women
1. Set It on Fire

Capsaicin—a molecule found in spicy foods such as peppers, certain spices, Tabasco sauce, and salsa—has been shown to decrease cholesterol absorption and increase enzymes that help metabolize fat. Cayenne or ground red pepper contains the most capsaicin, but all red peppers, including milder forms of chili powder and paprika, have been found to increase calorie burning and are surprisingly good sources of antioxidants. However, it works like this: the hotter the pepper the greater the capsaicin. To punch up these positive effects, particularly to increase a feeling of satiety, pair the spicy sauces with protein. Some studies suggest that capsaicin can help boost your metabolism by as much as 50 percent for three hours after ingestion.

2. Eat Red and Green Chili Peppers

One of the most popular ways to boost your metabolism is by dining on green and red chilies. Studies have shown that people tend to eat less food when they are flavored with these antioxidant-rich peppers, which also have a positive impact on your body’s cholesterol levels.

3. Add Cayenne

Cayenne not only boosts your metabolism, it serves as a potent stimulant for the whole body and a tonic for the nervous system. Recently, research has suggested that cayenne can also ease the severe pain of shingles and migraines. So spice up your meals and feel good about it. Luckily for us all, cayenne is readily available in powdered form or as a bottled hot sauce.

4. Curry Favor

Next time you’re out at the grocery store or an Indian restaurant, order some curry. One of the primary ingredients in curry, turmeric, aids digestion by stimulating the flow of bile and the breakdown of dietary fats. It is a powerful source of antioxidants, containing within a single teaspoon as many antioxidants as in a half cup of grapes. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities can be traced back to curcumin, which gives turmeric its characteristic yellow color. For centuries, curcumin alone has been used to cure everything from heartburn to arthritis and, according to Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, “the herbs that are combined to make curry help prevent heart disease and stroke by reducing cholesterol and preventing clots.”

5. Grab Some Ginger

Ginger has been shown to increase thermogenesis—a fancy way to say it fires up your body’s furnace—which equals a boost in your body’s ability to metabolize food. An Australian study found that ginger may increase metabolic rates by as much as 20 percent for a short time after it is eaten. Ginger may also lower cholesterol and has as many antioxidants as a cup of spinach. Be careful, however. If ginger is used with anticoagulants it may increase the risk of bleeding and may increase risk of hypoglycemia when used with insulin.

6. Try Cumin Seeds

Cumin seeds stimulate the metabolism by turning up the body’s internal heat, but they are also rich in iron and may help promote the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, which aid in digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Cumin has also been thought to be able to improve the functioning of our immune systems and help the liver process the body’s toxins. In fact, recent studies have indicated that this powerful little seed may reduce the risk of stomach and liver tumors in animals. However, patients with bile duct obstruction, gallstones, and GI disorders (including stomach ulcers and hyperacidity disorders) should avoid using cumin.

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