9 delicious, nutritious foods that naturally warm us, boost our energy levels and help burn fat stores! They’re perfect to lap up as the temperatures drop. These foods have a thermogenic effect on the body, meaning they require more energy for digestion and in the process boost metabolism, create warmth and can shed more stored fat.
Thermogenesis is a process that begins after every meal we consume and the digestive process continues to produce and provide us with energy for many hours afterwards. However, some foods require more energy to digest and/or are filled with compounds that create a high thermogenic effect on the body. Here are the Top 9 :
Proteins and amino acids require a lot digestive energy to break them down, and therefore create a thermogenic effect. When compared to carbohydrates and fats, a meal that is high in protein will have more of a thermic effect.
For example, chicken meat (protein) can use up to 10% of the total energy consumed (calories) for ‘burning’ during digestion.
Ensure a serve of quality protein with every meal or snack, not only for it’s fantastic thermogenic effect, but also for adequate nourishment, nutrition and appetite satisfaction.
Spicy chilies and mustard naturally turn up the internal heat with their compound ‘capsaicin’. it stimulates the body to burn energy, creating heat as well as burning through fat stores.
Chilies are so versatile to use, as fresh, flakes or even powders. They taste great in stir fries, soups, baked dishes, add to marinades and dressings, or use them to spice up a warm, grilled salad. Mustard is delicious served with meats and salads, as well as added to casseroles and baked dishes.
GARLIC & GINGER
They are both great anti- inflammatory and anti-bacterial herbs, plus powerful immune boosters. Use them fresh, flaked or dried – they taste amazing in stir-fries, curries, soups and marinades or try a delicious cup of fresh ginger tea to warm you.
GREEN TEA & MATCHA
There is plenty of research to support the benefits of caffeine and catechin polyphenols when it comes to increasing metabolism, creating internal heat and stimulating energy production in the body. Both are found in Green Teas and Matcha and can support athletic endurance as well as weight loss.
Green Tea and Matcha are superb as warm drinks, but can also be used in raw food cooking.
The compound ‘piperine’ found in black pepper has a thermic effect and can stimulate the breakdown of some stored fat cells. Clever little seasoning! Studies also show that a sprinkle with black pepper also increases the absorption of nutrients in your meal, including selenium, Vitamin B & C.
Last on the list, but certainly not least, are vegetables. They’re naturally high in dietary fibre that requires extra effort for the body to break down and digest. The extra energy put into the digestion of these fibres warms us, burns energy stores and can promote weight loss and appetite satisfaction.
Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, kale and rocket are high in insoluble fibre and are a fantastic source of essential vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat a serves of vegetables with each meal or snack every day.
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