This post has been updated from its original post date to include more information from experts.
If you’re looking to lose weight, chances are you want to eat more foods that can boost your metabolism. Some foods, like peppers, beans, gingerAnd cocoa, can help increase your metabolic rate (find out the best diet to keep your metabolic rate high!). We spoke with dietitians Trista Best, at Balance One Supplements, Zoë Schroeder and Jennifer Hanes, and Lisa Richards, nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet. They explain why these foods, in addition to creating a calorie deficit with your diet and getting more exercise, are the key to speeding up your metabolism and losing weight. Find out more below!
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“Ginger is unique for weight loss in that it contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols,” Best tells us. “These compounds create an antioxidant effect in the body that reduces free radical damage in the body.”
Free radical damage leads to increased oxidative stress, which in turn can cause and exacerbate obesity. “This damage occurs at the cellular level and once these damaged cells replicate, the body’s natural processes that maintain homeostasis can be disrupted, resulting in decreased metabolism, energy, etc.” She. Drinking ginger tea, for example, or adding whole ginger to your meals, can boost your metabolism, help you reach your weight loss goals and reduce morning bloating, says Richards.
Cocoa is pure chocolate commonly used in recipes of all kinds, explains Best, “It’s often mixed into shakes, coffees and desserts as a sweetener but also to help increase metabolism.” It works much like coffee, in its “ability to increase metabolism and reduce fatigue,” she adds, but without the caffeine! And, health experts recommend adding cocoa powder to your morning cup of coffee to speed up weight loss and minimize bloating.
Studies have shown that chili peppers can help with weight loss by reducing hunger and improving metabolism, says Trista. “They alleviate hunger by reducing the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone,” she notes. “This pepper can speed up metabolism by even slightly increasing the body’s internal temperature. This is the result of capsaicin and is known as the thermogenic effect of foods, capsaicin is also found in cayenne peppers.” People who practice intermittent fasting have been known to add cayenne pepper to their drinks to “appease their hunger during longer fasts.” Interesting!
“Cayenne or chili peppers contain the compound known as capsaicin which can help dramatically increase metabolism in people who are not used to eating spicy foods,” agrees Schroeder.
4. Legumes and beans
“Legumes, which include beans, peas and lentils, have a high thermic food effect (TEF),” says Trista. These foods that increase TEF “will also increase your metabolism.”
“When these foods are digested, they raise the body’s internal temperature, which increases the amount of calories burned during this time,” she explains. This means that you burn calories by eating.
Beans and legumes are also a rich source of fiber and B vitamins. Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system and helps your body burn fuel continuously. “It keeps digestion moving throughout the day,” says Hanes.
Of course, it will take a little more than a few healthy ingredients to get in shape this summer. Weight loss requires a variety of different factors, including a good workout routine and a balanced diet. While ginger, cocoa powder, chili peppers, legumes, and beans aren’t the magic bullet for weight loss, they will definitely help increase your calorie intake in the long run.