Many people suffer from weight loss and weight management. Both are influenced by the body metabolism which extracts calories from consumed food and combines it with oxygen to produce energy. This energy enables the body to carry out its functions like blood circulation, breathing, digestion, generating and repairing cells, and maintaining hormonal balance. The metabolic rate varies from individual to individual with many factors coming into play including age and gender.
With regard to dietary considerations, there are many foods which help to boost metabolic rate. To insure against a deficiency of Vitamin D, people need to consume foods like tofu, mushrooms, fish, eggs, and soya milk. Maintaining good calcium levels is also important and dairy products like milk and yoghurt help the body to metabolize fat efficiently. Cottage cheese is a good source of protein and helps to build, maintain, and repair muscles. The probiotics in yoghurt help in promoting levels of good bacteria which help with digestion.
Antioxidants help with weight loss. Antioxidants prevent the buildup of free radicals in the body which can damage cells, leading to inhibited muscle growth, and disease. Green tea contains polyphenols which are rich in antioxidants and they also contain a plant compound called EGCG which assists with burning fat. Research suggests that polyphenols may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Blueberries are another excellent source of antioxidants.
Green vegetables like broccoli, avocados, spinach, and asparagus also stimulate the metabolism as do most greens. They are full of minerals, iron, and protein which give the body the fuel it needs when burning off energy. Lentils and whole grains on the other hand supply the body with the carbohydrates, fiber, and protein it needs to expend energy and digest and help in burning fat. The iron in both food categories helps to circulate the flow of oxygen throughout the body which also boosts the metabolism. Spinach and other leafy green vegetables provide more nutrients than most other foods and help to protect the body against osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, and colon cancer among other conditions. Spinach may also reduce age-related decline in brain function and help protect the brain from oxidative stress.
Whey protein is the best and highest quality source of protein, often used by bodybuilders. It helps the body to build amino acids used for building muscle tissue and regulates hormonal and cellular responses. It also is beneficial for the body’s immune system and is an antioxidant.
Fish is full of omega-3 fatty acids which increase the quantities of fat burning enzymes in the body. One of the best sources of fish is salmon which is low in saturated fat, high in protein, and contains omega-3 fatty acids. The last is vital for human health because it cannot be produced within the body and has to be obtained from external foods. Salmon has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which help with heart health, make blood clotting and clogging inside arteries less likely, and improve the ratio of good to bad cholesterol. It additionally contains selenium, protein, niacin, vitamin B12 and B6, magnesium, and phosphorous.
Getting enough fiber is crucial in a healthy diet and oatmeal (slow-cooking rolled oats) is one of the best sources. It has cancer-fighting properties and reduces the toxicity of certain bile acids. It slows down the digestion of starch; thereby avoiding sharp rises of blood sugar (insulin) that normally occurs following a meal and this is beneficial for diabetics. Oats also help to prevent heart disease and are a good source of protein. Oats contain many nutrients including vitamin E, selenium, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, and manganese.
Dry fruits (nuts and seeds) provide the body with high levels of energy and are an excellent source of protein. Healthy nuts to eat include almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachios, walnuts, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds. Almonds are possibly the most nutritionally dense nut, providing the most healthy calories and nutrition for the smallest serving size. A single serving of almonds supplies vitamin E (an antioxidant) and is a good source of fiber. Almonds are also a source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Studies have revealed that almonds lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels as well.
A good diet is conducive to good health so it is no surprise that the above-mentioned foods will help to optimize the metabolic function. Diet is not a standalone solution of course. It must be coupled with other things to boost the metabolism as much as possible. Being physically active is a must. Strength training combined with weight loss through walking, running, and other physical activities can help to boost the rate of metabolism significantly. Not everybody is able to engage in rigorous exercise but even a moderate regimen of walking regularly every day helps. Other important determinants include drinking lots of water to hydrate the body and flush out toxins, getting enough Vitamin D, stress management, and getting enough sleep.