6 Power Foods That Boost Your Metabolism

By F. P. Fernandes  

Your body is like a machine - in order for it to run smoothly, it needs to be well-maintained. Modern lifestyle, stress and the pace of work tends to deprive one of sleep, nutrition and the right balance in life. This, in turn, affects the overall function of the body, and leads to a number of health problems, as well as to weight gain.

Boosting your metabolism is the best way to lead a healthy life, as it enhances the body's ability to deal with the stresses of modern life, and your overall quality of life improves. Does the word "metabolism" sound like something out of a medical textbook that seems beyond your comprehension? Well, it's rather simple - metabolism refers to the process by which your body burns down calories and breaks them up into nutrients that are needed for basic body functions. When your metabolic function is streamlined, your chances of obesity are lower, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and a number of other illnesses.

Boosting Metabolism With Simple Tips
If you would like to boost your metabolism, there are a number of ways to do so. Exercising regularly gives your body a jump-start and helps you burn more calories. Getting adequate sleep as well as reducing stress is also very helpful. Added to all this is the right type of food. There are a number of foods that can help boost your metabolism. Some of these are elaborated below.

Carbohydrates And Fibre
Foods rich in carbohydrates and fibre do a lot to regulate insulin levels in the body. This is very crucial when you are trying to boost your metabolism, since high insulin levels lead to accumulation of body fat, thereby reducing metabolic rates. Therefore ensure that you add in carbohydrates and fibre in your diet, preferably in your breakfast.

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Foods rich in calcium trigger a huge boost in metabolism, thereby reducing body fat mass. Some high calcium foods that you can include in your diet are broccoli, soy and milk.

Proteins are needed for normal bodily function. However, in the process of boosting metabolism, proteins are extremely beneficial as a greater amount of energy is needed to burn proteins. This implies that, when your body tries to burn proteins, a larger amount of calories are burnt during the digestive process.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Apart from being excellent for overall health, Omega-3 fatty acids alter the levels of the hormone leptin, which plays a very vital role in the metabolic process. Increase the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet in order to give your metabolism an extra boost.

Capsaicin Rich Foods And Spices
Spices such as Jalapeno contain a type of chemical known as Capsaicin. This chemical speeds up the heart rate, thereby boosting your metabolism to as much as 25% more than it currently is. Calories continue to be burned for up to three hours after a meal, without any vigorous exercise on your part!

Caffeine And EGCG
Caffeine that is present in beverages such as coffee, is known to boost metabolism by increasing the heart rate. On the other hand, EGCG that is present in tea, boosts the nervous system and thereby boosts one's metabolism. Therefore, be sure to include any one, or both, of these beverages as part of your daily diet.

While consuming foods that boost metabolism will help you for the present, to achieve long-term benefits with regard to weight loss, be sure to complement these foods with a healthy lifestyle and a good exercise routine. This will give you lasting benefits.

Clean Eating - 3 Tips To Clean Up Your Diet

By Lynda Enright  

"Clean eating" is one of the latest buzz phrases in our quest to find the "right" diet. There has been an increase in consumer demand for clean food products. Consumers are asking for products lower in sodium, without high fructose corn syrup and trans-fats, products with short ingredient lists, recognizable and "natural" ingredients. And the food industry is responding. Ingredients are being removed which are not easily understood. You will find more options without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. In 2013, 25% of new product launches globally were considered "label-friendly."

Is this the answer? More food "products" with fewer ingredients? It can be a component of better eating, but I hope to continue to aim for more food and fewer food "products."

Benefits of Clean Eating

With any choices in our eating patterns there are a variety of reasons individuals may make the choice for a cleaner diet.

• Food allergies and food sensitivities is a concern many men, women and children face each day. Making the diet simpler can make it easier to avoid foods that may be of concern.

• Clean eating may be a choice made for weight loss. The weight loss benefit of a cleaner approach to eating can be a result of focusing on nourishing your body well rather than the concentration on calories in versus calories out.

• Increased energy and focus is a benefit many experience from a cleaner approach to eating.

When you provide the nutrients your body needs for good health it will function optimally rather than creating restriction with a diet low in calories that also may be low in nutrient value.

How to Eat Clean

So what do you do? How can you make simple changes to shift to a cleaner diet. Follow these tips to get started to eating a more real food diet and one made less of food "products."

1. Shop the outer ring of the grocery store. The outer ring of the grocery store contains foods including fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed meats. It will include dairy products that range from lightly processed to highly processed. When you go towards the center of the store you will find more foods that are heavily processed which may contain a long list of ingredients. There may be basic foods that will fit well into your cleaner diet in the inner portion of the store, but you need to then look at tip 2.

2. Read food labels. We talk about "processed" food as if it is the enemy. But we also need to define what that means. Processing can be as simple as turning a product that isn't in an edible state to a form that we will consume in our diet. To the extreme, processing can be adding colors, fillers, additives and chemicals to alter the taste, color and texture of a food to be more appealing to the consumer. Reading the label will help you understand where the difference lies. Look at the ingredient list and ask yourself the following questions.

• Are there more than 5 ingredients?
• Do I understand what each ingredient is?

(Sometimes added vitamins or minerals may be words you don't understand. Check out the products you buy and do some research to find out the definition of words you don't know, then consider if you want to buy that product in the future).

• Does it have added sugars and where is that on the list of ingredients?

(The higher in the list, the greater the quantity of that ingredient)?

• Does it have added fats and what is the source of that fat - is it a source that I choose to include in my diet to nourish myself well?
• Does it contain additives, fillers or food dyes?
• Does it contain ingredients that you suspect you may be sensitive too?

3. Prepare your own food. In our culture with busy lives today buying prepared foods can be appealing to simplify your life. Unfortunately, with that your diet may not be as clean as you would like. Make a plan for three - five meals that you can prepare for dinner each week. Can you make one or two meals on the weekend to make life easier during a busy week? Can you make extra and use that as lunch for another meal?

1 - Make a plan.

2 - Make it a plan that will work in your schedule and will allow for simple food prep to make your eating cleaner.

You may look at clean eating as another trend in our food market. Yes, it will be that as well. But I prefer to think about it as a way of life that allows you to nourish yourself well, to feel your very best and to optimize your health.