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Fruits & Vegetables That Boost Metabolism

by
author image Chrystal Doucette
Chrystal Doucette was health and education reporter for "The Columbia Basin Herald," a staff reporter for the "Snohomish County Tribune" and a contributing writer for the "Everett Business Journal." She owns and operates a retail business full-time since 2010. Baldwin holds a master's degree in communication and a bachelor's degree in journalism.
Fruits & Vegetables That Boost Metabolism
Sliced kiwis on a wooden table. Photo Credit Tuned_In/iStock/Getty Images

Besides supplying your body with nutrients, some varieties of fruits and vegetables may help you lose weight by making your body temperature rise, keeping insulin levels low or oxidizing fat. For a boost of metabolism, consider adding these foods to your diet. Consult your doctor for specific nutrition advice.

Grapefruit

Although fad diets are known for being suspect, you might want to consider a version of the "grapefruit diet" if you are hoping to boost metabolism. The Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic, led by Dr. Ken Fujioka, conducted a 12-week study into grapefruit's role in weight loss. Participants who ate a half grapefruit with each meal lost an average of 3.6 pounds. Those who drank their grapefruit juice lost an average of 3.3 pounds, and those who took a grapefruit capsule lost an average of 2.4 pounds. One factor may be grapefruit's effect on insulin, a hormone that inhibits your body's breakdown of fat. Grapefruit reduced insulin levels, allowing the body to better metabolize fat.

Cayenne Pepper

Next time you prepare a meal, turn up the heat. Cayenne pepper and other vegetables that have the chemical capsaicin in them appear to increase metabolism. "Some animal and human studies show that taking capsaicin orally may increase the body's production of heat for a short time," notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Capsaicin might also help regulate blood-sugar levels. You can eat cayenne peppers raw or cooked, or add cayenne pepper in powdered form to food, juice, tea or milk.

Leafy Greens

Help red blood cells transport nutrients and hormones throughout your body by eating leafy green vegetables. They increase your iron levels, which strengthen your red blood cells. "Iron works with protein to make the hemoglobin in red blood cells," notes the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension. "The hemoglobin carries oxygen to all parts of the body so it can perform its normal functions." If you lack iron, you may become weak and tired. Types of leafy greens include collards, kale and spinach.

Fruits and Veggies Rich in Vitamin C

Add Vitamin C-rich foods such as kiwi, guava, bell peppers and strawberries to your diet. A study published in the journal "Nutrition and Metabolism" found that Vitamin C helps the body oxidize fat. The results of the study showed participants with minimal Vitamin C in their diets lost 25 percent less fat per .45 lb. of body weight during treadmill exercise than participants with adequate Vitamin C. "In addition to emphasizing calorie control and physical activity, attention to specific diet components such as Vitamin C may be necessary for effective weight management," the study concluded.

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