Your metabolism can slow as you age, or when life changes. Even a bit of stress can curb your once-fast metabolism. So, you need to make sure that you are fueling your body with the proper foods to keep your metabolism revved up – and for athletes, this is even more important. Below are the best superfoods to keep your metabolism boosted – even in times of stress.
Lemons are an excellent food source for giving your metabolism an overdrive. Lemons help in detoxifying your liver and cleansing the digestive system. The enzymes and vitamin C in lemons help in clearing toxins from the body by turning them into compounds that are eliminated from the body in the form of waste. This ultimately helps in improving your metabolic function. Squeeze the juice of ½ lemon in a glass of warm water and drink it daily in the morning on an empty stomach to give a boost to your metabolism. You can also include lemons in your regular diet to flavor your food and also derive its health benefits.
When talking of metabolism boosters, green tea is one of the best superfoods. Loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols, green tea aids in improving your body’s metabolic activity. A 1999 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by its caffeine content per se.
Cayenne pepper contains a compound known as capsaicin that has a positive impact on your body’s metabolic rate. Capsaicin has thermogenic properties that help cells convert energy into heat. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry reports that capsaicin is associated with an increase in thermogenesis, which boosts body temperature and metabolism. A 2011 study published in the Oxford Journal Chemical Senses substantiates the statement that capsaicin induces thermogenesis, thus helping in weight management. Capsaicin enhances the activity of proteins inside fat cells that help break down fat, according to a study published in the Journal of Proteome Research in 2010. Researchers found that subjects fed a high-fat diet with capsaicin experienced greater decreases in body fat compared to the non-capsaicin group.
Grapefruits are rich in vitamin C that aids in improving the function of your metabolic system. Vitamin C regulates fat metabolism and aids in fat-burning. Grapefruits also contain naringenin, a flavonoid, that has excellent antioxidant properties required for metabolism. Naringenin helps lower insulin levels in the blood. This in turn leads to balanced blood sugar levels and improved metabolism. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food shows that obese people who included grapefruit, grapefruit juice and grapefruit capsules in their diet experienced significant weight loss at different levels. Insulin resistance was improved with fresh grapefruit. Another study published in Nutrition and Metabolism in 2011 showed that combining a low-calorie diet with a glass of grapefruit juice or a snack of whole grapefruit has positive effects on energy balance, weight loss and body composition. There is also significantly greater benefits in lipid profiles.