This post is coming from guest blogger – Daniel Pawlak, a writer for SnackNation
So, you exercise regularly and you eat healthy during meals, but you need that extra boost during the day to keep your metabolism going (and your stomach from running on empty).
Sounds simple enough, right? Yet, choosing healthy foods that boost your metabolism and don’t taste half bad can be a challenge, especially when there are so many tasty snacks in the aisle of the grocery store.
Eating healthy at work doesn’t have to be a struggle. In fact, a lot of metabolism-boosting snacks can keep your taste buds happy and kick-start your calorie burning. Here are five of the tastiest snacks to help you jumpstart your metabolism.
- Greek Yogurt
Ask any gym rat what the secret to building muscle is and they’ll answer with one word: protein. While consuming protein alone might not aid in boosting your metabolism, protein combined with exercise is great for building muscle and keeping energy levels up pre- and post-workout.
With twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt (15g per 6-oz container), getting enough protein is a breeze with Greek yogurt. It also has the added bonus of probiotic bacteria (which help you digest complex foods) and an amazing taste. Internationally acclaimed chef Maria Loi even uses it as a healthier substitute for butter in many of her baking recipes.
The one downside to Greek yogurt is that many commercial varieties are made unhealthy by the amount of sugar the brand uses. When looking for a good Greek yogurt, try to stick to plain, organic options and always be sure to check the label for sugar content. High sugar content could offset the health benefits of the yogurt.
High in protein, fiber, vitamin E, and a healthy source of calories, almonds both boost your metabolism and give you the energy to get through your day.
In fact, several studies cited by Livestrong suggest that daily almond consumption causes no weight gain and encourages additional calorie burning via exercise.
The one precaution you should take is making sure that you purchase plain almonds. Though candied, salted, and otherwise manipulated almonds might be more to your liking, the processes used to create these treats compromise the overall health of the food.
Additives like sugar and salt make almonds and other tree nuts much more unhealthy and outweigh the benefits. Therefore, always make sure you are buying raw, unroasted almonds for maximum health benefits.
- Certified Gluten Free Oatmeal
This favorite breakfast dish is not only filling; it is also great for your metabolism. Being both low in sugar and high in fiber, oatmeal will keep you full until your next meal, making you less likely to reach for the unhealthy snack later in the day.
According to Livestrong, the reason oatmeal is so good for keeping your metabolism up is because it is composed of whole grains and fat-soluble fibers. The complex structure of whole grains means that your body has to work harder to break it down, burning more calories in the process.
For additional flavor in your oatmeal, add some banana slices or antioxidant rich blueberries, both of which also boost your metabolism and add some flavor to this healthy snack.
- Hot Peppers
Ok, cards on the table: this snack will not be for everyone, especially for the faint of heart. For those who can tolerate the spice, though, hot peppers like jalapeños are great for boosting metabolism.
In fact, the very chemical that makes peppers spicy is what makes them great for your metabolism. Capsaicin works to speed up your metabolism by sending a chemical signal to your brain to get your heart beating faster and burning more calories.
But who wants to bite into a jalapeño in the middle of a workday? Not many are up to the task. Luckily, many jalapeño-flavored snacks have enough of a kick of capsaicin to give your metabolism the needed boost. Just be sure to check the label for any unwanted additives before you indulge!
Beans, like black beans, chickpeas, red beans, and lentils, are incredibly high in protein and have valuable vitamins that help you boost your metabolism.
Vitamins B and zinc are both found in beans and increase testosterone levels, which increases energy and helps build calorie-burning muscle, according to famed workout guru Jillian Michaels.
Of course, eating dried beans doesn’t sound the most appetizing way to calm a hungry stomach. Luckily, many snack food companies have been making beans tastier by turning them into chips, or even flavoring dried beans.
One such company, The Good Bean, flavors roasted chickpeas and makes them into irresistible snacks for your workday. The healthiest way to consume beans, though, is to buy them fresh and cook them yourself.
Putting some of these cooked beans in a Tupperware container and taking them with you to work is probably your best option for a metabolism-boosting snack.
Keeping your metabolism going before or after your workout might seem like a challenge, but if you eat the right snacks and cook the correct meals, you are more likely to keep that metabolism running at full speed.
Author: Daniel Pawlak is a writer for SnackNation [http://www.snacknation.com], an office snack delivery service. His goal is to make healthy snacking fun, life more productive and workplaces awesome.