Has your midsection grown over the years? Do you have higher-than-normal levels of blood glucose and triglycerides? Is your blood pressure high? Is your HDL (the “good” cholesterol) low? According to the National Institutes of Health, answering yes to all or most of these questions may signify metabolic syndrome. As of 2007, nearly 47 million Americans were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. If you’re one of them, then that means you are at an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Overweight and obese individuals are particularly at risk for metabolic syndrome.
But metabolic syndrome isn’t only thing that can have you wishing for a metabolism boost. Aging often brings about a progressively sluggish metabolism. Beginning roughly at age 25, the average person experiences their first metabolism slowdown, usually by 5 to 10 percent. This metabolism drop continues each decade thereafter. A person living in the United States can expect to see a whopping 20 and 40 percent decrease in their metabolic rate during adulthood.
The good news is that, by making simple healthy lifestyle changes, you do not have to become a part of these statistics. A healthy diet and regular exercise can do wonders in the treatment of metabolic syndrome and in the prevention of weight gain as we age. In particular, there are healthy foods you can eat that will stimulate metabolism and promote weight loss.
Which foods boost metabolism? Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, eggs, and fish are all good examples of foods that help speed up a sluggish metabolism. The key to boosting your metabolism is to eat a variety of unprocessed foods. Unprocessed foods are often higher in fiber than processed foods. Your body will try hard, unsuccessfully, to digest the fiber. All this extra work your body does equates to a nice metabolism boost.
Increasing fiber intake is only one of the ways good nutrition can boost your metabolism. Eating foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna, is an excellent way to speed up your metabolism. Research has shown that fish oils can increase a person’s metabolism by up to an amazing 400 calories a day.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be taken via pill form, but often leave a fishy aftertaste and the smell can seep out of your skin pores. A better way to obtain these important omega-3s is by eating a healthy fish dinner several times a week. You’ll be able to add your favorite seasonings and will also get a healthy dose of protein, which also helps to boost metabolism by increasing the thermal effect of food.
So, do yourself a favor and stay away from frozen dinners and other packaged foods at the supermarket. Drive past those fast food restaurants and their artery-clogging meals. Instead, do what healthy people have done for generations-open up a recipe book and cook your own meals.
The great thing about having a recipe book handy in your kitchen is the control it brings. You have the power to prepare the healthiest meals possible. You can use ingredients that will boost your metabolism. You control the cost of your meals. A healthy recipe book is the best investment you can make when looking to lose excess pounds or maintain your current weight.