Eat these 5 foods to boost your metabolism

Eat these 5 foods to boost your metabolism

Do you ever wonder why you eat so little, but still cannot seem to lose weight? Is your metabolism slowing you down? By making a few simple changes to your diet, you may be able to give it a boost.

Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns energy, or calories. “Because our metabolic base rate is determined by genetics, there is no quick solution to a ‘slow metabolism,’” says Noel Konken, a dietetic intern at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill. “Long-term lifestyle habits of being physically active, staying hydrated, and eating healthy are key.”

Konken suggests that it is very important to start each day off with breakfast. “A balanced breakfast refuels our body and kicks our metabolism back into gear.”

Having a snack between meals can help keep your metabolism going throughout the day, says Konken. “Snacks rich in protein, fiber, and carbohydrates are a good choice.”

Here are 5 metabolism-boosting foods to consider:

Whole grains: Whole grains take a little more effort to break down in the digestive system than processed grains, which can help your body burn more fat, according to a study by Tufts University. Some examples of whole grains include popcorn, brown rice, granola bars, oatmeal, or whole grain bread, pasta or cereal.

Berries: Berries are a good metabolism booster due to their fiber and complex carbohydrate content (the main source of energy in your body). Fiber speeds up the digestive process, according to a study at Kansas State University. Some tasty berries include raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries.

Lentils: Lentils are very small bean-like seeds that can be cooked and used a variety of ways in meals. Lentils are yellow, red, green, brown, or black. Each color may have a different taste or texture, while some may taste the same. They are an important addition to your daily diet because they give your body iron and are full of protein – necessary components for helping the body make energy.

Coffee: Coffee can boost your metabolic rate by up to 29 percent, depending on your body composition, says Dr. Tony Hampton, an Advocate Medical Group family medicine physician in Chicago.

Chili peppers: Chili peppers are also a good source to boost your metabolism. They contain a chemical compound called capsaicin, which has been shown to increase energy, and might even help you live longer, according to one University of Vermont study. Capsaicin is the spicy and hot part of the chili pepper.

Regardless of how you alter your diet, Konken recommends regular exercise to help keep up your metabolism. “Muscle burns more calories than fat, so preserving lean body mass by incorporating strength exercises in your workout routine is important,” she says.

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About the Author

Megan Jensen
Megan Jensen

Megan Jensen, health enews contributor, is the marketing intern for Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill. Megan is a senior public relations major at Illinois State University and plans to graduate in the Spring of 2017. Previously, Megan had the opportunity to intern in communications with Special Olympics Illinois and Illinois State University Hockey. Megan loves spending her free time traveling, spending time with friends and family, watching movies, and playing with her dog, Sophie.

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