One of the healthiest ways to lose weight is to increase your metabolism. When you increase your metabolism, your body converts food to energy more efficiently. Since approximately 60 percent of our metabolism is used to process the food we eat (day-to-day activity and exercise make up the remainder) eating foods that naturally increase your metabolism is a smart start for any weight-loss plan.
Studies have shown which foods are likely to increase your metabolism. The following five foods are a great way to naturally increase your metabolism and burn more calories. (Another tip: eating a healthy breakfast can kick-start your metabolism by giving your digestive system the fuel it needs to rev up and start working.)
Grapefruit: Not only is grapefruit delicious, it also helps to lower your insulin levels and the lower your insulin levels, the less fat your body stores. Grapefruit is also is rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps keep your digestive system running smoothly naturally, and it is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.
Chili peppers, jalapenos and cayenne: Many types of peppers contain a chemical called capsaicin, which is what gives them that distinctive spicy heat. How do they increase your metabolism? When you digest peppers containing capcaisin, your heart rate increases and your body literally warms up, burning extra calories. This temporary effect gives you anextra boost that can increase your metabolism.
Green Tea: This natural herbal tea contains generous amounts of a catechin called Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. EGCG works to accelerate the functioning of your brain and nervous system, which burns calories and helps to increase your metabolism. Green tea also gives you the powerful support of antioxidants. Try switching out your morning coffee for a cup of hot green tea – you’ll still be getting a good dose of caffeine, a natural stimulant that burns fat and works as an appetite suppressant.
Yogurt: This easy-to-love food contains protein, an important component you need to increase your metabolism, and pro-biotics, live micro-organisms similar to beneficial micro-organisms found in your digestive system. Pro-biotics restore a healthy balance and help your digestive system eliminate waste more easily. Studies have shown that one cup of yogurt a day can help increase your metabolism, and the calcium it contains is good for healthy bones.
Beans: Beans are a low-cost, low-fat option packed with iron, B vitamins, and fiber, as well as protein, calcium and potassium. They keep you feeling full for hours, and also help to increase your metabolism by aiding the digestive process. Try adding beans to your salads or cooking them with onions and garlic for a tasty side dish.
Eating foods that increase your metabolism becomes more important with each passing decade of life; it’s said that our metabolism slows down five percent every ten years after age 30. Make one or more of these five nutrient-rich foods a regular part of your diet in order to increase your metabolism and fight weight gain.