We’re so used to thinking about diets in terms of what we shouldn’t be eating—things like junk food and bad carbs—but have you given much thought to what you should be eating instead? Keep reading for a list of five things that will help you boost your metabolism and burn those calories off more efficiently.
Fatty fish like salmon as well as tuna and mackerel will fill you up quickly, and they also make your body burn more fat by speeding up your metabolism. The Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon is a great belly-buster as it improves the way your body uses the hormone insulin, which could reduce fat storage.
2. Chili Peppers
The capsaicin that makes peppers so spicy ups the rate at which your body burns fat, which is called thermogenesis. It may also improve the health of your cardiovascular system and reduce the levels of cholesterol in your body. This component has anti-inflammatory effects as well.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and the like are chock-full of antioxidants that promote weight control. They also contain a lot of fiber, which helps boost our metabolism. Some types, like strawberries, can be taken after meals to help your body reduce blood sugar and insulin levels; this is important because insulin delivers excess blood sugar into your fat cells.
4. Nuts and Seeds
Cashews, almonds, pistachios, pine nuts, peanuts, and more don’t just make for great guilt-free snacks that fill you up without piling on the pounds. They also help you slim down because eating them makes you less likely to binge later on, and because they are hard to digest, your body uses up more energy trying to break them down. Different types of nuts also come with nutritional benefits. Brazil nuts and walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids and seeds are good sources of zinc and iron, for example.
5. Green Tea
There’s a good reason to make sure you grab a couple of cups of green tea on a daily basis—or taking green tea extract for a more concentrated dose. It contains a lot of antioxidants, particular catechins, which can boost metabolism. It also promotes the breakdown of fat in cells, releasing this into the bloodstream and giving you more available energy, and improves the fat-burning effects of working out.
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Liana Smith Bautista is an article writer, web content manager, manuscript copy editor, and blogger—and she thinks it's awesome that she earns her living marketing on her love for the written word.