When we are unable to lose weight or when our weight reduction is stalled, we attribute this to a malfunctioning metabolism.
However, if metabolism is indeed to fault, can the impact be countered by consuming particular foods that can help boost metabolism?
What we consume may possibly can have an impact on our metabolic process, making it somewhat more or less efficient depending on our lifestyle.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand how your metabolism works before making any changes to your eating habits.
What is metabolism and how does it work?
Simply explained, your metabolism is the collection of chemical reactions that transform carbs, proteins, and lipids from your diet into the energy your cells require to function.
The time it takes your body to process and burn energy, or calories, from the food you eat is referred to as your metabolic rate.
When you’re resting, your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy, or calories, your body requires to maintain essential functions. It’s the number of calories you’d require to stay alive if you didn’t move.
Your BMR accounts for over 70% of your daily energy use, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Your BMR is influenced by a number of factors:
Genetics: Genetics has a big role in determining how many calories you burn per day.
After the age of 20, your average BMR declines by 2% per decade.
BMR differs by gender. Men have a higher BMR than women.
Weight: Your BMR rises in tandem with your weight.
BMR is higher in tall persons than in shorter people.
Body composition: If you have more muscle and less fat, your BMR will be higher.
Diet: A low-calorie diet over a long period of time can dramatically lower your BMR. As a result, excessive dieting may work against you.
Your BMR might also be affected by medical conditions, drugs, and the weather.
The total quantity of calories you burn is also influenced by how much you move, both in general and during exercise. Diet-induced thermogenesis is a process in which you burn calories while digesting food.
Some researches have claimed that eating some certain foods can help boost your metabolism and support your weight loss efforts.
Below are 16 best foods that boost metabolism, each of these foods contain unique ingredients that increase your metabolic rate.
16 Best Foods that help your Metabolism
Ginger and similar spices are considered to enhance metabolism in various ways.
For example, dissolving 2 grams of ginger powder in hot water and drinking it with a meal may help you burn up to 43 calories more than drinking hot water alone, according to study.
This hot ginger beverage may also help to reduce appetite and increase satiety (fullness).
Another ginger family spice, grains of paradise, may have comparable properties.
Participants given a 40 mg extract of grains of paradise burnt 43 more calories in the subsequent 2 hours than those given a placebo, according to a research involving 19 healthy males.
However, because some of the individuals were non-responders, the effects may differ from one person to the next, according to the researchers.
A high concentration of good fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, makes avocado a filling and satisfying snack. It was observed that including half an avocado at lunch might help overweight persons feel more full and lessen their urge to eat in the hours after a meal, according to a research published in Nutrition Journal in November 2013.
As an anti-inflammatory meal, avocado may have a beneficial effect on the body in a secondary way. According to Lisa Moskovitz, RDN, the CEO of the New York Nutrition Group in New York City, “inflammation can obviously interfere with a variety of different things in your body, one of which may be metabolism.”
Be aware of portion sizes if you’re attempting to slim down. Approximately 80 calories and 8 grams of fat are included in one quarter of an avocado.
Eggs are good sources of protein and a fantastic way to speed up your metabolism.
Protein-rich diets are one of the most effective ways to speed up your metabolism.
Eggs are high in protein, with each big, hard-boiled egg providing 6.29 grams (g), making them an excellent choice for those looking to boost their metabolism.
Because it takes more energy to breakdown protein than fats or carbs, it is one of the most efficient foods for raising metabolic rate. The thermic effect of food (TEF), or diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT), is the scientific term for this energy expenditure.
People who ingested 29 percent of their total daily calories as protein had a greater metabolic rate than those who consumed 11 percent of total calories as protein, according to some study.
4. Chilli Peppers
According to some research, consuming spicy foods such as chili peppers may assist to speed up the metabolic rate of the body.
According to a meta-analysis published in June 2017 in the journal Bioscience Reports, capsaicin, an active chemical found in chili peppers, aids in the acceleration of metabolism and, as a result, may have a role in the reduction of weight.
It cannot be anticipated that capsaicin-containing meals (which contain lesser levels of the substance than concentrated supplements do) will have the same effect on metabolism as trials involving capsaicin supplements, which were included in this study.
Tempeh, which is high in protein and fat, helps you feel fuller for longer. Given that tempeh is manufactured from fermented soybeans, it includes probiotics, which have been shown to be good for gastrointestinal health as well as immune function.
Having greater energy and burning more calories is possible when everything is working well, according to Moskovitz.
The findings of a meta-analysis published in May 2017 in the journal Microbial Pathogenesis show that individuals who take probiotic supplements may lose weight; however, the review did not link the weight loss to an increase in metabolism in the study participants. In this regard, it is crucial to highlight that research on the relationship between probiotics and weight is still in its early stages.
Probiotics in food or supplement form for weight reduction or healthy weight maintenance are still in the early stages of research and cannot be suggested without additional evidence.
Flaxseeds are seeds that are high in protein, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. Flaxseeds are a good source of fiber. Some people consider flaxseeds to be a “functional food,” which means that they are consumed for their nutritional value rather than their health benefits.
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as flaxseeds have been shown to improve metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that contribute to the development of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
Research into the role of flaxseeds in the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome is currently being funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).
According to a 2019 study conducted on mice, flaxseeds may help to increase metabolism. Perhaps because they contain high levels of fiber and protein, in addition to essential omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients, they have gained popularity.
Flaxseed fiber ferments in the gut, resulting in an improvement in the gut’s bacterial profile. This process is beneficial to metabolic health and may even help to prevent obesity.
Studies suggest that flaxseeds and their nutrients may also be beneficial in the treatment or prevention of the following conditions:
• autoimmune diseases cancer arthritic diseases
• Cardiovascular disease (also known as heart disease)
• diabetic ketoacidosis neurologic disorders osteoporosis
7. Beans and Legumes
The protein in beans will keep you feeling full for a long time, and the amino acids in beans, which are the building blocks of protein, will help you maintain muscle mass and burn more calories even when you’re not moving.
As Moskovitz points out, “foods that build or sustain lean muscle mass are generally beneficial to the metabolism.”
Additionally, the fiber in beans allows you to feel fuller for longer periods of time while consuming less calories, allowing you to eat less overall or go longer between meals.
According to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in September 2016 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating 34 of a cup of beans or legumes per day can result in a weight loss of little over half a pound over a period of around six weeks.
Although half a pound is not a significant amount of weight, including beans and legumes in your diet may aid in weight loss and prevent you from gaining it again, according to the study’s researchers.
8. Whole grains
Whole grains, as opposed to processed grains, are high in fiber, have anti-inflammatory properties, and may be good for weight control when consumed in small amounts.
It has been suggested that substituting whole grains for refined grains may result in a “modest rise” in resting metabolic rate, according to a recent research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in March 2017.
When whole grains were used in place of refined grains, study participants lost more calories during digestion.
Lentils are yet another functional food that has the potential to reduce the effects of metabolic syndrome, according to a study.
According to a review of 41 animal studies, eating lentils and other legumes, such as beans and peas, can play a critical role in the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome, among other things.
Because lentils are high in protein, they have the potential to increase metabolism. These foods also contain significant amounts of fiber, which helps to feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut.
10. Green Tea
Green tea has gotten a lot of press in recent years as scientists have discovered its potential health benefits.
Green tea extract (GTE) has been shown in several studies to increase fat metabolism both at rest and during exercise. Other studies, on the other hand, have found no significant effects. In addition, scientists cannot guarantee that drinking green tea will produce the same results as taking GTE.
According to a small 2013 study involving 63 people with type 2 diabetes, drinking four cups of green tea per day can significantly reduce body weight, BMI, waist circumference, and systolic blood pressure.
Green tea is also thought to have the following health benefits:
• the anti-inflammatory properties
• properties of antioxidants
• antimicrobial properties
• anti-cancer properties
• advantages for heart and dental health
Coffee’s caffeine content can help to speed up metabolism.
Caffeine has a stimulating effect on energy expenditure and can lead to a faster metabolism, according to studies. It is, nevertheless, critical to keep track of overall consumption. Find out how much caffeine is too much in this article.
Decaffeinated coffee does not provide the same metabolic benefits as regular coffee. Adding cream or sugar will also increase the calorie content, which may counteract the caffeine’s metabolism-boosting effects.
12. Brazil nuts
Selenium is a critical mineral for metabolism, reproduction, and immunological function, and Brazil nuts are one of the best sources. They’re also high in protein and healthy fats, which help individuals feel satisfied.
Selenium is particularly crucial for the thyroid gland, which regulates metabolic activity and generates a number of critical hormones.
Each Brazil nut contains 68 to 91 micrograms (mcg) of selenium, which is higher than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 55 mcg per day, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
However, people should avoid eating too many nuts to avoid selenium toxicity. The National Institutes of Health set the upper limit for selenium intake at 400 micrograms.
Brazil nuts may also help healthy people lower their cholesterol levels, according to research. A high level of cholesterol is a sign of metabolic syndrome.
Broccoli contains a substance called glucoraphanin, which may help with metabolism.
Glucoraphanin aids in the “re-tuning” of metabolism, the reduction of blood fat levels, and the prevention of numerous age-related disorders. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may also help to prevent or halt the progression of cancer in some cases.
Look for broccoli, which contains high quantities of glucoraphanin, for more substantial metabolism-boosting benefits.
14. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to boost metabolism.
According to animal research, vinegar is particularly effective in increasing the amount of fat burnt for energy.
Similarly, apple cider vinegar is frequently touted to improve human metabolism, but few research have looked at this.
It may aid weight loss by delaying stomach emptying and increasing feelings of satiety.
To avoid tooth erosion or damage to the lining of your digestive tract, limit yourself to 1–2 tablespoons of vinegar per day and dilute it in at least 1 cup of water per tablespoon of vinegar.
Read more on Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
15. Vegetables with dark, Leafy greens
Iron is abundant in kale, which is necessary for metabolism.
The iron content of spinach, kale, and other leafy green vegetables may help to increase metabolism. The mineral iron is required for metabolism, growth, and development.
Non-heme, or non-animal, iron is found in leafy greens. To boost the body’s absorption of this form of iron, combine leafy greens with a source of vitamin C, such as lemon, tomatoes, or winter squash.
Magnesium, another mineral that promotes metabolic function and is involved in over 300 activities in the body, is abundant in leafy greens.
Cacao and cocoa are delectable indulgences that may help your metabolism.
Cocoa and cocoa extracts, for example, have been shown in mouse experiments to enhance the expression of fat-burning genes. This seems to be particularly true in mice on high-fat or high-calorie diets.
One study shows that cocoa may inhibit the function of enzymes needed to break down fats and carbohydrates during digestion, preventing the body from absorbing them and the calories they give.
Human research on the effects of cocoa, cacao, or cacao derivatives like dark chocolate, on the other hand, are uncommon. More research is required before firm conclusions can be formed.
If you want to try cacao, go for the raw varieties. Processing tends to deplete beneficial compounds while also adding sugar and calories.
Five Foods to Avoid for Metabolism
1. Refined Grains
Refined grains like white bread, pasta, and rice can sabotage weight loss. A four-year research in the New England Journal of Medicine connected each daily meal of refined grains to a 0.39 pound weight increase.
Refined grains are high in empty calories and low in fiber. “They’re not as filling, so you end up eating more, consuming more calories, and feeling tired and sluggish,” Moskovitz says.
Granola is high in calories and fat, and the sugar content in most types can spike blood sugar and make you feel hungry.
Nuts and dried fruit are fine, but avoid granolas with added sugar or oils. “Granola is one of those magical health foods,” Moskovitz explains.
3. Soybeans oil
Soya oil is high in calories and omega-6 fatty acids which may promote obesity has increased in the last century, according to a Nature study published in October 2017.
Omega-6-rich foods can also induce insulin resistance and leptin resistance (a hormone that signals your body you’re full). Reducing omega-6 fatty acids and increasing omega-3 fatty acids can help weight loss, according to a Nutrients review from March 2016.
Replace soybean and other omega-6-rich oils with olive or flaxseed oils, or eat fatty seafood like salmon. Of course, soybean oil is found in many processed foods, making it difficult to avoid. In this case, avoid processed foods altogether and choose whole foods.
4. Sugary drinks
Sweetened drinks may slow metabolism. A 2017 BMC Nutrition study found that eating a high-protein meal with a sugar-sweetened drink may disrupt energy balance, slow fat metabolism, and increase fat storage.
While fruit juice is free of added sugars, it is nevertheless rich in calories and lacks fiber. Juice, being a concentrated form of sugar, can increase hunger, blood sugar, and make you feel hungry shortly after drinking it.
Alcohol is high in calories, and when we drink it, we typically make poor dietary choices. Because alcohol lowers blood sugar, you may crave sugary foods and lack motivation to exercise the next day.
“For some people, it may take a few days to go back to normal,” Moskovitz explains.
A review in the March 2015 issue of Current Obesity Reports linked excessive drinking and binge drinking to obesity.