Fire your metabolism, the vegan way!

With so much conflicting nutritional advice available online from people claiming to be health experts, it can be hard to know who to trust and what to believe. Some nutritionists and industry figures advocate a strict paleo diet, whilst others prefer to cut out meat and dairy all together, favouring a more plant-based lifestyle (like me!). 

The trouble with following one strict diet plan is that we are all different; one person's genetic make up can effect the way they respond to certain types of food in a completely different way to the next. Some people need animal protein, others have to cut out wheat, lactose or gluten fro their health. There is no 'one-size-fits-all' diet plan, and it's important to remember that what works for someone else may not work for you. 

Similarly, a person's natural metabolic rate can depend on many factors  like genes, their environment, stress levels and physical activity. Exercising regularly and increasing muscle mass through strength training; eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day and not skipping breakfast are all good ways to boost your metabolism on a daily basis. 

However, those of us who lead a largely vegan lifestyle or are simply lactose-intolerant can struggle to boost their metabolism through food the most. With eggs, milk and yoghurt coming high up on the list of metabolism boosting foods, what can we do to increase the rate our bodies burn fat?

Here's a list of 5 great ways to speed up your metabolism, vegan style:

Long-gone are the days when avocado had a bad rep for it's high content of fat. In addition to being a good source of healthy mono-saturated fat, it also helps boost heart health and contains a long list of nourishing nutrients: 18 essential amino acids, soluble fibre, protein and a whole host of skin-plumping, hair-shining minerals. Avocado is rich in the amino acid L-carnitine, which aids in fat loss and facilitates your fat burning metabolism.

Eat more: try smashing some on toast with a sprinkle of paprika

Green tea
Technically not a food, but scientifically proven to work wonders on your metabolism! Research suggests that drinking 3-5 cups a day can increase your overall daily calorie burn. What's more, it's high count of antioxidants and flavanoids means that it helps speed up fat oxidation, so it aids weight loss! 

Eat more: Replace your usual morning coffee with a cup of green tea to spike your metabolism when you wake up.
Chilli peppers
Yes these little babies do more than make your nose run and your mouth burn: they spike your metabolism so it works temporarily faster. And if you needed an excuse to eat more homemade curries, here's a recipe for a Thai red vegan curry! Add a few more chilli flakes if you like it hot.

Eat more: Fire up your metabolism by adding a teaspoon of chilli flakes to your stir fry.

Lentils are surprisingly rich in iron  one cup can provide about 35% of your daily iron intake. Iron is an essential mineral in the fat burning process and women often have a deficiency, especially if they don't eat red meat. Adding more lentils into your diet means that your body will have the minerals and nutrients it needs to run efficiently. 

Eat more: Add texture and depth of flavour to your lunch time salad by sprinkling green lentils on it.

Nuts and Seeds
Due to the high level of protein in nuts like almonds, walnuts and brazil nuts, your body has to burn more fats to digest them. Sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and beans are also great at helping to lift your metabolism. Thanks to the heart-healthy fat found in nuts and seeds, after just a handful, you'll be left feeling fuller for longer, meaning your metabolism runs smoothly all day long.

Eat more: Try this Cinnamon Almond Granola Recipe to incorporate more into your diet!

And one final tip...
Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! I cannot stress this one enough... Drinking water is the absolute best way to aid fat burning and ensure your metabolism is running at its optimum rate. Never underestimate the power of H2O!

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