One thing that is widely accepted is that metabolism slows down as we get older. It’s not something many of us give too much thought to until it actually happens, and that’s usually because we’ve started to put on weight and we’re not too keen on it!
Women, for example, generally gain around one and a half pounds per year in adult years, assuming food intake stays roughly consistent. This can usually be counteracted with an increase in exercise, but not everybody wants to spend more time in the gym as they get older. Loss of muscle is another issue, so those that don’t participate in strength building exercise will start to notice a decrease in muscle tone and strength too.
Fortunately it doesn’t have to be the case and when armed with a bit of knowledge, we can help our bodies to go some way towards reversing this slowing of the metabolism through diet. Dieting can actually cause metabolic damage, so pH health recommend that you revise in detail before embarking on any dietary changes.
Besides, dieting can actually have the opposite effect if not done correctly – it can slow your metabolism, resulting in the opposite of what you were trying to achieve once the diet is done: even weight gain!
‘Reverse dieting’ is one method used by fitness professionals to reverse this kind of damage. Several foods can assist in the process of undoing your metabolic damage. pH health take a look at some of these so that you can incorporate them into your healthy new diet and lifestyle:
Some nuts are extremely good for you, and almonds are right up there at the top of our list. Almonds are known to be one of the foods that kick-start weight-loss, and especially help to reduce belly fat. They contain ‘good fats’ (otherwise known as monounsaturated fats); monounsaturated fats assist in controlling the metabolic rate. Almonds can also make you feel full, so you feel less inclined to keep eating, and they have a positive effect on your levels of insulin.
Avocado is one of the healthiest and tastiest foods on the planet! Although it has a reputation for being a little fatty, it’s not a bad thing; again, like almonds, these delicious green fruits are full of monounsaturated fats. This means that they too help to blast belly fat! Avocados contain vitamins, minerals and a decent dose of fibre too. pH health are a big fan of avocados – they’re extremely versatile and can be used in many different dishes, and you can even make delicious desserts out of them without needing to use sugar, dairy or any other waistline-challenging foods. What’s not to like?
High in both vitamin C and calcium, a combination that works together to promote a faster metabolism, Broccoli is a very healthy vegetable. It goes great in those healthy stir-fries and salads, and can even be used uncooked with dips such as hummus or babaganoush. Eaten raw with a little olive oil mixed with Himalayan or Celtic sea salt it is also surprisingly tasty, and olive oil is another metabolism booster (see below). One thing to be aware of is that broccoli is a ‘goitrogen’, which means that it can interrupt hormone production in those with thyroid diseases.
There aren’t too many people out there who don’t eat garlic (unless they’re about to go on a date!) so it’s not a big ask to add it to your dishes when embarking on a ‘reverse diet’. If your dinner contains a lot of carbs and/or fats, garlic can actually mitigate their impact on your body. It is a friend of your blood sugar metabolism, and has been used for medicinal purposes throughout the ages, so if you’re a little under the weather, adding an extra helping of garlic (especially raw, if you can stand it) will give you an immune boost as well as a metabolism boost.
Ginger is another great food for your reverse diet. It is known to keep your appetite low thanks to the heat it contains. It helps with your digestion and is especially useful for remedying digestive issues or nausea). If you aren’t too keen on the taste, no problem – go easy on it, perhaps making yourself a ginger tea with honey and lemon or throwing a little bit into a stir-fry or into a soup.
The benefits of olive oil are known the world over – it’s good for so many things! Except cooking – better to use coconut oil for this, as olive oil can become toxic when exposed to high temperatures. Again, it’s monounsaturated fats you’re dealing with here, and we think we’ve hammered it home now that these are great for your metabolism. Quantity is important here of course, you can’t expect to consume it all day every day but a little here and there with your meals will do you the world of good.
There are many health benefits to be had from the spicier options in our food supply. It’s the hot ones that are the most beneficial, so stock up on the chili, cayenne and jalapeno peppers when you are next in the supermarket. Your heart might start racing if you put too many in one meal, so be careful with them! Whether you like a little or a lot, your metabolic rate will thank you for it. Even the smallest amount of chili powder can be enough to give your metabolism that much needed kick-start.
pH health always advocate healthy diet and if you can remain consistent with this, as well as exercising and making and effort to maintain an alkalised body, you shouldn’t have too many serious metabolic issues even as you age.