It’s no secret that a fast metabolism plays a role in achieving a killer body; the speed at which your body burns calories and converts fuel to energy affects the rate at which you lose or gain weight.
Essentially, a faster metabolism makes your cells rev harder, allowing you to maintain or lose weight more easily and burn fat quicker.
Even though your metabolism is determined by factors such as age, gender, genetics and body size, there are some lifestyle changes that can affect it, including certain foods.
Here are seven foods you can incorporate into your daily diet to help you keep your metabolism at its peak and powerhouse your entire body:
- Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are great for digestion as they’re low in sugar and contain antioxidants that aid in lowering blood sugar responses after meals. Citrus fruits also detox your liver from harmful fats.
In particular, grapefruits have been associated to weight loss as they lower insulin levels and have fibre contents that boost metabolism.
Yes, you may think that coconut products are high in fat, but some fats actually do aid in boosting metabolism. Raw coconut products contain natural fat-burning enzymes, plus help you curb food cravings.
It’s high in medium chain fatty acids, meaning that it gets more easily converted into energy as compared to other fatty acids and will less likely be stored as fat.
Include the butter, oil, shavings or milk of the coconut into at least one of your meals every day to reap the benefits of it.
- Chilli peppers
Spicy foods have a natural chemical called Capsaicin to help your body burn more energy. They also contain high amounts of Vitamin C, a nutrient that burns fat, increases your metabolic rate, and reduces inflammation.
If you can’t handle the spice of chilli peppers, even a pinch of cayenne in your meal is said to boost your metabolism by 25 per cent for up to three hours after a meal.
- Green tea
Green tea contains bioactive substances such as caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate, proven to increase metabolic rates by up to four per cent over 24 hours. That amounts to about 70 calories a day and roughly 3kg in a year.
Consume three to five cups of green tea a day to keep fats at bay.
Lentils are full of iron, protein and fibre, nutrients critical to keeping your body in shape as they facilitate the flow of oxygen through the body, keeping metabolisms high and amping up energy production.
Aim to include at least one serving of lentils into any of your meals a day to burn more calories.
Nuts contain high amounts of protein, causing your body to burn more fat to digest them. The king of all nuts is the Brazil nut – you’ll only need one a day to get important amino acids that prevent belly fat.
They’re also high in selenium, which aids in the functioning of the thyroid gland.
- Apple cider vinegar
Unlike other foods on this list, apple cider vinegar builds metabolism in a different way – it helps boost your stomach’s capability to produce hydrochloric acid, causing you to digest food more easily and absorb its nutrients.
Mix some apple cider vinegar with water, cinnamon and honey and drink a glass a day.