Metabolism-boosting foods you should try

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For healthy weight loss and an all-around healthy lifestyle, a humming metabolism is extremely important. Our metabolism is what converts all the calories we consume into energy, and the faster it is, the more calories we burn. While our metabolism has a lot to do with genetics, there are speculated ways you may be able to take a bit of control over it. One of these methods is eating right. Here are some speculated metabolism-boosting foods.

Coffee

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Coffee: We all know and love it (especially as the threat of finals creeps closer). But not only is coffee a vehicle for your caffeine addiction and the perfect holiday drink (who’s excited for eggnog lattes?) — it may also help you lose weight when consumed in moderation. Caffeine gets absorbed into your bloodstream quickly and stimulates your central nervous system, which can speed up your heart rate and cause a temporary metabolic peak of about 5 to 8 percent about three hours later. Just make sure to not add too much cream or sugar, as those will counteract all of your drink’s healthy benefits.

Spices

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Different spices work at different levels, but most do a great job of increasing your body’s temperature and therefore helping it burn fat faster. A few more familiar ones to try are ginger, which can increase your metabolism by 20 percent for three hours, and cinnamon, which also aids digestion and helps regulate blood-sugar levels. Throw these in a smoothie or into your oatmeal for an immediate boost. If you’re more comfortable with a wider range of spices, some others to try are cayenne, curry, mustard and turmeric.

Dark chocolate 

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Yes! Chocolate’s on the list! Studies have found that consuming about one-and-a-half ounces of dark chocolate can reduce cortisol, a stress hormone (and one of the main causes of a slow metabolism). Even better? Another study found that adults who regularly consume moderate amounts of chocolate are actually thinner than those who don’t. Still, don’t go overboard with the sugar; try varieties with 70 percent cacao or higher. Chop some pieces up and throw them into your homemade granola, or melt them into a dip for your daily dose.

Green tea

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Not only is green tea zero calories — it’s also full of antioxidants (which burn belly fat!) and could potentially be a metabolism-boosting potion. The tea contains phenols: chemical compounds that increase your body’s internal furnace and the rate at which your body burns calories. Plus, green tea has been a staple in Asian diets for thousands of years for a reason: It can help regulate glucose levels, lower blood pressure, prevent cancer, help aging and much, much more. If you don’t love the taste, try infusing it in some of the foods you already love by mixing it into cookie dough or muffin batter right before baking.

While eating these foods are a great way to increase your metabolism, there are a lot of other important factors that also have a large effect. Getting more sleep, decreasing stress and doing cardio exercises can also speed up your metabolic rate. One way to definitely slow it? Severely decreasing your calorie intake or skipping meals. This catapults your body into starvation mode so that it holds onto those extra calories as tightly as possible. There’s no need to go to extremes. Eat right and take care of your body, and a good metabolism is sure to follow.

Image Sources: kirinohanaSusanne Nilsson, peddhapati, Laura FavrowBrandie Kajino under Creative Commons

Contact Agnes Zhu at [email protected].