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Boost Your Metabolism : Eating Superfoods (part 2)

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8. Eat a Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes have high amounts of beta-carotene, equal to that of carrots; for only 90 calories per sweet potato, you get a huge amount of health-building nutrients. Beta-carotene is a major fighter against cancer, heart disease, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. The bright orange flesh contains carotenoids that help boost your metabolism, stabilize your blood sugar, and lower insulin resistance, which makes your cells more responsive to insulin. Sweet potatoes have four times the Recommended Dietary Allowance for beta-carotene when eaten with the skin on. In fact, it would take 20 cups of broccoli to provide the amount of beta-carotene (vitamin A) available in a cup of cooked sweet potatoes. They are a source of vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium, and iron, and have even been found to provide as much fiber as oatmeal. Plus they’re fat-free! Sweet potatoes are definitely a superfood!

9. Eat Asparagus

This vegetable is easy to cook and is a heart-healthy source of vitamins A, C, and K. In addition, it also contains the carbohydrate inulin, which promotes the growth and activity of good bacteria in your intestines. Pregnant women can especially benefit from its high folate levels, which help prevent birth defects.

10. Eat Quinoa

Once known as “the gold of the Incas,” this grain—a complete protein— includes all nine essential amino acids, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians, vegans, and everyone else as well! Quinoa has extra-high amounts of the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Combine this protein with quinoa’s high amounts of potassium and its magnesium content to help lower your blood pressure and strengthen your heart. For such a small grain, quinoa not only provides a whole lot of nutrients and helps boost your metabolism, but it may also be especially valuable for people with migraine headaches, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and other debilitating health issues. It is also a very good source of manganese as well as magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, and B vitamins.

11. Pile on the Garlic

Garlic, one of the world’s most popular culinary herbs, has a long history as a medicinal plant. Indeed, scientific studies have verified what herbalists have known for centuries—that garlic both prevents and treats illness in a wide variety of ways.

Among its many attributes, garlic is known to lower cholesterol levels, thin the blood, kill bacteria, boost the immune system, lower blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, and fire up the metabolic furnace. There is also evidence that the herb helps relieve asthma, eases ear infections, and facilitates healthy cell function. Bottom line: Those who wish to maintain their health and age well should eat lots of garlic.

Incorporate fresh garlic into salads by chopping, crushing, or putting it through a garlic press (2 or 3 cloves a day is optimum). Whole garlic bulbs can be oven roasted and the individual cloves can be squeezed out onto bread or toast as a creamy spread. If you decide to take garlic capsules, take 1 to 3 capsules daily, or follow the label directions. Garlic has blood-thinning properties so, if you’re taking it in supplement form, tell your doctor before surgery and use caution when using antiplatelet or blood-thinning medications.

12. Eat Parsley

Parsley is loaded with compounds that purify your blood and expel toxins from your body. It is also dense in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, iodine, iron, and chlorophyll. Actually, parsley has higher vitamin C content than citrus and is an excellent ingredient to battle inflammation. It also contains certain volatile oils that have been shown to inhibit the formation of tumors, particularly in the lungs. Parsley is also rich in flavonoids known for their antioxidant activity and helps prevent free radical damage (a major metabolism buster) to your body’s cells. Parsley’s dark green color also provides needed oxygenating chlorophyll, which increases the antioxidant capacity of your blood.

13. Try Sea Vegetables

Gram for gram, sea vegetables—seaweeds and algae—are higher in essential vitamins and minerals than any other known food group. These minerals are bio-available to the body in chelated, colloidal forms that make them more easily absorbed. Sea vegetables that provide minerals in this colloidal form have been shown to retain their molecular identity while remaining in liquid suspension. The following is a descriptive list of what sea vegetables can add to your daily diet:

• They can contain as much as 48 percent protein.

• They are a rich source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.

• The brown sea varieties—kelp, wakame, and kombu—contain alginic acid, which has been shown to remove heavy metals and radioactive isotopes from the digestive tract.

• They contain significant amounts of vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene, as well as vitamins B, C, and E.

• They are high in potassium, calcium, sodium, iron, and chloride.

• They provide the fifty-six minerals and trace minerals that your body requires to function properly.

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