If you’re looking for foods that increase metabolism and can help you lose weight, you’re in the right place. We’ll show you a list of the best ones and single out the one that’s our absolute favorite. Let’s start with a list of all the best foods to boost your metabolic rate.
10 of Best Foods to Boost Your Metabolism
These 10 foods are the ones that you should incorporate into your everyday menu and then stick with it. The variety of the foods listed will make it easy enough. Some, and hopefully most of the food items here you are already using. If not, take a screenshot and go straight to your local shop.
- Spicy foods and hot sauces (chili peppers, Tabasco, habanero)
- Protein-rich foods (fish, eggs, dairy, nuts)
- Green tea
- Legumes and pulses
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dark green veggies (kale, spinach, broccoli, bok choy)
As you can see, there are no fancy foods here and no hard-to-pronounce ingredients. Finding foods that boost your metabolism can be easy and convenient. 99% of these foods are staple-items in most of the (developed) world.
Does spicy food help you lose weight?
This is actually true and it’s scientifically proven that spicy food or even things like hot sauces like Tabasco can help you lose weight. A meta-analysis of 90 different studies has shown that capsaicinoids, a group of chemicals that are found in chili peppers, can increase energy expenditure and even reduce your food cravings.
Capsaicinoids are chemical compounds and active ingredients of the capsicum family aka chili peppers. Although it’s a known chemical irritant to us humans (but other mammals too) and generates a burning sensation, people are still drawn to it (some more than others).
Spicy food alone won’t help you lose weight but it might boost your efforts.
Does spicy food increase metabolism?
We kinda answered this question already by putting it on the top spot of our list, but let’s dive a bit deeper now. The same ingredient, capsaicin, that is found in chili peppers and that is helping you lose weight, can increase your metabolism for the same reason.
This great compound is helping you speed-up the fat-burning rate of your body and at the same time decrease your appetite. If you’re already passionate about spicy foods and hot sauces, this is great news for you. If you’re not that into spicy foods (yet), you can easily build-up your tolerance by fusing spicy foods into your daily menu.
Disadvantages of spicy food
While spicy food has many benefits, there are also some downsides to it. If you’re not used to eating spicy or hot food, the burning sensation can be really bad and can irritate your tongue but also your stomach – and the inner stomach lining in particular. If you have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), spicy foods can make it worse and even cause diarrhea.
There are other smaller things like rubbing your eye while cutting up peppers, for example, can make your eye feel on fire. This can happen even after you’ve washed your hands. The best practice would be to wear disposable gloves while preparing your peppers.
The spiciness can also take over the whole taste of the meal but it can also damage your taste buds, making the taste of the food only worse.
Extremely hot sauces that come with warning labels are especially triggering and should be avoided by most people as the potential benefits are outweighed by disadvantages.
Effects of spicy food on the digestive system
Spicy food and capsaicin in particular can have some adverse effects on your digestive system and your stomach. Although spicy food can help you lose weight and increase the metabolism, it is not recommended for people that are suffering from indigestion, or dyspepsia, people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis) as it can trigger their symptoms.
Although spicy foods are generally healthy and can boost your metabolic rate, not everyone should eat them for the dangers of triggering some symptoms. Opposed to popular belief, various studies have shown that capsaicin actually inhibits acid creation in the stomach.
How to neutralize spicy food in the stomach?
Now that we know all the benefits and some minor disadvantages that spicy foods have to offer, we want to enjoy them on a more regular basis. The way we can do that is by getting used to the heat and the burning sensation, but also by neutralizing the spicy food in the stomach itself.
There are a good few ways we can do that. The first one that comes to mind and is kinda common sense, is to not have an empty stomach. It might be somewhat counterintuitive, but you don’t have to have a full stomach; just not a completely empty one.
It’s also good to avoid surprises and know exactly how spicy food is going to be. It will help mitigate its effects and help prepare you mentally for the spiciness.
You can also slowly build up your heat tolerance by starting to eat smaller amounts of spicy food and moving on to bigger amounts or hotter ones. If you want spicy food to help you lose weight or increase the metabolism, this kind of “sacrifice” will be worth it.
Of course, for people that love spicy food or are tolerant of it, this shouldn’t be an issue and will be more than happy to do it.
Another way to neutralize the effects of spicy foods in the stomach is to use medications like antacids or other products that help prevent heartburn or acid reflux that you might get from consuming spicy foods. As we already mentioned, spicy food can trigger some indigestion, or IBS, and IBD symptoms.
To conclude this post, it is proven that spicy food can help you lose weight and increase your metabolism rate and by including it into your daily food intake, you can be a leaner, and healthier person.