What is metabolism?
The word metabolism refers to a complex biochemical process by which your body produces energy for immediate use or to be stored for later from the food and water consumed. This energy is deployed by the body to keep going and carry out functions like blood circulation, breathing, food digestion, maintaining hormonal balance, cell growth and repair . Not just this, the smallest of action your body performs including brushing your teeth and getting ready for work in the morning, requires this energy.
The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the count or rate of measurement at which our body converts calories into energy. In simple terms, metabolism is the fueling process for our various organs, the functions they perform and body as a whole. It also keeps a follow up of the produced energy by determining how efficiently the body utilises the energy released.
Benefits of Having a Healthy Metabolism
Clearing the body of toxins
A healthy metabolism can help cleanse and get rid of waste and toxins that have built up in your body through bowel movements, perspiration, and urination. Toxins have a harmful effects on various functions of the body and metabolic rate too. Detoxification will help to enhance the natural ability of your body.
Improving blood circulation
Blood not only transports nutrients and carries oxygen, but it also supports the removal of toxins and waste in the bowels. In other words, higher metabolism can speed the absorption and transport of micronutrients. They share direct benefits of each other which include warm hands and feet, easier absorption of nutrients and more energy. Some may even be able to prevent oedema as the water metabolism will speed up too.
People with a high metabolism tend to be happy-go-lucky as this supports a proper functioning of the nervous system. When the metabolism slows, blood carries less nutrition to nourish this autonomic nervous system which causes anxiety, boredom, agitation, and other depressing symptoms. Maintaining a smooth functioning metabolism often results in having a more positive mood and energy.
Higher metabolic rates also help to lose weight and rejuvenate the skin naturally, besides improving your various physical operations. The credit again goes to the joint combined efforts of good blood circulation, increased oxygen, and metabolised toxins and wastes.
Raising natural immunity
As you know, white blood cells stand on the front line of the immune system. They are found in the blood and as we know the metabolism has a strong connection with a good blood circulation. Using metabolism boosters can in turn bolster your immunity in fighting ageing and diseases.
An improper diet and lack of energy leads to a slow metabolic rate, which may constantly make you feel fatigued and tired. Ideally, your body needs a certain amount of energy to meet the required metabolic rate to maintain basic functions like breathing, standing and other related activities. With low energy you may not be able to support the most basic biological activities which also lower your rate of weight loss.
Metabolism Boosting Tips
Eat well - If you try to cut calories too drastically, you may experience some initial weight loss but the long-term effects will not be good. Your body can go into "starvation mode", where it fears that nutrients are becoming scarce and so it hangs on to fat reserves. In other words, your metabolism slows down, making it even harder to lose weight. Ultimately, there is no replacement for a balanced diet packed with nutrients, when it comes to achieving a healthy metabolism and promoting natural weight loss.
Exercise regularly - Never underestimate the value of a regular exercise routine and the effect that it can have on your metabolism. Exercise not only burns calories, it also raises your overall metabolism so calories burn faster even while you are sitting still or sleeping.
Don’t eat late at night - Think about what you put into your body in the evening. Your body's metabolism slows down at night, and eating 2-3 hours before going to bed just a few nights a week can contribute to weight gain.
Drink plenty of water - The digestive system can become sluggish when dehydrated, which can result in or contribute to a slower metabolism. Drinking water in excess of 8 glasses servings per day can help your body to run more efficiently and help cleanse and detox your system.
Eat lean protein - Adding protein to your breakfast routine can substantially boost your metabolism and keep you feeling full until lunchtime.
Metabolism boosting foods
Foods high in fibre, protein, and healthy fats not only fill you up, but provide an extra energy boost for your body and are your metabolism boosters. So when it comes to losing weight and getting healthier, increasing your metabolism plays a huge part. With a faster metabolism, your body burns off fat while helping you with digestion even while you are sleeping. Adding these foods along with regular exercise can increase your energy and give your metabolism the boost that it needs.
Found in the highest plateaus of the Andes Mountains, Maca has been cultivated for at least 3,000 years. It is actually a root vegetable, but for weight loss purposes it is typically sold in powder form.
How it works: In a study from 2007, use of maca demonstrated improvement in glucose tolerance and lowered blood sugar levels in rats. Maca is well known as an energy and metabolism booster, which may help to enhance your morning workouts.
How to use it: Maca powder and supplements are easy to find and easily accessible. In a powdered form, Maca can be mixed into your morning smoothie to supercharge your day.
2. Raw Cacao
Raw cacao nibs are cacao beans that have been roasted, separated from their husks and broken into smaller pieces. Most commonly, they are sold in powdered form.
How it works: Raw cacao can satisfy comfort food cravings without raising blood sugar levels. It also contains magnesium, which can help to regulate blood sugar in the body. For an extra metabolism boost, raw cacao also contains small amounts of caffeine.
How to use it: You can add the powder to smoothies, juices and hot beverages for an extra chocolatey kick.
3. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne is a member of the chilli pepper family. It is a metabolism booster, holds effective weight-loss properties and is also well known for being beneficial to the health and function of the digestive system.
How it works: Capsaicinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in chili peppers. They can help to reduce appetite and increase the rate of metabolism. With regular intake, capsaicinoids can also be used to reduce abdominal fat.
How to use it: If you like your food spicy, you can use cayenne wherever you like as an alternative to black pepper. You can also begin your day with a glass of warm water, lemon juice and cayenne pepper for an extra metabolism boost.
4. Garcinia Cambogia
Garcinia Cambogia is a citrus fruit that grows in Southeast Asia. An extract from the fruit rind, Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA), has long been used for cooking, weight loss and as a metabolism booster.
How it works: Advocates say that HCA can make you feel fuller for longer, reduce appetite and increase metabolic rate. It is due to these effects that many now herald Garcinia Cambogia as an effective natural weight loss cure. Several studies have found that both mice and humans experience HCA-rich supplements act as metabolism boosters in the body.
How to use it: You can buy Garcinia Cambogia at most health food stores. However, it is important to keep in mind that the quality of these supplements can be highly variable. Make sure you purchase a supplement brand with 50% or 60% HCA or the equivalent of 500 mg Garcinia Cambogia. For best results, take 3 times per day 30-60 minutes before meals.
In a nutshell, you can choose any of these metabolism boosters to lose weight. However, while supplements contain natural extracts, it’s always best to consult your doctor before use.
Lemons are an excellent food source for giving your metabolism an overdrive. Lemons can also help in detoxifying your liver and cleansing the digestive system.
How it works: The enzymes and vitamin C in lemons help in clearing toxins from the body by turning them into compounds that are eliminated from the body in the form of waste. This ultimately helps in improving your metabolic function.
How to use them: Squeeze the juice of ½ lemon in a glass of warm water and drink it daily in the morning on an empty stomach to give a boost to your metabolism. You can also include lemons in your regular diet to flavour your food and also derive its health benefits.
Ginger is the rhizome, or stem, of the Zingiber officinale plant, and it has been used for centuries as a food, spice and medicine. Ginger helps to promote good digestion and stimulates metabolism, which can lead to increased calorie burning.
How it works: It has thermogenic qualities, which means its intake, can help to slightly increase body temperature. This rise in body temperature is linked to a higher metabolic rate.
How to use it: Ginger is available in root form, both fresh and dried, along with tablets, capsules and liquid extracts. When possible, it’s best to reach for fresh ginger root that can be sliced and then incorporated into cooking and even drinks.
Healthy snacks to increase metabolism
Almonds: Although high in calories, Almonds contain fatty acids that may raise your metabolism but don’t over-snack on them as you need to watch the calories too.
Berries: These are rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C, which helps combat damaging free radicals generated during exercise.
Celery: Celery is a fibre-rich food and hence it’s digestion helps you burn more calories. It is also low in calories. More calories are needed to breakdown celery, than celery provides once digested and hence these can be a good support in your weight loss efforts.
Chia Seeds: While Chia Seeds have lots of different characteristics, metabolism-wise, chia seeds offer a few specific benefits. Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein and healthy omega 3 fats and when you have all three together (almonds, berries and chia seeds), it is very powerful. A great healthy metabolism booster!
Does green tea boost your metabolism?
It is believed that green tea is one of the best metabolism boosters. Green tea contains caffeine and is a natural stimulant. It can help you burn calories and it increases your heart rate, so it can also help free the fatty acids stored in your body to help give you energy. Drinking green tea as part of your daily routine has many potential health benefits for heart health, alleged anti-ageing effects, and can be a good metabolism booster. It’s absolutely packed with antioxidants and can be taken in supplement or tea form. Green tea also helps your body to secrete the amino acid L-theanine which creates alertness in your body.
Age and genetics are always to be blamed when it comes to slowing its metabolic rate, but in truth, to activate the body’s internal furnace, you must understand that it needs more than just counting calories
– may be some help from metabolism boosters?