Anyone who has the intention of losing weight or maintaining their current diet knows that a healthy metabolism is extremely important. Aside from working out, making sure to include certain foods to your daily and weekly meal plan can help intensify your body's ability to burn calories, along with other nutritional benefits. Here is a list of foods that naturally boost your metabolism!
Lean protein: Leans meats are full of iron which is an essential mineral for your metabolism. When you are iron deficient, your metabolism slows down, so pack in as many lean proteins to your diet as possible. That also includes fish, which contain omega-3 fatty acids which help to regulate a healthy metabolism.
Cayenne pepper: Cayenne contains capsaicin, a compound that increases the release of adrenaline and raises body temperature. When your body heats up, so does your metabolism. Sprinkle away, but be careful for the spicy heat!
>> Curious for more? Click here to read about metabolism-boosting spices
Whole grains: Whole grains require extra energy to break down, digest and help burn fat in your body. Whole foods that are rich in fiber like brown rice and oatmeal are perfect — try them out!
Lentils: Your body can’t burn calories as efficiently when it’s iron deficient, so it’s important to make iron-rich foods a priority in your diet. One cup of lentils has 35 percent of your daily iron intake. (via Health.com)
Cruciferous veggies: Vegetables that are high in fiber such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are great for your waistline. High-fiber foods take longer to digest which automatically ups your metabolic rate.
Egg whites: Packed with branch-chained amino acids which keep your metabolism happy, they’re also loaded with protein and vitamin D!
Ginger: This aromatic root is a vasodilator, which means that it increases the diameter of small arteries and enhances circulation of the blood. When there is increased blood flow and circulation, there is a small increase in body temperature called the thermogenic effect, which also promotes metabolism and burns more calories. (via Livestrong)
Water: According to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, drinking about 17 ounces of water increases metabolic rate by 30 percent in healthy men and women. Research has also shown that drinking one or two glasses before a meal can fill you up so you will naturally eat less. A nice glass of cold water instigates the body to use more calories to warm it up, so get chugging! (via Shape)
Spinach: Leafy greens like spinach, kale and collard greens are essential for a healthy diet. Their high iron content helps boost your metabolism by supporting your red blood cells to transport nutrients throughout your body, and they are low in calories and carbohydrates (which is always a plus!).
Grapefruit: According to research, grapefruit contains naringenin, an antioxidant that helps your body use more insulin more efficiently, keep your blood sugar in check, and improve calorie burn. (via Shape) Throw one of these pretty fruits in your breakfast for a healthy start to your day!
Vitamin D-rich foods: Vitamin D deficiency can slow your metabolism, so add in as much vitamin D-rich foods as possible in your diet. This includes fish, mushrooms, eggs, tofu and milk.
Green tea: Green tea contains a chemical compound called EGCG which biologically influences the promotion of fat-burning activity in your body. Studies have shown that regularly drinking three to five cups of this a day can help intensify levels of fat oxidation and thermogenesis (via Colon Health)
Milk and yogurt: Milk is a great source of calcium, and regular intake of this can help the body metabolize fat efficiently. Similarly, yogurt is a well-known probiotic — the good bacteria that helps in digestion and helps keep you cool. Cottage cheese is rich in protein as well, and can help you build, maintain and repair muscles.
Nuts and seeds: Nuts are a great source of protein, and since protein has a high thermic effect on your body, you will have to burn more fats to digest them. Sunflower seeds and flax seeds also aid in lifting your metabolism (via Food NDTV)
Check out some of these tasty recipes that make the best use out of the previously mentioned metabolism-boosting ingredients. Enjoy!
Chili Lime Lentil Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa: Tacos are a fun way to get creative with different cuisine inspirations and flavor combinations, especially for a wide range of eaters. This vegan taco recipe uses lentils as their main ingredient, but use zesty lime and spicy cayenne to jazz up the taste. (via One Green Planet)
Clean Eat Chipotle Chicken Bowls: This meal deliciously combines your lean protein, whole grains and a little bit of leafy greens to rev up your metabolism. Our recipe is a must-try. Check it out!
Skinny Greek Omelette: Our skinny Greek omelette recipe is perfect for anyone who has a 15 minutes to spare in the morning and wants a delicious and healthy breakfast to start off their day. Egg whites and spinach are the key ingredients here, so try it out! Click here to see.
Vanilla Cinnamon Protein Pancakes: Yet another recipe to start your day off right! Our vanilla cinnamon protein pancakes include metabolism-boosting ingredients such as cottage cheese, egg whites and added protein powder. Enjoy with a section of grapefruit! Click here to get the recipe.
Grapefruit Green Smoothie: This smoothie blends grapefruits, apples, spinach and bananas together at only 127 calories per serving. It's super tasty and satisfying for breakfast or an afternoon snack! (via Minimalist Baker).
Balsamic Orange Brussels Sprouts: Roasted fibrous vegetables and hints of zesty orange and balsamic make this recipe a great addition to your weekly diet plan! It's easy to make and tastes delicious. Click here to get our recipe!
Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Dill Yogurt Sauce: With this recipe, you'll get a great use out of lean protein, a naturally-hydrating vegetable and a healthy probiotic. Click here to get the recipe!
» Detoxing is important for a well-oiled metabolism. Click here to see 50 detox soup and stews.