Thermogenic super foods fall within an amazing category of foods that require more calories to digest than they actually provide, hence effectively helping you burn calories and loose the excess or stored fat. Often, thermogenic superfoods contain high fibre, helping you get a feeling of fullness and hence supporting your digestive system. With a high density of phytonutrients, thermogenic foods are an excellent medium to boost the metabolism and help improve energy levels in your body. Some studies have indicated that thermogenic foods can increase your metabolism by 20-25% for 30 minutes post consumption.
In the article below, reputed nutritionist and fitness expert Tanuja Sodhi has highlighted top 10 thermogenic foods that you should be including in your diet to cut the belly fats while nourishing your body.
It is the metabolic process by which the body burns calories to utilize the foods consumed by someone to produce heat. This in turn, increases metabolism and the body’s ability to burn fat. 5 to 10 percent of your body’s daily energy needs are utilized in processing the foods you eat.
All the brouhaha around thermogenic foods explained
Some foods are higher in their thermogenic effect than the others, and these foods can really fire up your calorie-burning drive. This clarifies why these foods are getting a lot of good press as weight-loss aids. Here’s a list of top 10 categories of thermogenic foods:
Spices: Red chilies, black pepper, cinnamon, dried ginger and mustard are the spices that either contain capsaicin, phytochemicals or blood sugar control attributes that aid in quick energy burn.
Seeds: Chia seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds accelerate the fat-burn process as they control blood sugar levels, possess proteins and omega 3 fatty acids that keep you full for long hours.
Green Tea: Green tea leaves have caffeine and a compound called catechin. Both of these are known to stimulate body’s fat burning mechanism.
Chicken breast: It is very high in protein and considerably low in fat. But, you can reap weight-loss benefit only if you grill/bake/boil/roast chicken breast without or with minimal cooking oil. Choose chicken breast without its skin as skin has a lot of saturated fat.
Fish: Fresh water fish like salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and sardines are especially very high in protein content and quite low in fat. Eating fish will keep you full for a long time, which in turn will prevent unhealthy food cravings and indulgences.
Lean dairy: Low fat dairy such as skimmed milk, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese (paneer) prepared from skimmed milk are powerhouses of calcium which can speed up weight loss by increasing fat breakdown activity of the body.
Eggs: Eggs (especially egg whites) are packed with protein and are very low in calories. Therefore, eating them for breakfast will help you control your calorific intake drastically by keeping you satiated for a long time.
Whole-grains: Brown rice, buckwheat, barley, rolled oats, millet, and quinoa are packed with dietary fibre that absorbs very slowly in the bloodstream. Some of these grains are good sources of protein as well. Eating these also controls blood sugar spikes by keeping the stomach full for long hours.
Vegetables: Green chilies, celery, broccoli, cucumber, cabbage, tomato, sweet potato, asparagus, mushroom, spinach, lettuce, kale, zucchini, garlic and bell peppers contain different fat-burning compounds and minerals such as capsaicin, asparagine, allicin and calcium. All of the above help in flushing fat from the cells. These vegetables are so low in calorific value that you end up torching more calories while eating them rather than gaining calories.
Fruits: Strawberries, cherries, grapefruit, apples, oranges, peaches and hard pears (nashpati) are low in calories and very high on fibre. They are also quite low in sugar content. Thus, all of these virtues make them great fat-burning fruits.
So, pick up your shopping bag and stock up on these superfoods. Just feed your metabolism with these natural fat-burners and watch yourself drop a couple of dress sizes in no time!