MSN Health & Fitness:
It’s no wonder they’re becoming more widely available. “Hemp seeds contain alpha-linolenic acids, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, which studies show help boost metabolism,” says registered dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth, author of
Eating in Color: Delicious, Healthy Recipes for You and Your Family. In fact, research conducted earlier this year discovered that omega-3s may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, a condition linked to obesity. Sprinkle hemp seeds over basic cereal, yogurt, and salads for an extra boost.
Whether you’re looking to drop a few pounds or make a bigger change, adding these foods to your diet will shift your metabolism into overdrive.
This antioxidant-rich tea has multiple health benefits, including boosting metabolism, says registered dietitian nutritionist Jackie Newgent, author of
The With or Without Meat Cookbook. “It’s because green tea contains plant-based compounds called catechins.” Not only have these compounds been found to reduce body weight and fat, but the caffeine in green tea also acts as a stimulant that can increase the amount of energy your body uses. And then there’s the H20. “Drinking water may promote thermogenesis — the production of heat caused by metabolizing food — and play a role in reducing calorie intake,” adds Newgent.
Along with improving cholesterol levels and overall cardiovascular health, the type of carbohydrate in oats is also responsible for boosting metabolism. “A resistant starch actually resists being broken down in the small intestine, and studies show that it helps you feel fuller for longer,” says Largeman-Roth. Because of its vital role in weight loss and weight maintenance, there are even new technologies being explored to incorporate oats and barley into a wider variety of products.
Whether your scramble, poach, or hard-boil them, eggs are the ultimate morning meal. “Since eggs are considered the gold standard in providing high-quality protein, eating them can enhance calorie burning,” says Newgent. One study found that an egg breakfast encouraged 65 percent greater weight loss in overweight and obese people following a reduced-calorie diet plan. “Eating breakfast, especially one rich in protein, can be useful for improving satiety and significantly raise your resting metabolism — perhaps by as much as 10 percent — for the entire day,” adds Newgent.
The hotness of chili peppers does more than just give this dip flavor. It also kicks your metabolism into high gear. “Research suggests that capsaicin, the naturally occurring compound found in hot peppers that gives them their burning sensation, can be helpful for weight loss because of its potential ability to generate heat, burn calories, and break down fat,” says Newgent. Hot peppers can also increase your metabolic rate after a meal and leave you feeling more satisfied, so you’re likely to eat less later, says Largeman-Roth.
A “HOT” AND CHEWY PROTEIN BAR
IIt’s no secret that protein can amp up your metabolic rate, and one recent study shows that eating a lot of it can be more useful than counting calories. “Protein seems to boost satiety, calorie burning, and lean body mass storage, all of which are helpful for weight management,” says Newgent. Take the calorie-burning effects of something hot, like capsaicin, then tie in the act of chewing (since those who chew their food more tend to consume fewer calories, says Newgent), and you have a powerful, metabolism-jolting snack. She suggests keeping a Strong & Kind Roasted Jalapeno bar on hand, since planned, regular snacking can keep your metabolism working at its best.
COCONUT AND PALM KERNEL OIL
“Consuming blended coconut and palm kernel oil has been shown to increase both energy expenditure and fat metabolism,” says Laura W. Lagano, a New York City-based integrative clinical nutritionist. One
published in the journal Lipids found that supplementing women’s diets with two tablespoons of coconut oil each day not only decreased the weight carried around their abdomens, but also helped elevate HDL (a.k.a. the good) cholesterol levels. The key is to limit portions, since both oils are calorie-dense, containing between 40 and 117 calories per tablespoon.
Cheese, please. Research has shown that a diet rich in calcium from dairy promotes weight loss in type 2 diabetics. Why? Not getting enough calcium may trigger the release of calcitriol, a hormone that causes the body to store extra fat. Another study came to a similar conclusion, and added that choosing low-fat dairy options increases weight loss while still allowing your body to absorb the calcium it needs.
To burn more fat, you want to focus on fiber-rich foods, which take longer to digest, helping to speed up metabolism. Fiber has also been shown to promote satiety and increase the secretion of gut hormones, two more factors that help digestion and contribute to weight loss. Enter quinoa. The supergrain provides 12 grams of dietary fiber per one-cup serving — nearly twice as much as other grains. Plus, quinoa has been recognized by the
Advances in Food and Nutrition Research as a complete food due to its protein quality and high nutritional value.
This fruit has gotten a bad rap, but without good reason. For one thing, a large banana provides nearly 500 mg potassium. “Potassium helps your body regulate minerals and fluids in and out of your cells and may potentially increase basal metabolism, a measure of calories burned at rest while awake,” says Newgent. Bananas also contain resistant starch, which functions like fiber since your body can’t digest it, and has metabolic benefits, including reducing blood sugar levels after meals.” Keep in mind that the greener the banana, the more resistant starch it contains. Also, research shows that sniffing a banana can actually suppress your appetite, so you may want to breathe in its scent before enjoying it.
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