Metabolism describes all the chemical processes that go on continuously inside your body to keep you alive and your organs functioning normally, such as breathing, repairing cells and digesting food. These chemical processes require energy.
These foods may help you boost the rate at which body produces energy or burns calories.
Protein foods like legumes, nuts, meat, fish and dairy products can increase the metabolism of the body. The metabolic rate increases because the body requires more energy to digest these foods.
According to the US NIH, protein increases the metabolic rate by 15-20 percent which is the highest as compared to other nutrients. It makes you feel full for longer so you do not overeat and it also protects the muscle mass of the body.
Minerals like iron and selenium are equally important for the functioning of the body but have different roles. One thing they have in common is to maintain the normal functioning of the thyroid, one of the organs that keeps the metabolism in check.
Deficiency of the thyroid hormone can lead to a condition of hypothyroidism slowing down your metabolism. So, include iron and selenium rich foods like sea food, meat, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Coffee has also shown to boost the metabolic rate of the body. According to PubMed Central, three cups of coffee or 270 mg in a day can help you burn 100 calories more.
It is also used as a pre-workout meal with other foods. But the effect of consumption of coffee depends on the person's age and health conditions as well.
Like coffee, tea is also a beverage that can help you burn calories at a faster rate. Tea contains a compound called catechins that helps boost metabolism and works even better with caffeine.
According to the PubMed Central, tea like matcha and oolong increase the fat oxidation that helps the body burn more calories when combined with a physical activity. Tea increases fat-burning rate by 17 percent but the effects may differ form person to person.
Legumes and Beans
Legumes and beans like peas, chickpeas, lentils and peanuts are high in protein as compared to the other plant-based foods. So, they have high thermic effect and help the body burn more calories.
According to the US NIH, the other components like soluble fiber, resistant starch and dietary fiber act as probiotics for the body and help promote good bacteria in the large intestine. The small-chain fatty acids present in these food uses fat to produce energy and also maintains blood sugar levels.
Ginger is believed to possess metabolism boosting properties and a research by NIH showed that taking 2 grams of ginger powder with hot water before meals burns 43 more calories as compared to hot water alone.
Ginger also curbs the appetite of the person and increases the level of satiety making one full for longer. Though some people may not be affected by it, the research suggests.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the foods that can be used to boost metabolism. According to PubMed Central, apple cider vinegar uses fat to produce energy, hence promoting weight loss.
It also increases the levels of satiety, keeping the person full for a longer time. The consumption must be limited to 1-3 tablespoons and must be diluted with water to avoid tooth erosion or any damage to the stomach lining.
Recent studies have shown that drinking water provided a sympathetic stimulus which increased the metabolic rate, this is, thermogenesis, which in turn augmented the daily energy expenditure, according to NIH.
Seaweed is rich in iodine and iodine helps to keep the thyroid gland in its best health which maintains the levels of thyroid hormones.
Thyroid also keeps the metabolism of a person in check. So, if iodine requirements are met regularly the thyroid glands function well to boost the metabolism of the body.
Chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin that are responsible for boosting the metabolism of the body. According to an analysis of 20 studies under NIH, capsaicin helps burn 50 extra calories.
It is advisable to limit the consumption up to 9-10 mg per day that is equivalent to a jalapeno. Moreover, studies showed that people who had chili pepper before their meals, consumed less calories since it has appetite-curbing properties.
Though more research is to be done on the metabolism boosting properties of capsaicin.