Skinless turkey is naturally very low in fat (it contains only one gram of fat per ounce of flesh) and like lean chicken, turkey is also a really good source of protein. It takes longer for your body to break down the proteins found in lean meats which means that you burn more calories when breaking down and metabolising protein than when digesting fats and carbohydrates. The addition of protein to your diet is also a vital part of building lean muscle mass in your body, and when your body is made up of more muscle mass than fat, it will burn more calories - even at rest.
Sweet potatoes are another good metabolism boosting food. It’s thought glutathione (the antioxidant found in the vegetable) is the component that helps our nutrient metabolism, plus the levels of vitamin B in sweet potatoes are also thought to help burn fat within the body. Sweet potatoes are versatile vegetables that taste great whether mashed, baked or roasted. The vegetables are high in fibre which can help you lose weight through making you feel fuller for longer. The low carbohydrate content of sweet potatoes combined with high levels of fibre helps your body stay at a healthy weight and keeps your metabolism functioning properly.
Technically green tea is not a food but nevertheless, it’s a great choice if you are looking for a metabolism booster. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that over a period of 24 hours, green tea extract increased metabolic rate by four per cent. It’s thought that the increase comes as a result of the high levels of catechins found in green tea and these compounds improve the body’s ability to metabolise fat. To get the metabolism boosting benefits of green tea, it’s thought you should drink four to five cups a day. Another benefit of drinking green tea is that it can help to regulate glucose levels, therefore preventing the body storing fat through insulin spikes (as high levels of insulin encourages fat storage.)
These hot peppers are thought to be helpful in boosting your metabolism because of the capsaicin they contain. Capsaicin, the chemical present in jalapenos raises your body’s temperature as it causes the cells to convert energy into heat, which is known as thermogenesis. Studies have suggested that eating a spicy meal can provide a temporary rise in your metabolism of about 8 per cent higher than a person’s typical metabolic rate. Eating spicy food can also make you feel fuller, which can then suppress your desire to eat. If you’re not a fan of jalapenos, then other spices such as cinnamon, paprika and oregano can also briefly elevate your metabolism.
For such a small nut, almonds can provide a big boost for your health. Almonds contain essential fatty acids, which can help speed up your body’s metabolism. They are the perfect thing to snack on throughout the day, as they are high in protein and fibre to give you an energy boost and make you feel fuller for longer. They are also rich in vitamin E, and magnesium, which also plays a part in the functioning of your metabolism. Just remember that almonds are also quite high in calories, so don’t go crazy when consuming them, stick to eating a handful a day to get the most out of the nuts.