coconut oil

6 Foods for a Higher Metabolism!

Ready to start a fire?? These foods (and drinks) will not only jumpstart your metabolism, but also offer you other great health and weight management benefits!

1. Cinnamon

Loved by most, but many don’t really know where it comes from other than maybe that it comes from a tree. Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of cinnamon trees. The inner bark is extracted and the woody parts removed. When it dries, you get that curled wood that you see sold as cinnamon sticks. Cinnamaldehyde is the active ingredient responsible for cinnamon’s ability to boost the metabolism.

In regards to body protective antioxidants, cinnamon wins by a landslide even over foods like garlic and oregano! Cinnamon helps fight insulin resistance (we need insulin to move sugar from our bloodstream to our cells…when resisted, we have too much sugar floating around) and it interferes, in a good way, with how much sugar enters our blood stream in the first place after a meal. Both HUGE factors for weight maintenance and metabolic health.

2. Green Tea

In addition to cancer fighting and anti-inflammatory properties, Green Tea can help boost your metabolism and increase your fat burning rate! It is unclear whether these benefits are attributed to caffeine alone or to Tea specifically. Studies have also shown that drinking Green Tea may improve insulin sensitivity.

Fun Fact: Oolong and Black Tea come from the same plant as Green Tea, the difference simply being how long the leaves are allowed to oxidize which turns them black (Oolong being in the middle of Green and Black Tea). While the antioxidant profile differs, generally the health benefits remain constant from Green to Black Tea.

3. Spicy Peppers

Spicy food heats you up – no doubt about that! But eating spicy peppers (or cayenne pepper) at a meal, for example, burns only about 10 extra calories. However, consuming capsaicin has been shown to reduce overall hunger throughout the day which certainly can help you adhere to your diet! It may also aid in digestive health, and in animal studies it has been shown to reduce blood pressure.

4. Coffee

Coffee can boost your metabolism up to 11% boost with its caffeine, like green tea. It seems to affect/benefit lean people most though AND if you are a regular coffee (vs occasional) drinker you may not see the same affect.

It’s not all “meh” news though…you can still have your coffee and get your protein in! Try an Iced-Mocha Coffee for the hot summer days: mix 1.5 scoops of Ellipse Chocolate Protein Powder with ½ c unsweetened almond milk. Add 1.5 cups iced coffee.

5. Spices

Kind of lumping a few things in here, but spices like ginger and turmeric can help raise your metabolism with their thermogenic effects.

Ginger can increase calorie burn by increasing blood flow and thus body temperature. Granted this increase is relatively small, it can’t hurt to add into your meal rotation. (Quick side note: Ginger can interact with certain medications like Warfarin, an anticoagulant – so refer to your doctor’s recommendation).

Grab some broccoli and sweet peppers and fresh basil at the farmer’s market for this super quick dish; Ginger Basil Chicken And Rice.

6. Coconut Oil

We’ve probably all heard that coconut oil is a good choice when it comes to oils. But why? Coconut oil offers a different effect than other oils by raising the GOOD/HDL cholesterol levels in your blood with its medium chain triglycerides and increase calories burned.

2 TBSP seems to be about the recommended amount per day to help reduce belly fat.

Deodorant Do’s and Don’ts!

Welcome to summer! The temps are increasing and there is a natural topic that goes along with that – B.O.! So, we’re talking deodorant this week.

Antiperspirant vs deodorant:

Antiperspirants temporarily block sweat-glands so they do not produce sweat (which, by the way is actually odorless*). To be declared antiperspirant, the product must show a 20 percent sweat duct plug formation, while clinical strength must show a 30 percent reduction. Antiperspirants block sweat ducts with aluminum salts which bind to proteins in the sweat gland ducts that act like a temporary sweat duct plug. Determine whether or not you WANT to block your sweat glands. Sweating occurs to regulate your body temperature and release toxins from the body. If you do use antiperspirants, it is best applied to dry skin. When applied to a damp underarm, it may not only be ineffective, but also can form white clumps that ball up under your arm, fall off onto your clothes…and who knows where else.

Dr. Gregor at NutritionFacts.org draws some concerns here about a potential link with breast cancer

Deodorant works to neutralize the odor, which comes from bacteria on the skin. Make sure to choose the right one, or combo, that is appropriate for you.

FUN FACT:

Deodorant was first used in 1888; the first antiperspirant in 1903!

Harsh times, indeed…

The best way to get rid of bacteria, which causes odor in the first place, is to wash the underarms daily. Swiping deodorant over the bacteria is not nearly as effective as applying it on clean, dry, underarms. Did you know a small percentage of people don’t produce the secretions/proteins in their underarms that attract smelly bacteria?? Are you B.O.-FREE? Gross but true: white, flaky ear gunk most likely means you are one of the lucky minority. Dark and sticky wax – be sure to read on!

If you’re going to use deodorant or antiperspirant, you should probably be sure you know what is in it. Some products contain parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, and formaldehyde which some studies have shown to cause interference with your hormone system and/or are chemicals that you may or may not agree with using on your body. Do your own research and determine what is right for you. Consider natural brands like Native or Schmidt’s. Natural deodorants have come a long way in the last couple years combining coconut oil, baking soda and more: aluminum and paraben free!

Is stress making you stink?

Your body has eccrine glands everywhere which are the sweat glands that are utilized while working out to cool off. *Apocrine glands are in the armpits and groin and produce a fatty sweat that gets activated with anxiety (and arousal). Reduce BO by controlling anxiety and considering what you eat…Caffeinated beverages and spicy/strong smelling foods may make you sweat more. Garlic contains sweat-polluting sulfur. Garlic is also very healthy for you, but you may want to time your consumption…as in not the night before a big presentation for work the next day!

EXTRA TIP:
Another way to control your body odor is to choose clothing to suit your activity. For daily wear, choose natural fabrics, such as cotton, wool and silk. These allow your skin to breathe. For exercise wear, you might prefer synthetic fabrics developed to wick moisture away from your skin.

Underarm Irritation?

Have your underarms ever stung after applying your antiperspirant/deodorant? After shaving, your skin will be more sensitive and especially when using products with a higher alcohol content it can cause irritation. From shaving or not, if you have sensitive skin, coconut oil can reduce irritation and is naturally antibacterial making for a great deodorant!