Metabolism is easily one of the most popular, and baffling, dietary buzzwords in everyday parlance. Whilst we all know that it can be fast, slow, or somewhere in the middle, most of us have very little understanding of the complex chemical cellular transformations that fall under the metabolic umbrella. It’s enough to give anyone a headache.
Of course, human biology is a lot more complicated than “fast metabolism good, slow metabolism bad”, but in broad terms a high metabolic rate means that you require more energy and can convert calories more effectively without the need to store it as fat. This is why some people can apparently eat loads and never put on weight.
But, before we all get too jealous, it turns out that metabolism isn’t just about the luck of the draw. Should you wish, there are some foods that can actually increase your metabolic and affect the way in which your body stores and uses excess energy. For anybody who wants to boost their metabolism, these are a few of the ingredients you should be eating.
1. Green Tea
Not only is it a powerful antioxidant, but green tea can also be a godsend for the diet conscious. Rich in catechins, a chemical that triggers the release of fat from fat cells, green tea has an incredible capacity for helping the liver convert fat into energy.
2. Olive Oil
It might seem counterintuitive to consume fat to lose fat, but our bodies are nothing if not complicated. Healthy monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, are actually essential in keeping the body functioning effectively, helping as feel fuller for longer and speeding nutrients through the body - vital in boosting metabolic rate.
Not only are they packed with protein, but eggs - especially the yolks - are essentially a metabolic steroid. Full of fat soluble vitamins and important fatty acids, eggs also contain high levels of choline - a compound that helps prevent the body’s natural tendency to store fat around the liver.
4. Whole Milk
Not only is whole milk rich in an array of chemicals, but there is evidence that it can help your body to digest, rather than store other fats. Scientists at the The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee recently found that study participants who drank whole milk were more likely excrete excess fat rather than retain it in their system.
Not only is it absolutely delicious, but garlic has a whole heap of unsung health benefits. Several recent studies have revealed that garlic helps to support blood-sugar metabolism, as well as control lipid levels in the blood - meaning that adding garlic to carbohydrate and fat rich foods may help to limit some of the damage that they might otherwise do.
In order to be at maximum calorie burning efficiency, it’s important to look after all aspects of nutrition. This is where lentils come in. Since, according to the World Health Organisation, as many as 80% of the world’s population do not have enough iron in their diet, it’s important to eat foods that tick this box as well as others. One cup of lentils provides a third of your daily iron needs and is also rich in protein and other fat burning nutrients.
One of the major causes of metabolic inactivity is an inflamed thyroid gland. Despite your best intentions, if you have an issue with your thyroid, the chances are that you will continue to toil with little reward. Salmon is not only one of the best ingredients for naturally reducing thyroid inflammation, but also contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Increasing your metabolism doesn’t always have to be about monkish clean eating. It might be fatty, but cheese has a number of unexpected health benefits. Rich in calcium, cheese can help maintain muscle mass, which in turn boosts and maintain metabolism and helps to ensure that calories are burned more efficiently throughout the day.
The idea of drastically changing the way you eat for the sake of a diet can seem incredibly daunting. Despite putting a brave face on things, there aren’t many people genuinely excited about existing exclusively on flavourless greens. It’s good to know that, at least in this case, some adjustments can still be absolutely delicious.