Ever felt like your metabolism could use a boost? All that healthy eating and gym-going can be tough on your body if your metabolism is sluggish. So, what can you do to give it a kickstart? There are foods you can eat that will boost your metabolism and ensure your body is working as hard as it can after every meal – just check out these five metabolism-boosting foods!
Eggs are the ultimate protein-packed fast food. Did you know that one large egg (hard-boiled) contains 6.29 grams of protein? Protein-rich foods can boost your metabolism, as our bodies use more energy digesting protein than fats or carbs, increasing our metabolic rate. Research shows those who consume more of their daily calories from protein rather than carbs or fats have a higher metabolism than those whose diets are low in protein.
Eggs are a quick, easy addition to your diet – and they’re not just for breakfast! Try our vegetarian scrambled egg or scrambled egg with chorizo; add a poached egg to your avocado toast; top spicy noodle dishes with a hard-boiled egg or whip up an omelette for a light lunch or dinner.
Whether you love spicy food or prefer your meals on the milder side, there’s no denying that spicy meals containing fresh or dried chillies can not only boost your metabolism – they can also help you to feel full more quickly. Capsaicin, a compound found in chillies, is the reason why. Some research suggests capsaicin can also help curb appetite and boost the speed your body burns fat and calories.
But chillies aren’t just good news for your metabolism. They’re also packed with antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation and pain – in fact, capsaicin has been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Try adding fresh chillies to your noodle dishes or stir-fries, or give our spicy jerk chicken a go. Fresh chillies are also a great addition to Thai and Indian curries or sprinkle some dried chillies into your scrambled eggs or on top of your avocado toast.
Chickpeas, lentils, nuts, beans – what do these foods all have in common? They’re all part of the family we call legumes and pulses, which means they’re packed with protein, making them a great choice for vegetarians or vegans. Legumes and pulses are packed with soluble fibre, which feeds good bacteria in your gut.
Good bacteria then produce short-chain fatty acids which can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Legumes are also a great source of the amino acid arginine, which can increase the amount of fat and carbs your body burns as energy. Sounds good to us! Try whipping up some home-made lentil soup, add lentils or beans to a veggie curry, or try home-made houmous or bean dip. Mexican food is also a great way to start experimenting with legumes – how about some home-made bean chilli, with two metabolism-boosting foods in one dish!?
Ginger is said to increase metabolism and body temperature, while also helping to control your appetite. While this doesn’t mean you can eat gingerbread cake on a daily basis, adding ginger to your diet can increase good cholesterol and help you maintain a healthy weight – as a bonus it’s also a digestive aid, helping to reduce nausea.
Ginger is used widely in Asian cooking; so add some to spicy soups, stir-fries, curries or noodle dishes – it’s great with chicken, fish, prawns or tofu. For a quick, healthy alternative to tea and coffee, add some freshly grated ginger to a mug of hot water and lemon.
Kale, spinach, cavolo nero and other dark green leafy vegetables are one of the best sources of iron, a vital mineral for growth and metabolism. Eating your greens really can help boost your metabolism but try to pair your greens with a source of vitamin C, like lemons, peppers, squash or tomatoes, as this helps your body absorb iron.
Leafy green vegetables are also packed with magnesium, a mineral which supports a range of bodily functions including the metabolism. Try serving steamed spinach with a squeeze of lemon as a side dish or enjoy a baby spinach salad. Roast some kale chips in the oven or serve saag aloo (a spicy spinach and potato side dish) with your curries.
Boosting your metabolism is easy when you know how – and all these metabolism-boosting foods are not only healthy, they’re delicious too. Want to find out more about how we can help you boost your metabolism and stick to your fitness goals?
Personal Trainer & Fitness Blogger
English professional rugby league footballer
Olympic Gold Medal Winning Cyclist
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