10 Foods that Boost your Metabolism
The War on Obesity
The Health and Fitness Fight
If you didn't know it already, we are at War. The constant battle of the waistline bulge. This epidemic has become so serious that obesity is now defined as a disease. Recent studies have shown that two out of every three adults are considered to be overweight or obese and a third of all children between the ages of six and nineteen fall into the same predicament. As an adult, unless you have some type of underlying health condition that perpetuates your inability to control your weight, it's nobody's fault but your own. If children without any health issues are unable to maintain a healthy weight, bottom line it's parenting/environment. The medical expenditures alone attributed to combating obesity has doubled in less than a decade. Numerous detrimental diseases can also be linked to obesity. Losing significant amounts of weight is not as simple as just going on a diet, it's a complete lifestyle change and is normally very frustrating for a lot of people to endure. Being at war requires weapons to kill the enemy and your metabolism would be your weapon of mass destruction in the war against fat. Most people usually do not even use this weapon of choice to it's full potential until after the fact and they already have the muffin tops/love handles. For the most part, the average individual does not even comprehend all of the complexities of how their metabolism works. In layman's terms, it's basically the rate at which your body breaks down the food you consume and transforms it to produce/make energy readily available. Thermogenesis is the process of heat production and an imperative component of your metabolic rate. Thermogenesis is broken down into three types, EAT(exercise associated thermogenesis), NEAT(non exercise activity thermogenesis), and DIT(diet induced thermogenesis)The following is a list of foods that can naturally assist your body in raising your metabolism and keep it working at an optimum level.
Eating with some Heat
I stated previously that thermogenesis is the production of heat, so jalapenos being on this list is pretty much self explanatory. There are many different types of chili peppers, some of them are blazing hot while others not so much. The way they are prepared can also affect the heat of the pepper. Cooking them will reduce their punch. Although jalapenos maybe small and are normally just used as a topping for nachos, salads, burgers, etc, they are actually quite nutritious containing less than a gram of fat, less than a gram of carbohydrate and depending on the size, on average have approximately 4 calories. Jalapenos are also a good source of vitamin C (antioxidant that fights free radicals and cell damage) and vitamin A (supports skin and eye health). I don't know about you, but I like my food spicy and eat jalapenos on a regular basis.
Amazing Blue Berries
Foods that do not have a high fat content or prepared with a lot of spices make it easier for the body to break them down, allows for regular digestion so the body can keep a consistent rhythm. Blueberries are nearly fat free and come with an abundance of fiber, which makes you feel full a lot longer while keeping the bodily processes moving briskly. Blueberries are also a very good source of manganese which is essential for bone development and the conversion of carbohydrates and fats into energy. This little fruit is also packed with a plethora of vitamin C, a handful gives you approximately 30% of your daily value of the free radical, cancer and disease fighting antioxidant. Research has also shown that blueberries assist in improving brain and heart health and fighting urinary tract infections. Add these to your new healthy, metabolism raising grocery list.
The Complex Process of Metabolism
Probiotics refer to the "good bacteria" or living organisms in the body that control the balance of of organisms in the intestines and assist in many bodily processes such as digestion, gastrointestinal and immune functions. Many of the yogurts found on the grocery shelf have some probiotic/active cultures content within them, so you can already see how it would aid the metabolism. Yogurt also contains an abundance of vitamins like zinc, potassium, vitamin B's, phosphorus and iodine. Being that it is derived from milk, yogurt has an adequate amount of protein, magnesium and calcium. If you didn't know already, proteins contribute the amino acids necessary for the muscles to repair and rebuild themselves. Research has also shown that regular consumption of yogurt can assist in support of inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, diarrhea, lactose intolerance and colon cancer. Studies have displayed that yogurt is beneficial and aids in the reduction of blood pressure and the risk of Osteoporosis. The next time you're in the diary section, make sure some yogurt goes in the basket.
Grapefruit is widely considered one of the most healthiest foods on the planet. It doesn't have the best taste to it, kind of tart and tangy but the health benefits that come along with this fruit that are always in season and available all year round are immense. Grapefruit actually aids in the lowering of insulin, so rather then storing the sugar and converting it to fats, it helps block the absorption of carbohydrates and the body uses fat already stored for energy/fuel which augments weight loss. Grapefruit is also low in calories, high in water soluble fiber that makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time, low in sodium and high in enzymes which support in cutting down fat. Studies have shown that grapefruit also collaborates with the body in the fight against carcinogens that cause cancer, help improve vision and assists in fighting infections, arthritis, detoxifying the liver and the lowering of cholesterol. It took awhile for me personally to get accustomed to the taste, but now I drink grapefruit on a regular basis.
Bowl of Cottage Cheese
When you think of cottage cheese, the thought of having it for a meal probably doesn't occur to you. However this cheese is very versatile, as it contains all the essential amino acids to be considered a complete protein. You get approximately 20 grams of protein per serving (one of the best sources of non-meat origin). It can be eaten as a meal or used for dip, I personally add it in my lasagna. Cottage cheese also comes packed with calcium, vitamin B12 and phosphorous but has a very low carbohydrate content. The low sodium content makes it a healthy dietary choice for those with the misfortune of high blood pressure or heart disease. When you sleep, your metabolism slows down but your body still must maintain all it's processes. Cottage cheese has casein protein that is digested much slower, so a serving before bedtime and your body will use its' energy instead of pulling energy from hard earned muscle.
Eggs, A Super Food
There really should be no surprise that eggs appear on this list, in fact eggs should be on any list that has to do with healthy foods as it is one of the very few foods that are considered to be a super food. High in quality protein, containing all the essential amino acids and having a little bit of every nutrient that the body needs, eggs are one of the most nutritious foods in the world. Eggs are one of the only foods that actually contain naturally occurring vitamin D. Besides promoting your metabolism, some of the plethora of benefits that eggs provide are advocating healthy nails and hair, aids in regulating the brain, cardiovascular and nervous systems, helps in the prevention of heart attacks, strokes, heart disease and breast cancer, and research has also shown that eggs assist in lowering the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. I could continue for days on the benefits of eggs, but I think you get the point. Eat more eggs.
It's often said that if something doesn't taste very well then it's probably good for you. Brussel Sprouts would definitely be one of those foods that fall in this category. Practically the whole cruciferous family are all extremely healthy vegetables and brussel sprouts are no different. An adequate source of protein, fiber, potassium, iron, antioxidants and detoxifying properties. With the ability to also aid in cardiovascular and digestive support, you get the drift of how it helps with the metabolism. The anti-inflammatory support that brussel sprouts provides assists in reducing the risk of insulin resistance, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. The healthiest way of preparing brussel sprouts is steaming and cutting them in to smaller pieces, this keeps the maximum amount of nutrition. You might want to throw in some extra flavoring to suit your taste buds.
A Bundle of Spinach
Fight to the finish and eat all your Spinach
Like eggs, Spinach is also considered a super food. We should have called Pop eye Nostradamus, he was on to the abilities of spinach way before any of us even thought about it. Most of us thought it was just a ploy of our parents to get us to eat the vegetable. Going through all the health benefits of spinach would be redundant just as it would be for eggs. Obviously it aids in speeding up the metabolism process. Some of it's other health advantages are diminishing the risk of cancer, reducing blood pressure, promoting bone health and controlling blood glucose of diabetics. The high fiber content in spinach helps with the digestive tract, promotes regularity and assists in the prevention of constipation. Studies have shown it aids in lowering the risk of asthma as well.
When life gives you lemons, then squeeze them into your water and drink it. There's a reason for that. Lemons stimulate the liver, improving enzyme function and flushing out the toxins out of your system. By flushing out these toxins, lemons aid in digestion, alleviating the symptoms of heartburn, indigestion and bloating. The fiber in lemons keeps everything moving briskly and assists in weight loss and the vitamin C helps boost the immune system and combats viral infections. The energy boost it provides supports the metabolism, the potassium promotes brain, nerve and heart health, and it reduces the acidity in the body, which lessens inflammation. It;s literally one of the easiest things you can do, squeeze it into a glass of water and drink.
Bag of Lemons
Unlike cottage cheese, you can't eat garlic as a meal. It's more of a condiment used to add addition flavor to foods that just happens to have some major health benefits to it. Garlic has antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties, so you can already see how it protects you, boosting your immune health and aids the metabolism. Cooking garlic can make it lose a lot of it's qualities, so it's better to consume it raw. Some of the other advantages of consuming garlic on a regular basis besides increasing immunity and heart health, manages hypertension (high blood pressure), diminishes arthritic pain and combats cold and fungal infections. Just make sure you keep some breath mints handy so you don't run anyone off with the garlic breath.
Other Health and Nutritional related links
- 4 Simple weight loss tips for women
It is said that everyone is created equal, however men and woman are very different. These differences can give women a difficult time making the scale move. These weight loss tips are for the girls.
- A Medicine Cabinet in your Kitchen: 10 Herbs and Spices to cook with for Health
Cooking with these natural herbs and spices can not only infuse a great tasting meal, they can also assist in keeping you healthy.