With nearly two out of every three Americans now considered to be either overweight or obese, it is no wonder that so much research and effort has gone into finding ways to help people who struggle with their weight to shed those unwanted pounds and restore their bodies to health. And it is well-known that metabolism - or the body's ability to take foods that we eat, break them down and use them efficiently for energy - plays a key role in weight loss. The better the metabolism is, the easier it will be in general to lose weight. And while there are plenty of diet pills and prescription medications out there that will help to boost the metabolism, none of those pills comes without a certain risk. There are, however, natural ways to support metabolic health through the diet. Below are five powerful green foods which can support a healthy metabolism.
Spinach is not considered to be a superfood for nothing! This dark, leafy green vegetable is a nutritional powerhouse, particularly for B-complex vitamins like vitamins folate, B2 and B6, all of which are needed by the body to break down homocysteine. Homocysteine is a compound which damages the body and is a risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and other serious events. Regular consumption of spinach can help keep homocysteine levels down.
Apart from being just plain delicious, avocados are also an incredibly rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids (also known as MUFAs). MUFAs have gained a lot of attention in the press lately as high consumption of them has been linked with easier weight loss, increased satiety and decreased appetite as well as better heart health.
Kale has become a nutritional superstar in the last few years because of the amazing nutrients it can provide the body with, including high amounts of vitamin K, fiber, magnesium and vitamin B-6, which are all needed for a healthy heart and for an efficient metabolism that can help achieve or maintain a normal body weight.
Broccoli, like many cruciferous vegetables, is considered incredibly healthy for the fiber, vitamins and minerals it contains. However, above and beyond that, broccoli is also a good source of quercetin and kaempferol, compounds which have been shown to promote heart health as well as a well-functioning metabolism.
The consumption of algae is just not as popular in the West as it is in parts of the East (like Japan). However, spirulina can be bought as a powdered supplement and added to many foods in the diet. It is a popular choice for heart health and metabolism support due to the fact that, like spinach, it is incredibly rich in B-complex vitamins.
So think about adding these five powerful green foods to the daily bill of fare. They can help to lose weight, improve heart health and general boost the metabolism to make sure that the body is using food (and its nutrients) to the very best of its ability.