For many, spring means the return of fresh, local foods essential to eating and living well. In particular, whole grains and other nutrients help maintain a healthy metabolism and body weight much more so than the temporary fix of dieting. As naturopath Dr. John Dempster points out, your diet should be customized for your biochemistry. However, there are some basic ingredients that can help you effectively boost your metabolism.

Enjoy the Heat of Chilies

For one, eating chilies will both add zest to your spring and fire up metabolic rates. According to McCarty, DiNicolantonio, and O’Keefe, the compound capsaicin, which gives chilies their spicy flavor, boosts your metabolism. A study in The Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology specifically found that a tablespoon of chopped chilies activates the sympathetic nervous system and causes a metabolic spike of about 23 percent. To get ready for spring, try The Latin Kitchen’s recipe for roasted cauliflower tossed in cayenne, black pepper, and red chili flakes.

Burn Better with Ginger

This spice has historically been used for its nutritional and medicinal content. As a vasodilator, ginger boosts your metabolism by enhancing circulation and raising body temperature. Several animal studies have found that direct application can stimulate metabolic rates by around 20 percent, depending on diet, exercise, and other factors. According to Mansour et al, the overall process also promotes satiety among humans and further stimulates metabolism by making more energy available through improved digestion. Add some spice to your spring, and taste ginger’s generous benefits with a Thai Green Curry with Spring Vegetables from Cookie and Kate.

Boost Digestion with Whole Grains

You can also boost your metabolism by substituting whole grains for processed ones. Grains like quinoa, spelt, and amaranth require more work to be broken down. As a result, eating them reduces calories retained in digestion and increases your resting metabolic rate. According to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, whole grains thus help manage weight because their high fiber content encourages better glycemic control and insulin sensitivity. Enjoy the better digestion of whole grains with a Spring Quinoa Salad from Pinch of Yum, including a zesty Honey Lemon Vinaigrette.

Eat More Protein with Eggs

Eggs provide a remarkable combination of vitamins, minerals, protein, and omega 3 fats with relatively few calories. Their high-quality proteins in particular help eggs stimulate metabolism and rank high on satiety, as shown by Vander Wal et al. In so doing, they reduce calorie intake and enhance both metabolic rates and weight loss (Vander Wal et al.). Another key nutrient, chromium, also helps manage weight as it helps the body regulate blood sugar and satiety. Take advantage of eggs’ remarkable properties with a Spring Frittata with asiago cheese and dill.

Address Stress with Chocolate

You can also boost your metabolism with dark chocolate, which reduces stress by lowering cortisol levels that otherwise slow metabolism. A study in The Archives of Internal Medicine found that, among adults with similar lifestyles, those who regularly ate chocolate maintained a healthier weight than those who did not. Chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa is ideal, though you can also combine it with spices like ginger and chilies to boost the benefits. Try celebrating spring with the luxurious flavor of Red Chile-Spiked Chocolate Mousse.

Boosting your metabolism won’t necessarily result in weight loss. However, adding the above recipes to your rotation of meals this spring can help you work on reducing caloric intake and improving your overall lifestyle. For help with weight loss or concerns about metabolic rates, connect with Derry Medical Services today to ask questions, find support and learn more about Diabetes 180, a lifestyle change program designed specifically for people living with the disease. You can also address your wellness goals at your next primary care appointment.