Foods that boost your metabolism

Mumbai, March 26 -- Metabolism is the process of breaking down proteins, carbohydrates and fats to yield the energy your body needs to maintain itself. The rate of your metabolism depends on the interaction between the number of calories you consume, the number of calories you burn while eating and exercising, and the ones you burn based on your individual genetic makeup. Going for brisk walks, gymming or eating the right kind of foods can get your metabolism working in no time. Here are 10 foods that can boost your metabolism.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a super spice that prevents an insulin spike if taken soon after a meal (half a teaspoon). It keeps hunger at bay. It also helps lower blood sugar among diabetics and boosts your metabolism. It helps weight loss due to its unique insulin balancing properties.

Green tea

Green tea is known to control unnecessary hunger pangs and boost energy and metabolism at the same time. It is a zero-calorie drink which helps to provide hydration and lots of antioxidants. It also contains L-theanine which helps in sharpening alertness.

Celery

Celery is a weight loss food because you burn more calories trying to digest it than it contains. It provides ample minerals and antioxidants.

Lentils

Lentils are rich in protein which is needed to improve your metabolism. They also have a low glycemic index (GI). They have the power to really satisfy your hunger without loading your body with calories and saturated fats. They are also rich in soluble fibre, folates and the B vitamins.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C. It is low in calories and does not stimulate insulin production, which in turn, helps your body burn fat efficiently.

Oatmeal

This food takes longer to digest, as it is rich in soluble fibre. It helps you stabilise your blood sugar levels, prevent cravings and helps you feel energised until your next meal. The phytochemicals in oats also have cancer-fighting properties. Oats are a good source of many nutrients, including vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium. Its low GI and soluble fibre helps control body weight.

Hot pepper

Eating hot pepper boosts your metabolism and controls food cravings. Capsaicin (a chemical found in jalapeno and cayenne peppers) temporarily stimulates your body's metabolic rate due to thermogenesis (heat production) and causes you to burn more calories.

Apple

Besides keeping the doctor away, apples are also great for keeping fat away. Each apple is loaded with 15 per cent of your daily recommended fibre, which helps you stay full for a longer period of time.

Almond

Almonds are nutritionally dense. This means that for a small portion size, you get a large amount of healthy macronutrients and good calories. One serving of almonds (about five or six), is an excellent source of vitamin E and a good source of fibre (which helps keep you full). Almonds contain protein and essential fatty acids which keep you hunger-free. However, almonds being high in both fat and calories, can cause weight gain if consumed in excess.

Low-fat yogurt

It is one of the best foods to eat if you're trying to lose weight and boost your metabolism. Yogurt is full of calcium and protein. It gives you the energy your body needs to keep going all day. It also gives you a deep sense of satiety. Yogurt can also help regulate your digestive tract by improving the gut flora.

Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and the founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.