During the summer months, metabolic health and weight loss come into focus for many, especially with less than a third of Americans being considered “metabolically healthy.”
Below are some of the top summer foods to enjoy this season as part of your metabolism-boosting meal plan:
Watermelon is often used in weight management as it is an effective metabolic booster. This is because it contains the amino acid, arginine, which was found in a study of obese mice to reduce body fat gains by 64%. Watermelon also contains potassium, which increases levels of glycogen, a substance produced in the liver that helps the body burn calories.
Similar to watermelons, cantaloupe and honeydew are excellent metabolic boosters because they are low in caloric value and rich in potassium. Moreover, cantaloupe is loaded with nutrients such as fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, all of which are vital in supporting heart health and lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease, and promoting overall vitality.
Does spicy food boost metabolism? Yes, in the case of red peppers. Red peppers are rich in capsaicin, which has been shown to boost metabolic function. In a 2016 review, experts evaluated the effects of capsaicin and hypothesized that eating peppers would burn 10 additional calories per meal. In humans, it is believed that capsaicin can increase metabolism effectively by approximately 8%. The process by which capsaicin speeds up metabolism and boosts weight loss is called thermogenesis.
Green Tea is considered a “superfood” by many health experts because it can lead to a wide variety of benefits, including supporting metabolic function. Green tea is rich in catechins, a flavonoid, which stimulates the nervous system, increasing thermogenesis (burning stored energy) and fat oxidation. Some studies even show that green tea extract increased the metabolism by 4 percent over a 24-hour period.
Zucchini boasts a variety of health benefits as it is hydrating, promotes bone and teeth health, supports heart health and healthy blood pressure, combats inflammation, and namely, enhances metabolic function. Zucchini is 95% water and is low in caloric value yet rich in fiber, making it a filling food that stabilizes blood sugar. Plus, this vegetable is rich in B-complex, which is critical in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and metabolic function.
Greek yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics, which balance the gut microbiome, the key to overall health. When your gut microbiome is balanced, metabolic function is supported because these bacteria communicate with a variety of cells all over the body. To ensure you’re getting the right gut-balancing microorganisms with your breakfast, make sure your Greek yogurt says “contains active cultures” on the packaging.
Also, it is important to note that yogurt is rich in protein, and research suggests that eating a high-protein diet may increase the number of calories a person burns per day.
Studies show that both apples and pears boost metabolic function and support weight loss because they are low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in vitamins and minerals that monitor blood sugar levels. In fact, a study by the State University of Rio de Janeiro concluded that women eating three small apples or pears daily lost more weight than those who did not.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of protein, minerals, dietary fiber, and vitamins. For these reasons and more, there are a variety of studies that confirm consuming tomatoes help increase metabolism. In one study on middle-aged women, researchers concluded that consuming tomatoes increased the Resting Energy Expenditure of these women. This means the number of calories required while being at rest increased.
Questions about boosting your metabolic health? Contact us today to meet with our board-certified physicians.