You may think all that sweat your body is producing in this hot summer sun is dirty, sticky, and stinky, but it’s actually one of the best things your body can do for itself. Sweat pushes toxins out of your body, it cleanses and opens up your pores, and it can even help maintain or give a boost to your metabolism. Damp skin is a sign your body is working hard in all the right ways!
Give your body a reward for its efforts by nourishing it with in-season summer produce. Not only will foods like asparagus, spinach, and berries fuel your body with vital nutrients and properly and naturally cleanse your body, but some of these summer foods will keep your metabolism revved up, too.
Peppers. These spicy bites can put a few drops of sweat on your forehead, but the capsaicin chemical inside is also known for heating up your metabolism (even hours after you’ve eaten!). The capsaicin in jalapeños, habaneros, and serranos reduces inflammation, relieves sinus pain, and can take down a headache. Add some heat to your next dish or drink, like our Fizzy Jalapeno Cherry Limeades or Watermelon Jalapeño Mojitos.
Avocado. Where there are peppers there are avocados, making guacamole a serious metabolism-boosting combo! The monounsaturated fats found in avocados do a whole lot of good, especially by protecting the energy center of your cells from free radical damage, there by keep that metabolism up and going. Get a serving every day by dropping half an avocado in our Green Tea Power Smoothie, or baking an egg in half an avocado.
Berries. Summer’s sweetest treat, specifically the bright red strawberries and raspberries, is a key part of your metabolism arsenal. The anthocyanins, which give that warm hue, are responsible for preventing growth in fat cells and for releasing a hormone that reduces inflammation and blood sugar. Seriously, just eat them as is, but if you need them in a dish, bake them right in to this Strawberry Lemonade Cake.
Spinach. Those leafy greens are one of the hardest working foods, and now you can add fat-burning metabolism skills to its resume. This vitamin B-rich green converts all those macro nutrients in to energy, and when you don’t get enough that’s when your metabolism stalls or slows. Get your daily dose in salads, sandwiches, soups, sautées, or even this Guiltless Spinach and Artichoke Dip.
Asparagus. Because this veggie boasts three grams of protein per cup, it’s able optimize your metabolism’s performance. You’ll know it’s working every time you use the restroom, as asparagus has a compound that releases a distinct smell after it’s been metabolized. Whether blanched, steamed, or grilled, there are few ways we don’t like this spring veggie. Start your day with these beautiful, handmade Savory Asparagus and Prosciutto Crepes.
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photos by Dana Shultz and Kacy Meinecke for DietsInReview.com
June 20th, 2014