Whether you’re trying to reach a healthy weight or simply maintain one, your metabolism plays a vital role. You might already know that exercise is one of the best metabolism boosters of them all. Another way to improve your metabolic rate is through the foods you eat. Here are seven easy-to-find foods that boost metabolism significantly.
#1 – Legumes (Beans)
Like everything else in your body, your metabolism itself is built upon a foundation. The foundation for the metabolism involves protein and fiber, and there’s no better way to get both at the same time than with legumes. First, digestion itself burns calories, and the dietary proteins require more calories to digest than either carbohydrates or fats. That’s why protein-rich foods that boost metabolism should be an integral part of your diet. Second, many beans also contain quite a bit of iron which is essential for creating energy and transporting oxygen to muscle cells. More efficient muscle contractions also lead to a faster metabolism.
#2 – Celery
Don’t buy into the notion that celery is a calorie-negative food. Some people believe it takes more calories to chew and digest celery than the celery actually contains, but this simply isn’t the case. Nonetheless, celery can facilitate the fat burning process because it’s one of the simplest foods that boost metabolism. The act of chewing celery, which is very low in calories and high in water content, stimulates the digestive process. If you feel the need to snack, try adding some celery to the mix.
#3 – Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are fantastic additions to just about any food, whether it’s a fruit smoothie, a protein shake, or even a bowl of cereal in the morning. These little superfoods are packed with fiber and protein (the metabolism’s main foundation), but they also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which creates a powerful combination that will help you burn massive amounts of fat. Of all the foods that boost metabolism, chia seeds are the only ones that are virtually tasteless. You can use them to enhance textures without changing the flavor of your favorite meals, snacks, and beverages.
#4 – Apple Cider Vinegar
While it may not seem like vinegar is an appetizing food choice, there are a few reasons why you might want to add it to your daily routine. Its primary means of boosting your metabolism is through its ability to help your stomach create more HCA, or hydrochloric acid. Studies have shown that HCA can improve the digestive process significantly and allow your body to absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat. It can also help level out your blood sugar, which improves feelings of satiety. The best way to get that vinegar down? Add an ounce of apple cider vinegar, half an ounce of lemon juice, and a touch each of cinnamon, cayenne, and raw honey to a glass, then drink.
#5 – Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a very powerful spice, and it’s one of the best foods that boost metabolism because it’s easy to incorporate into your everyday diet. A quarter teaspoon a day in your morning oatmeal or your afternoon protein shake can go a long way. Cinnamon has thermogenic properties, which means it can increase your body’s core temperature just enough to speed your metabolism significantly. As if that weren’t enough reason to enjoy cinnamon, a study published in Diabetes Care back in 2003 showed that cinnamon, when used routinely each day, improved triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, serum glucose, and total cholesterol levels in as many as 30% of volunteers. This would suggest that cinnamon balances blood sugar, which can also boost metabolism.
#6 – Coffee
That morning cup of coffee may be doing much more than simply getting you geared up for your day. There’s evidence to suggest that coffee may be the perfect recipe to give your metabolism a kick-start each morning. Studies focused on caffeine in 100mg/day doses showed that volunteers who consumed coffee burned 75 to 110 more calories than their counterparts who did not drink coffee. While that’s not much, when you combine this effect with regular exercise and the benefits of other foods that boost metabolism, the effects can become profound with time. Limit your intake to 300mg of caffeine per day – or less if your doctor has advised you to do so.
#7 – Chocolate
The verdict on chocolate just keeps getting better and better, and that’s especially true if you consume dark chocolate that contains 70% or more cacao. A 2014 study that was published in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that cacao consumption could improve the metabolic profiles of elderly patients. While the study focused mostly on a compound called flavanol, which is a powerful antioxidant, there is still more research to suggest that the real boost to your metabolism comes from raw cacao’s high concentration of magnesium.
Two separate studies can show that magnesium lowers blood sugar, improves metabolism, and even improves longevity. The first, published in 2015 in the World Journal of Diabetes, showed that taking magnesium supplements could help improve the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. The second, published in PLOS One in 2012, proved that serum magnesium was massively influential on the production of a hormone called adiponectin, which is a hormone largely associated with obesity, cardiovascular risk, and mortality from any cause.
If you want to boost your metabolism, you’ll need to make a few lifestyle changes. Of these, exercising each day is one of the most important. A healthy diet is equally important, though, and while balancing your nutrition can certainly help, adding these foods that boost metabolism will undoubtedly help you reach your goals more quickly.