Have you ever felt a twinge of annoyance when you saw people eat platefuls of pasta or triple scoops of ice cream and not put on an ounce of weight? Yes, some people are blessed with a superbly ‘good’ or ‘fast’ metabolism. Why does it differ from person to person? Why are the metabolism rates different in two people?
The kind of metabolism you have depends upon a number of factors, ranging from genetic to environmental. Some of the factors responsible for the metabolism are:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Lack of exercise, especially strength training
- Thyroid function
- A diet that is low in protein and fiber
There would be other medical conditions as well that contribute to a low or a high metabolism rate. It is always advisable to have a thorough checkup and blood work done and also consult a doctor who can advise you on how to better your metabolism rate. The right kind of food intake plays a very important role on how your metabolism works. We’ve listed 7 foods that can help improve your metabolism and put it into high gear.
Dairy products aren’t just calcium sources; they also contain 9-10 g protein per cup. Low fat options are great if you’re trying to lose weight. You can opt for yogurt if you are lactose intolerant and yogurt has the additional benefit of being probiotic, which may affect how much fat is absorbed by your body. Include at least one dairy product in your meals.
Did you know that whole grains have more fiber than refined grains? When we consume whole grains, our bodies need more effort to break them down which means that more calories are burnt in digesting them. A diet that lacks fiber is one of the main reasons why one can have a decreased metabolic rate. You need to keep in mind that the speed of your digestive system is directly proportional to how fast your metabolism is.
Spinach is said to have the highest protein content among all the green leafy vegetables at 5 g per 1 cup of cooked spinach. It also contains many antioxidants and can protect against a number of diseases like colon cancer, osteoarthritis and heart disease. You can add baby spinach leaves in your salad or consume it as a soup, cooked vegetable or add it in lentils for an enhanced flavor.
Lentils are a part of our everyday meal and it is one of the most underestimated food group, considering their high nutritional content. With 14-18 g of protein and 35% of your daily iron needs in 1 cup, lentils are a great bet for people trying to improve their metabolism. All kinds – chickpeas, black/red beans, pulses – are perfect for both vegetarians and vegans and are also an economical protein source.
Chillies and peppers contain capsaicin, which is known for its metabolism boosting properties. Chillies also contain vitamin c and helps to increase your speed of digestion since the added ‘heat’ also increases your body temperature.
Black coffee contains loads of caffeine, a stimulant which makes your heart work faster. It launches a process called lipolysis, which breaks down fat, increases your metabolism and ends up burning more calories. Don’t go overboard with the coffees though, limit it to not more than a cup a day.
Green tea is the tea to be consuming these days! Yes, we know that most people are making the conscious switch and it is all for the right reasons! Along with anti-oxidants, green tea also contains catechin polyphenols like EGCG which are great for improving your metabolism. 2-4 cups of green tea are said to boost your metabolic rate by as much as 17%. Isn’t that awesome?
Including these food items in your diet is not enough for you to better the metabolism rate. You also need to ensure that you are consuming adequate water, exercising regularly and eating small meals at regular intervals and not giving a long gap between the meals. Follow these tips and you can be the proud owner of a speedy metabolism too!
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