You’ve decided to eat better by focusing on foods that are good for you, so why not take it a step further and incorporate some metabolism-boosting ingredients into your meals? While we can’t dramatically change the body we were born with, there are a few things we can do (and eat) to make a difference.
Nutritionist Kelly Aronica shares some advice for giving your metabolism a kick, while we provide some easy meal ideas.
1) Turmeric: Full of antioxidants, this colorful spice is also a great way to speed up your metabolism. It’s often found in Indian dishes or curries.
SUGGESTED RECIPE: Chicken and Eggplant Stew with Grilled Country Bread
This re-invented – and healthier version of – chicken and eggplant parm is wonderful spooned over crusty and crispy bread that softens as it soaks in the flavorful tomato sauce.
Click Here to See the Chicken Stew with Grilled country Bread Recipe
2) Cayenne and Other Chile Peppers: The capsaicin in chiles is what makes food spicy; so it’s safe to say that if it makes you sweat, it’s increasing your metabolism. These foods also provide carotenoids and twice the amount of vitamin C found in citrus fruits. They can easily be incorporated into a variety of dishes like salads, soups, curries, and more.
SUGGESTED RECIPE: Green Meatball Curry
This curry has been inspired by the meatball stews of Goa. It is a beautiful dish and the flavors are deep and well rounded. It is perfect for an easy dinner and great for children (without the chiles) as they can help form the meatballs, as I did when young. The curry itself only requires the chopping of an onion and a blender. Serve it with basmati rice, bread, rice noodles or even mashed potatoes – anything to soak up the delicious gravy.
Click Here to see This Green Meatball Curry Recipe
3) Ginger: Is a great ingredient to use because it has gingerols, capsaicin, and piperine – compounds that boost metabolism (they also supposedly have an aphrodisiac effect). Try ginger tea or cooking with real ginger. The spicier you make it, the better.
SUGGESTED RECIPE: Slow Roasted Salmon with Ginger (Pictured at Top of Page)
If you’re looking to do something a little different, try chef Lomonaco’s slow-roasted salmon with ginger, which actually doesn’t take that much time to prepare at all. Start working on the sauce when the salmon goes in the oven, and by the time it’s done cooking, the sauce will be ready to spoon on top.
Click Here to see This Slow Roasted Salmon with Ginger Recipe
4) Caffeine: In the form of coffee or green tea, caffeine is an effective way to boost your metabolism. “Researchers credit the boost in metabolism to tea’s catechins, but you probably need about 2 cups a day to have any effect,” says Kelly Aronica. “However, you will also the get the other possible benefits of green tea that include reduction of risk of cancer and heart disease.” Coffee, in turn, has been shown to increase productivity and concentration, but be warned that because caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, excessive amounts (more than 3-4 cups of coffee per day) have been linked to nervousness and sleeplessness. One to two cups a day, however, has been shown to be safe.
SUGGESTED RECIPE: Café du Catnip Cocktail Recipe
Think of this as an Irish coffee by way of Jackson Square – an original born out of a classic. Served at Ninth Ward in New York City, this dessert-like drink features Café du Monde coffee spiked with Catdaddy Moonshine and Bailey’s and is topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
Click Here to see the Café du Catnip Cocktail Recipe
5) Cinnamon: Raises metabolism and aids in digestion so try adding a healthy dose to your high-fiber oatmeal in the morning! Or, try using it in savory dishes like the ones below.
SUGGESTED RECIPE: Slow Cooker Irish Oatmeal Recipe
There’s no question that steel-cut oats are superior in flavor to instant oatmeal, but the extended cooking time, obligatory stirring, and sticky pot to clean can put off even the most loyal oatmeal enthusiast. Using a slow cooker eliminates the stove-top surveillance and mess. Plus, the oatmeal can be kept warm for late risers.