One of the secrets to kick starting and boosting your metabolism is to improve bowel function. It can be an awkward topic, especially for males, but what’s the big deal, we all do it! And the more regular the better. Anything less than once a day, is a sign your bowel is not functioning at its best, which can slow down your metabolism.
People underestimate the bowel, but it’s involved in so many different processes of the body, not just waste clearance. It also helps remove excess cholesterol and regulates hormones. For all those mama bears out there that feel like hormones take over sometimes, think about whether your bowel is functioning at its best.
Adults should be eating approximately 30 grams fibre per day which most of us Aussies certainly do not! Children need to be consuming approximately 20 grams. Foods high in fibre obviously help improve bowel function and keep us feeling fuller for longer, so its a win win all round really in regards to weight loss and healthy eating habits.
Help give your metabolism a kick start by including the following foods regularly into your diet.
- KIWI FRUIT: (with the skin on if you can do it! ) Yes it’s a little furry, but it’s where a lot of the fibre is. Try dipping it in to some yogurt or try the gold kiwi, as its skin is not as rough.
- PSYLLIUM HUSKS: Psyllium is the highest fibre food on the planet. Start on 1 tsp a day and gradually build up to 1 tbsp. You can sprinkle it over your cereal or in a glass of water mixed with lemon juice or a tiny bit of juice. It’s a great, cleansing way to start your day too, especially if you can do it with a glass of lemon water. Psyllium needs water to work, so always make sure you have it with a glass of water, otherwise it can go the other way and constipate you. It’s great for removing excess cholesterol too. You can find it in the health food section in the supermarket.
- LEMON WATER: great for digestion, it also helps stimulate the bowel gently, and helps cleanse the liver. It’s also thought to help with hydrochloric acid, which helps with the breakdown of food.
- FIGS (fresh or dried) Two of these before bed should get your bowel working for the morning! Delicious also with a tiny drizzle of honey or maple syrup over them.
- PROTEIN: Small protein meals 3-4 times per day is a great way to encourage your metabolism to work at a higher rate. Have foods such as eggs, seafood, chicken, turkey, lean red meat, nuts, seeds and tofu.
- CHIA SEEDS: These are little powerhouses for the body. Full of fibre, Omega 3 fatty acids and protein. There’s not much chia seeds can’t do! Also great to include in kids diets who don’t eat fish, as Omega 3 fatty acids help improve kids concentration and brain function. They are also so easy to incorporate into your diet everyday. You can sprinkle them over porridge or breakfast cereal, on toast, make chia puddings or add into baking. They can be added when making burgers too, to sneak them into the kids. Chia seeds can be used as an egg replacement also, to help bread and baking bind.
- APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: is great for digestion, but apple cider vinegar is renowned to cure just about everything. It helps heal cuts and is good for mouth ulcers. It helps with fat burning, although don’t rely on this as your only means of fat burning, as the evidence is pretty vague! From a digestion point of view though and as a bowel cleanser and stimulator it’s a great product.
- GREEN VEGETABLES: in particular the greens like spinach, kale, broccoli and brussel sprouts are the highest in fibre. Carrots, preferably with the skin on, broad beans and green beans are also great and act a prebiotic for out guts. Of course, any veggie intake is good, but these are just some of the higher fibre ones.
- CHILLI: Put it on everything if you can handle the heat and tolerate it! It helps speed up your metabolism and adds great flavour to any food.
- GREEN TEA: Super high in antioxidants, green tea also speeds up your metabolism so try to drink 1-2 cups per day. It does have caffeine in it though, so go easy on it in the afternoon if you are sensitive to caffeine or have problems sleeping.
Don’t forget about the three other important factors that can affect metabolism; exercise, sleep and stress. All three of these work hand in hand together. If you exercise more you generally sleep better plus it helps relieve stress too. Exercise helps with constipation, insulin resistance, reduces cholesterol and is good for anxiety and mental health due to the endorphin release. Stress can put the brakes on your metabolism, so managing stress levels is so important when trying to lose weight . The benefits of a healthy diet and exercise is endless, yet unfortunately people put it off generally due to time restraints. Diet and exercise should be made a priority, then the quality and quantity of life increases. If more people looked after their diet and lifestyle, the ripple effect of these flowing through to life, would have a massive impact on our society and healthcare system.