I sat in the Doctor’s office patiently waiting for the nurse to bring me my lab results.
I had to see them for myself because it simply could not be correct. After all, this condition was something that was brand new to me.
How could this even be – I had been healthy all my life and just turned 30 this past spring.I quickly grabbed the pamphlets that my MD had given me and started reading up on my new condition. I wasn’t alone as an estimated number of 20 million Americans also suffer from some form of thyroid disease.
The human thyroid is a gland that produces hormones and regulates the body’s metabolism.When you have Hypothyroidism, it basically means that your body is not producing enough of the thyroid hormone which can have a counter effect on your metabolism and make it harder to maintain a healthy weight. A slow metabolism means that your body will take longer to process food and turn it into energy, which causes the food to turn into fat and get accumulated in different parts of the body.
As a fitness buff who spends her weekends doing cross fit and yoga, I am extremely meticulous about looking and feeling my best – a slow metabolism isn’t exactly the best thing for athletes. I made sure to do a lot of research on the various medications that my MD recommended but it seemed that many of them had side effects described by the users.
Fortunately, I found a few all-natural remedies to boosting your metabolism and fighting the negative effects of hypothyroidism – and they are all delicious foods that you can eat at home! While many people think that metabolism is ruled by genetics, this is only partly true.
You can rev it up naturally by having an active lifestyle and by eating right. Just be sure to fill up on the following 15 foods to unlock and boost your body’s natural fat burning power.
Green tea offers a variety of nutritional benefits. It is packed with powerful flavonoids and antioxidants, which help fight chronic diseases. Research shows that green tea also boosts metabolism, and aids in weight loss. A study conducted by the University of Geneva, Switzerland, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that green tea possesses thermogenic properties and aids in fat oxidation.
Of the 10 males who were randomly assigned to each of three meals comprising one of three treatments (i.e. green tea extract, capsule of caffeine; or a placebo capsule), those who consumed green tea extract had a 4 percent increase in thermogenesis, and an overall energy expenditure increase of 4.5%.
Lemons are great for your health. They protect the immune system and alkalize the body. Lemons also help in boosting your metabolism. They help increase the metabolic rate, and enables the body to burn more calories and store less fat. Lemons are also known to slowing down the rate of starch digestion. This helps keep blood sugar balanced, and prevents increases in insulin levels while reducing fat storage. Starting your day with a glass of lemon water can definitely help kick-start your metabolism.
Spice up your food to tickle your taste buds and to boost your metabolism. Cayenne peppers, along with jalapenos and bell peppers belong to the Capsicum annum family.Research shows that cayenne peppers have positive effects on the metabolism.
In a research study, 40 men and women were assigned to capsinoid or placebo groups, and it was found that treatment with 6 mg/d capsinoids orally was associated with significant abdominal fat loss. Capsaicin, a compound found in cayenne peppers is shown to have a positive effect on thermogenesis, the process by which body cells convert energy into heat.
It also increases fat breakdown and reduces fat buildup.
Fresh berries such as lingonberries, blackcurrants and bilberries are rich in chemicals known as anthocyanins, which according to research, help with fat metabolism and reducing weight gain. Berries also support the release of certain hormones that can help lower blood sugar levels and inflammation and regulate metabolism.
An apple a day can do much more than keeping the doctor away. A Rio State University research published in Journal Nutrition shows that eating three small apples a day can greatly increase metabolism and speed up weight loss. In this study, 411 women were randomized to receive, one of three dietary supplements: apples, oat cookies, or pears.
After 12 weeks of follow-up, the fruit group lost 1.22 kg. Researchers attributed this to the fiber content in apples, which can slow the dietary sugar intake and make the person feel fuller. The apple peel also contains a fiber called pectin, which helps flush out toxins and limits fat absorption.
Avocado is a nutrient packed food, which is touted to be the perfect food by many nutritionists. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), essential nutrients, dietary fiber, and phytochemicals. It contains oleic acid, which reduces inflammation. Less inflammation means better metabolism. Research shows that avocado can make you feel fuller for much longer compared to other foods, and helps improve metabolism.
The participants included 17,567 US adults, including 347 avocado consumers. After a study period of 8 years, it was seen that body weight, waist circumference, and BMI were lower, and HDL-C was significantly higher in avocado consumers.
The odds ratio for metabolic syndrome was 50 percent lower in avocado consumers compared to non-consumers.
Broccoli is a super veggie rich in B vitamins that can help keep your metabolism in top gear. It is also high in fiber and water, which are essential for the body’s ability to digest food efficiently and to burn fat quickly.
Celery is also a thermogenic food, which means the body needs more calories to chew and digest celery, than the number of calories it actually contains. Nutritionists recommend pairing celery with nut butters such as peanut or almond butter to feel fuller longer.
Carrots are high in fiber and contain some compounds that help the liver flush out chemicals and toxins from the body. This, in turn, helps metabolism because a build-up of toxins in the body can slow down metabolism and prevent weight loss.
More Protein Please
Protein helps transport the thyroid hormones to the various tissues in your body. Be certain that you are getting at least 50 grams of protein in each day. As a person who does not eat meat, I supplement with extra beans, lentils and protein shakes.
Garlic is known for its immune supporting properties. However, not many of us are aware of its ability to supercharge our metabolism.Garlics helps lower cholesterol, blood sugar levels, reduces fat, and aids in weight loss. It also possesses thermogenic properties, which can help us burn more calories.
Grapefruit ranks among the one of the best foods for natural weight maintenance. It contains an antioxidant known as naringenin. Researchers have found that this compound helps the body use insulin more efficiently, and keep blood sugar levels balanced. It is also known to improve the body’s ability to burn fat. In a research study, 91 obese patients were randomized to taking grapefruit, grapefruit juice, grapefruit capsule or a placebo.
After 12 weeks, the grapefruit capsule group had lost almost three times as much weight as the placebo group.
It is a super spice that can help prevent many diseases, including diabetes and cancer, and can also boost your metabolism. Turmeric is nutrient rich, which means, you tend to eat less, because the body gets the energy that it needs. Turmeric contains a compound known as curcumin, which helps cleanse the liver, and thereby helps with the detoxification of the body. This, in turn, makes weight management easier.
Kelp is rich in iodine, which supports the thyroid gland – the metabolism-regulating organ of the body is full of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and amino acids. Nutritionists recommend having kelp as a snack throughout the day as it can help us feel fuller, while still providing essential nutrition.
Cinnamon is an herb derived from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree. It is extensively used for its medicinal properties on various diseases including diabetes. It also helps increase metabolism. Cinnamon has a high ORAC value, which helps the body to detox and in turn, burn fat. Studies have revealed that abdominal fat is particularly sensitive to the active compounds in cinnamon.
There you have it!
Including a combination of these foods in your daily diet can go a long way in keeping your metabolism working efficiently. This will help keep your body fat down, and energy up.