Before looking closer at the foods that increase metabolism, we should
better understand why we need to increase metabolism in the first place.
In order to do that, I will tell you a little bit about metabolism.
The function of metabolism is a function which rolls 24/7 within our bodies. A big part of it concerns the automated function of organs such as the heart, the kidneys, the brain, the eyes, the digestive systems and generally all those functions of our bodies which we do not have immediate control.
Actually it is estimated that on average we spend about 45-65 per cent of our daily calorie intake to provide energy for all metabolism-related reactions and processes.
Therefore increased metabolism means increased bmr which in its turn means more calories being burned every moment within every inch of the body.
Now that we, roughly, know what metabolism is, it’s time to understand what foods that increase metabolism do in that aspect.
One of the weapons that we have against fat accumulation is the food choices we make everyday.
Losing fat and becoming more fit needs more than just measuring our calorie intake in order to consume less than the amount each of us needs. Simply measuring would be enough for a weight loss goal.
a fat loss goal dictates the tracking of the quality of our calorie intake.
The rest of the ways we can use to increase metabolism are to start doing plenty of physical exercises, to be getting involved in outdoor activities and to incorporate healthy eating habits on a daily basis.
The most popular and most commonly used foods that increase metabolism are grouped as follows:
• Low calorie fruits like apples, grapefruits, pineapples, lemons and limes. Rich in natural vitamins and microelements, these foods can stimulate metabolism in a natural way. According to the review of Samantha Heller, M.S., published in 2008 in Health Magazine, using the fruits rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9, Vitamin B12 (citrus fruits, peaches, etc.) assist in reducing the effects of stresses and speeding up chemical processes in the body, this way boost metabolism and reduce the risks of many serious diseases.
• Vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, sprouts and cabbage. Vegetables are considered great natural sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber, that is why they play a role as the foods that increase metabolism. In particular, according to Heller, a proper consumption of leafy greens rich in potassium and magnesium is linked to improved protein synthesis and faster metabolism.
• Low-fat dairy products like low-fat skimmed milk, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheeses. According to the findings of an expert group by Michael B. Zemel, University of Tennessee, published in Obesity Research in 2004, calcium in low-fat dairy products plays a role in fat loss, especially in obese adults.
• Lean meat (according to the definition of the United States Department of Agriculture, lean meat is any type of meat, 3 ounces of which include less than 10 g of fat, less than 4.5 g of saturated fats and 95 mg cholesterol) like chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, pork and all other sorts of meat that fit the definition above. Being excellent sources of protein, these foods that increase metabolism can stimulate protein synthesis, help increase muscle mass and lose fat. As the study by the team at University of Texas has demonstrated, consuming 4 oz of protein-rich meals a day can have great effects on metabolic rate (published in Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2009; 109 (9): 1582).
• Beans like black beans, white beans, lentils, soy and navy beans. Beans are very high in proteins, necessary for speeding up metabolism, and also in fiber which has been long playing a role of natural support for our digestive function. According to the findings of a study, published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1979, plant fiber can be a great natural component to improve gastrointestinal physiology, increase the absorption and metabolism of carbs, as well as lower the risks related to metabolic syndrome.
• Whole grains like oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, and so on. Whole grains are also rich in potassium, magnesium, proteins and fiber, and they are considered among the best on the list of foods that increase metabolism.
• Oily fish like tuna, salmon, sardines and trout. Apart of the mentioned Vitamin B12, potassium, and protein, oily fish is also rich in essential fatty acids vital for LDL cholesterol lowering. According to a recent study published in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases, (2009; 9(10):690-696), oily fish is considered more effective type of foods that increase metabolism compared to lean meat.
• Condiments like ginger, garlic, mustard, cloves and hot peppers. Spices and condiments are highly valued among the foods that increase metabolism. As Dr. Madelyn H. Firestorm, PhD, professor the University of Pittsburgh Medical and Weight Management Center, stated in his book, The Runner's Diet, such element as capsaicin which can be found in mustard seeds or hot peppers is a great tool to speed up metabolism. Scientific trials at The University of Reading in 2004 have shown that “warming effects” of ginger also aid metabolism.
• Green tea. A group of researchers at the University of Geneva found out that using green tea and green tea extract rich in caffeine can assist in providing a considerable increase in energy expenditure in our body, by which it is possible to speed up metabolism (published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 87, No. 3, 778-784, March 2008).
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