Metabolism is the biochemical process wherein oxygen and nutrients combine to release energy for the body to use and function. The resting metabolic rate or RMR of a person refers to the number of calories the body burns to maintain vital functions of the body. Among these functions are the heart rate, breathing, and brain functions. 75% of the total calories burned each day is used up, accounting for the RMR.
Knowing about your resting metabolic rate is critical to be able to establish your needed calories for a day. It is best to undergo a blood test to know if you have a slow or fast metabolism. Either way, having slow metabolism or fast metabolism has some disadvantages. If your concern is about your slow metabolism, you must have problems with weight gain, you crave sugar, you feel bloated, you wake up many times during the night, and you develop cellulite.
If unchecked and you don’t do any adjustments to your lifestyle, having a slow metabolism can lead to several chronic conditions. This is primarily because of your being overweight or obese. To increase your metabolism, here are 8 foods that can help:
Protein-rich foods generally need more energy to be able to be digested fully well. This means that you should include in your diet foods that are packed with proteins, like fish, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes, and of course, lean meat. Studies show that protein-rich foods increase the TEF or thermic effect of food by 15-30%. TEF is the number of calories required to digest, absorb, and process the nutrients of foods.
If you are on a weight loss program, protein-rich foods are good alternatives as they can reduce the drop of metabolism. You will also feel fuller for a longer time.
Zinc, Iron, and Selenium-Rich Foods
The thyroid gland is the organ of the body that is responsible for metabolism. Zinc, selenium, and iron are required for the thyroid gland to function. When these minerals are absent or reduced, the thyroid gland produces an insufficient amount of hormones, slowing down metabolism.
Meat, seafood, seeds, legumes, nuts, and fish are rich in iron, selenium, and iron. Including them in your daily diet will surely help increase your metabolism.
Chili peppers can be sweet and mild, medium, medium-hot, hot, or superhot. Whatever you prefer, you can have a lot of capsaicin, a substance present in chili peppers, which can help your body burn up to 50 calories in one day. Capsaicin can also reduce your appetite.
If you are trying to lose weight, drinking coffee can help you achieve your goal. This is because of the caffeine content of coffee. In some studies, it was found out that caffeine can increase metabolism by 11%. Caffeine can also boost your energy, so you can do your workouts without being burned out.
Legumes and Lentils
Legumes and lentils are plant-based foods that are packed with proteins. Their advantage over animal-based proteins is that they also come with a lot of fiber. Both proteins and fibers are harder to digest, so the body will burn more calories.
The fibers are also important as they provide food for the good bacteria in the gut. These friendly bacteria produce a substance called SCFA or short-chain fatty acid which uses up stored fats.
Ginger is among the metabolism-boosting spices that you can see in the kitchen. It is usually used in Asian cuisine but has also several health benefits and one of them is boosting your slow metabolism. When using ginger for this purpose, it is better to buy the powdered form so that you can drink it as tea. This will make you feel full and decrease your cravings for food.
Instead of using other oils in preparing your dishes, it is time to shift to coconut oil if you are concern with your slow metabolism. This plant-based oil is unlike other oils that are absorbed and stored as fats. Coconut oil, because of its MCT content, goes directly to the liver where it is used immediately for energy.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar can help you increase your metabolism. It can also help you feel fuller by slowing the emptying of the stomach.
With all these foods that can increase your metabolism, it may not be a valid reason for being fat because you have a slow metabolism. It is so good that we have these natural foods so that you don’t really have to starve before attaining your body weight. They will also give you energy for your fat-reducing workout.