If you're looking to get in shape, diet and exercise are likely the two variables you're trying to control. But eating for metabolic health can optimize the efficiency of both of these factors. In the words of MindBodyGreen, "a high metabolism means you burn calories even at rest, making all lazy people's dreams come true." The health and wellness site recently reached out to its team of functional medicine practitioners about which foods raise your resting metabolic rate and why. Read their responses below, and consider adding these ingredients to your pre-workout meal for an added metabolic boost.
"Your metabolism is under the reign of the queen of all hormones: the thyroid. Every cell of your body needs your thyroid hormones to be buzzing and balanced for optimal metabolism. Your body needs an über-important nutrient to make your T4 and T3; everyone, say hello to iodine. The best way to get this little thyroid hormone maker is through sea vegetables. Soaking seaweeds like nori, dulse, arame, kelp, Irish moss in soups or blending blue-green algaes like spirulina in a smoothie is one next-level way to give the powerhouse of your metabolism what it needs."
"As a metabolism booster, I love raw cacao. That's chocolate in its natural, unprocessed state. It is rich in minerals, particularly magnesium—the most important nutrient found to affect adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is a protein hormone exclusively made in fat tissue. Low levels are associated with inflammation, obesity, and a higher risk of diabetes. Adequate magnesium intake is critical for maintaining healthy adiponectin levels for weight management."
— Vincent Pedre, MD, and author of Happy Gut
"Fruit is not always seen as the best category of food to boost metabolism due to sugar, but blueberries actually help balance blood sugar (due to its high-fiber and anthorepletecyanin content) and reduce inflammation, as they are high in antioxidants. They have been studied to help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and to help improve brain function and memory and reduce muscle damage post-workout."
— Serena Goldstein, ND
Head over to MindBodyGreen for more doctor insight, and share your go-to pre-workout meal in the comments below!