Rev It Up

Foods that Boost Your Metabolism and How to Get More of Them

Citrus: Fruits like grapefruit and lemon can alkalize the body, stimulate the digestive tract, and detoxify the liver. Squeeze fresh lemon over any meal; add to drinking water, etc. For the greatest metabolic impact, start each morning with the juice of half a lemon (or more) added to eight ounces of room temperature water. It’s like magic.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is an ancient medicinal spice that supports insulin response and thermogenesis. But make sure it is “real cinnamon”. Most of what the US uses is Cinnamomum cassia. It contains a lot more of a compound called coumarin than real cinnamon. Coumarin may stress the liver when consumed in large amounts. Look for “Ceylon Cinnamon”.

Green Tea: The polyphenols found in green tea work to increase thermogenesis (the rate at which calories are burned). Having problems enjoying green tea by the cup? Try brewing a super strong batch by the quart instead. From there you can dilute it in drinking water, make ice cubes with it, boost smoothies, or have it chilled. Using it in place of water in any recipe helps keep it interesting.

Peppers: The thermogenic effect of peppers induces heat within the body that stimulates circulation. Those with hot constitutions should consume spicy foods with care. To acquire the best of peppers without throwing your body off balance, go for small amounts often, instead of large amounts every once in a while. Mince and add to condiments or sauces, spike scrambled eggs with cayenne, roast or stir-fry mild peppers with other vegetables, etc.

Apple Cider Vinegar: The probiotic cultures in raw apple cider vinegar work synergistically with B vitamins and enzymes to give you a metabolic boost. Purists shoot 1-2 tablespoons of this before meals but using it in vinaigrettes, marinades, or condiments is a little more practical for most.

Eggs: Protein will always be the best choice for supporting resting metabolism. However, free range, organic eggs are a completely different food from factory farmed eggs. Avoid factory farmed eggs whenever possible. The most convenient way to enjoy an egg is hardboiled. They travel great, and can be eaten whole, or added to any salad or sandwich.

Ginger: Like peppers and cinnamon, ginger has a thermogenic effect in the body that stimulates blood circulation. It also helps to improve digestion by increasing digestive fluids in the stomach. Mince and sauté with vegetables, or use a one inch piece (size of the tip of your thumb) in juices, or smoothies.

Seaweeds: Sea vegetables are a concentrated source for minerals, especially iodine, a mineral essential to proper thyroid functioning (and therefore metabolism). It is almost impossible for inlanders to get enough iodine naturally. Nori, is trending as the newest snack sensation. Ground varieties like kelp and dulse can be sprinkled over everything from salads to soups and appear like nothing more than dried herbs.

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