Like most every biological system, your body undergoes a dynamic push and pull of complex processes that maintain a delicate homeostatic balance. Hormones assist in the storage of fat for future energy use and hormones also regulate functions that cause fat to be burned. Hormones that cause your body to metabolize fat include thyroxine, glucagons, growth hormone, adrenaline and testosterone. In general, you can’t suddenly increase production of these hormones simply by eating certain foods. Still, certain foods enhance your metabolism and allow your body to consume or eliminate fat rather than pack it away.
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Role of Your Liver
Your liver has many responsibilities. Among other things, it detoxifies or eliminates alcohol, drugs and toxins, creates, stores and metabolizes fats and cholesterol, and stores and metabolizes carbohydrates. To accomplish these tasks, your liver manages the synthesis, conversion and activation of several hormones that promote metabolism of fat. When the liver is compromised or over burdened, it is less effective at producing these hormones and performing these functions.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to enhance your efficiency at burning and eliminating fats is to reduce your liver’s work-load and eat foods that enhance liver function. When your liver is burdened with processing medications or alcohol or managing a constant influx of fat, it becomes less efficient at burning fat, reports Dr. George Best at Low Carb Diet Secrets. Reduce fat intake, increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables and minimize your consumption of animal protein to reduce stress on your liver.
Certain foods enhance liver function including garlic; onion; cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage; high antioxidant fruits such as raisins, prunes, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, pink grapefruit, oranges, cantaloupe, pears and apples; artichoke and bitter salad greens such as dandelion, chicory, endive and rocket.
Hot Food Burns Fat
When you eat spicy food, you can literally feel the burn. Capsaicin, the compound that creates the heat in hot peppers, raises your metabolism by about 8 percent for several hours, reports the November 28, 2006 New York Times. A steady diet of hot food may create more sustained effects on your metabolism. In his book, “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook,” James A. Duke, Ph.D. describes how subjects in one study increased their metabolism by as much as 25 percent by eating a teaspoon each of mustard and red pepper sauce at each meal for eight weeks.
Coconut oil contributes to burning fat and calories in varied ways. It raises your metabolism, improves your capacity to burn dietary fats and fosters the fat-burning process of ketosis, even for those who are not on a low-carb diet.
Some foods and beverages can increase your metabolic rate, causing you to burn calories and reduce fat. Black pepper and turmeric both enhance metabolism. Turmeric, as well as cinnamon, may enhance your body’s ability to use the hormone insulin to convert glucose into cellular energy before it is converted into fat. The caffeine in coffee and tea raises your metabolism.