Metabolism is how the body converts the food you eat and drink into energy. It involves various chemical processes within the cells that help sustain life. While metabolism is a natural process, what you eat may slow or enhance it. This article explores Vitamins and Minerals that Boost Metabolism.
A faster metabolism will burn the calories you consume more quickly, making you less likely to gain weight. In contrast, a slow metabolism will slow down the rate at which the calories consumed are broken down to energy, thus promoting weight gain. Unfortunately, your metabolism tends to slow with age. So it’s important to look into things that can help boost it.
1. B vitamins
B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins essential for different metabolic functions.
By water-soluble, it means they dissolve in water. These vitamins cannot be stored in the body, and any excess amount is eliminated through urine. This calls for regular consumption to ensure a constant supply, which translates to a continuous healthy metabolism.
The role of Vitamin B in metabolism is to convert protein, carbohydrates, and fat into energy.
- B1 (thiamine)
- B2 (riboflavin)
- B3 (niacin)
- B5 (pantothenic acid)
- Vitamin B6
- B7 (biotin)
- B9 (folate)
- Vitamin B12
Together, the B vitamins are referred to as vitamin B complex. And while each B vitamin has a vital role in metabolism, they all work together to enhance each other’s functions.
Your body’s ability to metabolize protein, carbohydrates, and fats is essential to ensure they are used for energy instead of being stored in the body. That’s why you should strive to meet your daily vitamin B requirements.
Most B vitamins can easily be obtained from the same foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain. Still, vitamin B12 may be a little challenging to get, especially for vegans since it’s not present in plant foods unless fermented foods like in sauerkraut. Nutritional yeast and fortified foods may also be a great source. But even so, the amounts may not be sufficient to meet your needs. So the best option would be a vegan vitamin B12 supplement.
Inadequate intake of B vitamins may result in a low metabolism. You can also experience a deficiency if your body cannot properly absorb them, such as in conditions affecting the gut or if the body is eliminating too much of them due to a health condition.
2. Vitamin D
The body naturally makes vitamin D from cholesterol beneath the skin when exposed to sunlight. But you can also obtain vitamin D from certain foods and supplements.
According to experts, vitamin D could potentially promote metabolism by reducing the formation of new fat cells in the body. It also suppresses the storage of fat cells, thus reducing the accumulation of fat.
Additionally, vitamin D can increase serotonin, a neurotransmitter that controls appetite, increases satiety, decreases calorie intake, and reduces body weight.
Vitamin D can also increase testosterone levels, which have been shown to boost metabolism by causing the body to burn more calories after a meal.
3. Vitamin C
This one plays a vital role in lowering stress and boosting antioxidant levels, which may promote your metabolism. For instance, as an antioxidant, vitamin C prevents oxidative stress and fights inflammation which may interfere with the absorption of other nutrients needed for better metabolism. See 11 Best Sources Of Vitamin C.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient for better muscle function and for the promotion of good chemical reactions that support energy production in the body.
Also essential for regulating blood pressure, controlling blood glucose, promoting a healthy nervous system, and maintaining healthy bones.
However, up to 68 percent of the people in the United States do not meet their daily magnesium requirements.
It is present in various foods, including legumes, dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, bananas, potatoes, and whole grains.
While it’s also available as a supplement, too much magnesium may result in diarrhea, so it’s better to stick to dietary sources.
Sufficient amounts of iron in the body promote oxygen delivery to the muscles, which supports the fat-burning process and increases metabolism.
Muscles that are low in oxygen cannot burn fat for fuel as they should, so ensure you are regularly incorporating iron-rich foods into your diet.
Besides, iron insufficiency may lead to iron deficiency anemia, one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. It is characterized by low energy levels, fatigue, general weakness, and palpitations.
Best sources include legumes like lentils and beans, dark leafy greens, nuts, beets, brown rice, soy, and soy products. See Plant Source Of Iron
Iron can also be obtained as a supplement. However, too much iron can be harmful, and with supplements, it’s difficult to regulate your intake. So unless a doctor has recommended it, always stick to natural sources. Plus, iron-rich foods are also rich in other nutrients essential to the body.
Why is a Healthy Metabolism Essential?
The obvious benefit of having a high metabolism is that you will burn more calories, making you lose weight more quickly and keep it off.
Other benefits include:
- Promoting digestion and the removal of toxins from the body
- Better blood circulation
- Promoting a happy mood by enhancing the production of “happy chemicals” in the brain like serotonin
- Promoting skin health
- Strengthening the immune system
- Reducing the risk of heart disease See Vitamins For Heart Health
- Increasing energy levels.
A healthy metabolism is essential for proper energy production and utilization and the promotion of a healthy weight, general health, and well-being.
Targeting specific vitamins and minerals such as the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, and magnesium may help increase and promote efficient metabolism.
You can easily obtain these nutrients by consuming various foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
While their supplement counterparts exist, they may pose some health risks. This makes natural dietary sources the best unless a doctor has recommended a supplement.
That being said, some supplements such as vitamin B12 can be essential, especially if you are a vegan or purely on a plant-based diet.
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