Increasing the speed of your metabolism is one of the most effective ways to ensure healthy weight loss, boosting fat burn within the body and allowing you to efficiently utilize food as fuel. You can ramp up your metabolism through exercise, which is one of the most common approaches to burning more fat, but health experts have noted that infusing your diet with particular foods is another great way to improve your metabolism for an easier time losing weight.
We checked in with Dr. Nancy Lin, PhD, Holistic Nutritionist and XPRO for YogaSix GO, and Michele Canon, Nutritionist XPRO for STRIDE GO to get a sense of the best vegetable to include in your diet for a natural metabolism boost, and they both agreed that there’s a variety of options to choose from.
Across the board it can be found that green vegetables are often the best for your health, with Lin calling out asparagus as her top choice for improving your metabolism and naturally increasing weight loss. “This is an incredibly low calorie and micronutrient dense green vegetable chock full of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and folate,” she explains, adding, “Asparagus, when steamed, is extremely nourishing to the stomach lining and digestive system as a whole.”
The ability that any given food has to impact your metabolism all comes down to the thermic effect of food, meaning how much energy it requires your body to expend to burn through it. “Higher protein veggies like beans, lentils and legumes are also great for metabolism due to their thermic effect and fiber content. Thermic effect refers to the energy required for your body to digest the food,” explains Canon. “Studies have shown that foods high in protein have a higher thermic effect therefore resulting in a 15-30% boost in your metabolic rate after you eat them. Fiber also helps keep you regular which supports healthy digestion and metabolism,” she adds.
Clocking in at 2.8 grams of fiber per cup and 2.9 grams of protein, asparagus is a fantastic nutrient dense option to regularly consume within your diet for increased fat burn and a faster metabolism. “Asparagus is also a natural organ detoxifying vegetable that assists the body in elimination and has been linked to regulating fat burning—when coupled with consistent exercise and body movement,” notes Lin. “It helps to balance the body’s potassium, magnesium and calcium ratio which is imperative to overall health.”
Taking care to improve your metabolism is key for healthy weight loss as well as the general function of your body as it determines how you’re able to process food on the whole. “Your body’s metabolism refers to the cellular processes your body undergoes to convert food to energy, breakdown fats, carbs, and protein into substrates that like amino acids or glucose that stimulate growth or enable your brain to function. Metabolism also includes digestion and the elimination of waste,” explains Canon.
With that in mind, eating asparagus or another form of a rich, green vegetable each day can help to boost your digestive system, allowing your body to feel better while also more effectively using the food you consume as fuel. Thankfully, you can almost never have too many vegetables within your diet. Lin suggests drizzling asparagus with olive oil, topping with crushed garlic and sea salt, and steaming until al dente for the best flavor.
That being said, it’s still important to stay active and maintain an otherwise balanced lifestyle outside of your vegetable intake in order to see the best results in your body. That means keeping up with regular exercise, consuming a range of lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grain carbs, and taking care to drink ample water and prioritize sleep. Wellness is a multifaceted concept, and while eating plenty of asparagus will be useful in improving your metabolism and promoting weight loss, you must take care of yourself in all other ways to make long lasting progress.