Metabolism feels like this elusive term. You know the type of concept that always seems out of your reach. Or at least that’s how I feel when I think about my “metabolism”.

If you listen to the pros enough, you’ll start to believe that all you need to do to get your metabolism back to high-school levels is to give it a little push in the right direction… and you’ll be burning fat in no time. But do you really understand exactly what your metabolism actually does? …and how to rev it up?

Metabolism consists of the chemical reactions that take place in your body’s cells. It converts fuel (from the food e eat) into the energy. What we eat is what supplies the necessary chemicals for this function, which is why it affects how many calories our body burns. It’s also why we should be learning as much as we can about having a healthy metabolism. And since a lot of the time we aren’t getting the right amount of nutrients in our diet, we’ve compiled a short list of foods that support a healthy metabolism.


Here are a few foods to keep on hand that help your metabolism function optimally so that you burn more calories – which is really the goal right!


Protein

Protein is essential for a healthy metabolism, but it’s not just how much you eat, it’s also the type of protein you eat. If you don’t get enough proper protein and healthy fats (think avocado and olive oil), your body will convert lean body tissue to fats. We definitely don’t want that.

Add quality proteins to your diet. From nuts to seafood, there are many tasty ways to make sure that you’re getting the protein you need to fuel your metabolism.


Green Tea

So, I’ll be the first to admit that I love a Caramel Brulee latte… or two. And yes, coffee does give your metabolism a zap, after all, it’s got all that caffeine in it – but green tea is like having a secret weapon. Not only does it also have caffeine for energy and mental alertness but it also has many more benefits. It contains epigallocatechin, which stimulates the nervous system without elevating the heart rate. Goodbye coffee-induced jitters and minor heart palpitations. Plus, getting in 3 6oz cups a day burns an extra 80 calories.

If the taste isn’t quite hitting a high note with your taste buds, add honey or agave nectar if you crave a little sweetness.

 


Lemons

Those fruits have a little zing to them, they’re packed with antioxidants. They help your body process insulin efficiently and help to stabilize your blog sugar. Which means… you burn more calories! Why do you think most detoxes or diets include lemon or grapefruit?

The next time you want to add a little kick to a recipe or our favorite dish, add a little citrus!


Peppers

It’s taken me a long time to be able to eat spicy foods. I have just never had the tastebuds for them but because I understand their health benefits, I’ve made it a point to add them to my diet. Jalapenos and cayenne pepper both consist of a chemical called capsaicin and it’s quite powerful. Capsaicin has the ability to boost your metabolism by about 25% for up to three hours after you’ve eaten! How many other foods can do that?

Keep it simple. Add a little fresh, dried or ground pepper to every dish. Like the next time you make chili, spaghetti, or even a salad – add a few peppers to spice things up!


Grains

Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, or buckwheat burn body fat. It’s because it takes more energy for your boy to break them down than refined grains like white flour. They’re also are a great source of fiber, which means they’re both heart and gut healthy.

Start with simple changes like opting for brown rice over white rice or buying gluten-free pasta over the white stuff.

Go fresh

If you’re ready to give your health a nutritional boost but you’re not really sure where to start, consider your local farmers market. Or if you’re like me and you prefer having fresh food delivered, look for your local farmers market delivery service. Here in Georgia, I use this one. You get a wide variety of seasonal fruits and veggies and they come freshly picked in their cute wooden packing boxes.


What metabolism boosting tips do you have? … and which of these foods are you willing to try?