinkle those chilli flakes on (in moderation!) and go have a  nice  hot and not too creamy curry!

4. Omega 3 rich foods

Omega 3 fatty acids are found in a variety of foods including oily fish (salmon,mackerel, tuna), nuts and seeds especially flax seeds as well as almonds and walnuts.

Studies have shown that they can affect leptin production  (satiety/fullness hormone).  A study done at the Mayo Clinic showed that African tribes who had a diet rich in fish/omega 3 oils had 5 times lower leptin levels compared with those who didn’t.

Some of these foods are also rich in  Zinc –  oysters, tuna, pumpkin seeds (and dark choc!)   and zinc is known to affect  leptin levels and signalling – telling the body it is full, so we won’t overeat.

5. Calcium rich foods

Calcium is known to help reduce weight by breaking down fat  and this has been shown in various studies.  May I add that adequate Vitamin D levels has also been linked to weight loss. So, consider supplementing both together . Foods such as greek yoghurt and  broccoli are fantastic.  Broccoli has a high concentration of calcium as well as other antioxidants  like vitamin C (that little wonder again!) and nutrients- great for detox, have in salads and in veggie juices.

6.  Oats and brown rice

Wholegrains  esp  oats and brown rice, by virtue of their low GI, help to stabilise insulin levels, without the spikes that would occur with other carbs such as white bread or rice – which lead to fat storage.   Any high fibre food means the body generally has to use up more energy to break it down.

7. Grapefruit

Chemicals in this fruit help to reduce insulin levels, hence promoting weight loss.

As with anything, it’s all about a healthy balance incorporating nutrition, exercise and emotional /spiritual health.

Enjoy the hot curry!