15 Energy-Packed Foods That Boost Your Metabolism
What if you could give your metabolism a fat burning boost, simply by eating? Improve your energy levels, immune function, and vitality by adjusting your diet to include foods that boost metabolic rate. Your metabolism creates energy for thousands of biological processes that occur at the cellular level in your body. These processes enable you to digest food, breathe, move and think.
Your metabolic rate is defined as the speed at which these biochemical processes occur. A slow metabolic rate can lead to accumulation of excess body fat and reduced immune response, opening the door for disease. By improving your metabolic rate you can improve your general health.
The Benefits of Improved Metabolic Rate
When your metabolism is functioning at its optimal rate, your body’s biological processes are efficient and effective. Some of the benefits associated with optimal metabolic function are;
- Prevent disease with improved immune response
- Eliminate harmful free radicals from your body
- Assimilate more nutrients from your food
- Reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone)
- Improve your mood and wellbeing
- Clear skin disorders like acne
- Lose excess body fat and keep it off
- Prevent metabolic syndrome
- Gain clarity of thought with improved cognitive function
Improving your Metabolism by Changing your Diet
One of the most common symptoms of a weak metabolic function is fatigue or lethargy. With low metabolic rate, your body struggles to produce energy at the rate you require. This effect can leave you feeling burnt out early in the day.
Most people turn to stimulants such as caffeine, energy drinks, and other energy supplements to give them a lift. This is a mistake, eventually, the energy wears off and you can end up crashing badly.
By adding organic, healthy foods to your diet you can have better results than using refined sugar and stimulant compounds. Using whole food sources to get the nutrition you require, is always the better for your health than relying on a supplement powder or pill. (1) On occasion, natural supplements may be used to assist metabolic function, but the fundamental bases of health and fitness remain.
Controlling and Reducing Inflammation Through Your Diet
Recent nutritional research has uncovered new information on the importance of the gut biome. These micro bacteria live in the GI tract and are responsible for assimilating and distributing nutrition from your food.
Diets that are high in refined sugars and sodium will create and inflammatory response in the GI tract and damage the balance of the good and bad bacteria in your gut. Inflammation is responsible for many bad health effects. It is one of the primary factors associated with reduced metabolic rate and low immune response.
By eating a sustainable, organic healthy diet rich in nutrients and minerals, you can reduce the inflammatory response in your gut. Less inflammation leads to better gut health and improved metabolic function. (2)
15 Foods That Boost Your Metabolism
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is rich in antioxidants and beneficial acids. Unlike regular white distilled vinegar, raw, organic ACV has a cleansing and revitalizing effect on your GI tract because it contains a fermented bacteria called, ‘The Mother’. This bacteria appears as a dark brown suspension in the vinegar.
Recent research on apple cider vinegar shows that it has a positive impact on the health of your gut biome bacteria and restores bacterial imbalance found in your GI tract. With improved gut bacteria profile, you will have better assimilation of the nutrients in your food, better metabolic function, and many more health benefits. (3)
2. Bone Broth
A hot bowl of bone broth is great as a base for soups or on its own. The collagen found in bone broth serves as a metabolic booster by improving the mucosal barrier in the GI tract. Bone broth is also filled with vital minerals and a healthy serving of animal protein. (4)
Taking the time to make bone broth adds a lot of flavor to your dishes in addition to offering many health benefits. For best results, buy fresh bones and make your own bone broth so that you can adjust the seasonings and sodium level to your liking. Store-bought broth or stock often contains high levels of sodium, flavorings, and thickeners.
Almonds are filled with protein and fats that are a source of slow-burning energy. Almonds are also a fantastic source of magnesium, vitamin E, and dietary fiber. The vast mineral profile of almonds features copper, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and B vitamins.
Almonds contain omega-3 & 6 fatty acids that have huge health benefits. EFA’s can improve your mood, increase cognitive function and most importantly; improve your metabolic function. (5)
4. Dark Chocolate
Even though it sounds too good to be true, dark chocolate can, indeed, boost your metabolism. This is great news for anyone on a fat loss diet and anyone that needs to improve their metabolic rate. The cacao found in raw dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants and minerals that improve your metabolism.
While the benefits of dark chocolate are well researched, this does not mean you have a free license to binge on as much as you please. Be responsible with your calorie consumption and enjoy the metabolic benefits of dark chocolate in your diet within reason. (6)
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are an example of a superfood that contains both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, these seeds help to regulate blood lipid levels and improve HDL production. Chai seeds are high in dietary fiber, which is beneficial for the health of your GI tract. Add them to shakes, salads or snack on them alone. (7)
Cinnamon’s spicy flavor is exciting to add to a variety of dishes, or you can mix a quarter teaspoon into some water and drink it forty minutes before a workout for a fat burning boost. Cinnamon has thermogenic properties, kicking your metabolism into overdrive while adding flavor to your dishes. Cinnamon can also be used to help you manage cravings for refined carbohydrates. (8)
Coffee is good source of caffeine, a natural stimulant that improves focus and increases energy levels. While this is common knowledge to most people, there is something about coffee you may not know.
After coffee is processed into its packaging, destined for coffee machines around the world, almost 90% of the supply will grow a mold. This mold reduces the antioxidant properties and alters the taste of the coffee.
Make sure that you choose an organic, responsibly produced coffee that is mold-free. You might pay more but the quality is well worth the extra money. Coffee is a proven metabolic booster, that tastes great in the morning alongside a slice of whole grain toast and some organic butter.
Coffee has its advantages, however, limit your consumption to two to three cups a day to avoid the negative effects of caffeine overstimulation. Also, bear in mind that plain black coffee has very little calories, while the other variants such as bulletproof coffee and sweetened coffee, contain more calories, (9)
8. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, and mackerel are not only a great source of protein but they are rich in good sources of slow burning fat and metabolism boosting fatty acids. EPA and DHA are Omega-3 fatty acids that assist in reducing LDL levels in the blood, while simultaneously increasing good HDL production.
Fatty acids also improve cognitive function and memory. EFA’s are also responsible for mobilizing adipose tissue to be burned as metabolic fuel. This effect increases the fat burning potential of your metabolism. (10)
The enzymes and antioxidants found in grapefruits have long been heralded for their ability to boost metabolic function and improve fat loss. Grapefruit has been shown to actively reduce blood sugar levels while acting as a prebiotic on your GI tract.
If you currently use blood pressure or blood sugar medications, make sure you speak to your doctor, to better understand the implications and effects on your medication management, before eating grapefruit. (11)
10. Coconut Oil
If you need to cook with oil, or include it anywhere in your diet, switch from traditional cooking oils to coconut oil. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides, healthy fats that have antioxidant properties and have been proven to boost metabolism. MCT oils like coconut oil provide a sustained release of energy over a long period of time, include coconut oil where you can. (12)
11. Hot Peppers
Do you enjoy jalapenos and other peppers? They contain a compound called capsaicin that’s found on the inside of the walls of the chili. Capsaicin is what gives peppers and chilies their bite and it has been proven to elevate heart rate and boost other metabolic functions.
Capsaicin can assist a fat loss diet and it also strengthens the immune system by reducing gut inflammation. To get the full advantages of capsaicin in your diet, you can mix a quarter teaspoon in water and down it. (13)
Seaweed is nature’s gift from the sea that naturally increases thyroid function. Your thyroid gland is a key component of effective metabolism and optimal metabolic rate.The high levels of iodine found in seaweed improve your thyroid function and increase your metabolism. (14)
13. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like kale and spinach are rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron. The most important reason for including them in your diet is their high fiber content. Eating the correct daily requirement of dietary fiber is essential for cleansing the GI tract and sweeping it clean. With a healthy GI tract, your gut biomes will flourish and your metabolic function will improve.
Iron-rich leafy greens also help fight that mid-day fatigue that is common in people who are dependent on stimulants such as caffeine. A green smoothie can be a natural pick-me-up if your energy levels need a quick boost but without the negative side effects that come with overconsumption.
Increasing your daily water intake has been proven to improve your metabolic rate by 30 percent. By drinking more water, you make sure that you are well hydrated. This is essential for better cell communication and improved cognitive function.
By increasing your water intake, you get things moving in your GI tract. Drinking plenty of water helps you to eliminate waste and lower the inflammatory effects of your diet. (15)
15. Green Tea
Epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG, is a natural plant catechin found in green tea. This valuable antioxidant has been proven to improve metabolism and increase body fat loss. Green tea has also been associated with improved blood sugar regulation, blood lipid profile and immune function.
To get the advantages of green tea, drink four to six cups a day. It’s always better to drink the tea, as it’s a great way to get your water in and improve your hydration levels. However, if you can’t take the bitter taste, then try out a green tea extract supplement to boost your metabolic rate. (16)
Change Your Diet and Improve Your Quality of Life
Add as many of these foods to your diet as you can and benefit from the power of superfoods that improve your metabolic function. You can expect results to be gradual as your body makes small adjustments every day to improve your metabolism.
After a couple of weeks of staying consistent, you will notice improved energy levels, clearer cognitive function and a better sense of well-being. Your new diet choices will reward you with better metabolic function and general health.