The metabolism in an important function in the human body. It is the process which takes calories from the food consumed and breaks them down into important nutrients. It transforms the calories into energy that the human body needs in order to function.
Boosting the metabolism means improving the process and making it burn more calories. Calories are burnt and spent by physical activity. Staying lean or losing weight is achieved if the amount of calories burnt exceeds the amount of calories consumed. This is why exercise is such an important part of every weight loss program.
How can food boost metabolism?
However, certain foods contribute to boosting the metabolism, meaning that by consuming them the body burns more calories. Those foods are said to have “negative calories” because their digestion and breakdown require more energy and more calories that they actually contain. Calories that are not used are converted and stored as fats in tissues beneath the skin. Foods that are known for this characteristic are those which have a high fiber content, because fiber is not easy to digest and the process requires more energy. Fruits and vegetables are the best source of that fiber.
Foods known for boosting metabolism
When the insulin levels in the body are high, the body stores fat and slows down the metabolism. Complex carbohydrates and fiber in the diet keep the insulin levels low.
Calcium is another important factor because it has been proven to trigger the metabolism and speed up the fat burning process. Calcium can be found in milk, yogurt and other dairy products, but also in soy and broccoli.
The human body needs more energy to digest and process protein than it does for carbohydrates or fats, which is why protein rich foods, like lean beef, turkey and chicken can be helpful in boosting the metabolism.
Leptin is a hormone found in fish rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, like salmon, tuna and herring. This hormone plays an important role in the metabolism.
A chemical called capsaicin can be found in some spicy foods, for example in jalapeno. The consumption of these foods can speed up the heart rate, improve the metabolism by 25 percent, and extend the calorie burning processes up to three hours after a meal.
Coffee and tea can boost the metabolism as well. Coffee contains caffeine, which increases the heart rate and accelerates the calorie burning. Tea, on the other hand, contains EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), an antioxidant which boosts the brain and nervous system function and consequently the metabolism.
Some of the foods known for having these properties are apples, almonds, broccoli, beans, cabbage, cinnamon, cantaloupe, eggs, grapefruit, lemons, lettuce, oatmeal, peppers, soy, spinach, turkey, vinegar, brown rice, whole grain, green tea, coffee and yogurt.