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Foods that Boost Metabolism and Help Lose Weight

Written by Lisa Jillanza

It may be true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but there are plenty of foods out there that are beneficial to you in more ways than one : including speeding up your metabolism.

According to MSNBC, metabolism is the process by which your body converts calories from food into energy. It is the body's engine that burns calories and regulates your caloric needs. The foods you eat play a major role in the way your body metabolizes fat. Some foods contain certain ingredients that help to burn calories more quickly, while also giving you other vital fuels that you need to increase energy levels, and prevent diseases later in life. There are also certain foods that require more calories to digest than the food actually contains, which can essentially speed up your metabolism.

Below are a few food suggestions provided by Ehow.com that can boost metabolism and encourage weight loss.

Spicy Foods- An interesting and effective way to boost your metabolism is to eat spicy foods. Spicy foods and spices, such as chili peppers and jalapeno peppers, contain the chemical capsaicin, which is what gives these foods their heat. Capsaicin increases and quickens adrenaline production in the body, which speeds up your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. Try eating spicy salsa, which gives you a lot of flavor without a lot of calories.

Carbs & Protein- Eating snacks that contain healthy carbohydrates and proteins will help boost energy and fill you up, so you can avoid overeating during meals. Eating these types of snacks in small portions will keep your metabolism going throughout the day, burning fat and increasing energy. Try snacking on peanut butter with a sliced banana, and apples dipped in peanut butter or paired with a few slices of cheddar cheese.

Green Tea- Green tea contains large amounts of the powerful antioxidant, epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. The oxidation process that occurs in green tea helps break down fat more quickly, while also helping to prevent cancer and heart disease. EGCG also promotes faster workings in the brain and nervous system, so the body burns more calories. If you don't like to drink green tea, they also sell caplets in health food stores.

B Vitamins- B vitamins have major benefits for many parts of the body: the central nervous system, metabolism and the production of energy. A vitamin B deficiency will cause your metabolism to slow down, your mood to become depressed and your body to feel tired and sluggish. B6, B12, thiamine, folate and niacin play major roles in the healthy function of your body. Snack on foods such as spinach, broccoli and asparagus; navy, soy and black beans; and melon, fish, poultry and eggs. In order to work these into your day, snack on cut-up honeydew or cantaloupe, a hard-boiled egg, a few pieces of sushi, or tortilla chips and a mixed bean dip.

Magnesium- Magnesium is a mineral that plays a key role in more than 300 chemical reactions in your body and contributes greatly to the synthesis of protein and metabolism. It also assists in proper nerve, heart and muscle function. To increase your levels of metabolism, eat green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli; soybeans such as edamame; nuts, such as almonds, cashews and peanuts; and whole grain cereals, including oatmeal.