Vitamins are organic compounds required for nearly every metabolic process in the body, but some help increase metabolism and burn fat better than others. Some vitamins help boost metabolism by assisting with amino acid production, which is needed to burn fat and promote lean muscle. Others are essential for energy metabolism and converting food into cellular fuel. There are also minerals and supplements that can really help individuals boost their metabolism.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin the body needs for the regulation of thyroid hormone, which is particularly beneficial for metabolism and digestion. A 2012 study found not getting enough vitamin A may increase the risk of hypothyroidism, which causes weight gain and fatigue. Thyroid hormone affects the rate of metabolism because it is responsible for signaling how the body's cells should utilize energy. Low levels of thyroid hormone may slow down metabolism and cause weight gain. Carrots, squash, red pepper, spinach, mango, and cantaloupe are good sources of vitamin A.
Although vitamin E is not directly involved in energy metabolism as B-vitamins are, it may still help clear toxins out of the individual's body, which aids in weight loss. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that binds to free radicals and moves them out of the body before they can accumulate. Free radicals from an improper diet may build up in tissues and organs, which disrupts many metabolic processes and leads to obesity. Foods high in vitamin E include almonds, seeds, spinach, kale, plant-based oils, and Swiss chard.
According to a 2015 study published in Obesity Review, individuals who are classified as obese typically have low levels of vitamin D in their diet. Although the link between obesity and vitamin D is unclear, researchers think it is because vitamin D plays a role in fat mass regulation, or the way fat is distributed and utilized within the body. Authors of a 2009 study suggested taking extra vitamin D every day to contribute to weight loss as higher levels of vitamin D in the blood were associated with improved weight loss.
According to a 2005 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, individuals who carry more weight may have lower levels of vitamin C in the body. The study also found increasing vitamin C intake may help individuals burn up to thirty percent more fat during exercise. Load up on citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, and berries to increase vitamin C levels. If a supplement is necessary, individuals should opt for one that comes from plant-based sources as opposed to isolated vitamins, because these are better absorbed by the body.
B-vitamins are quite useful for curbing an individual's appetite, increasing their energy levels, and helping their body metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Many B-vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid, contribute to the structure of enzymes and other compounds that break down nutrients. There is a total of eight B-vitamins, and they are all water-soluble, meaning they are not stored in the body and need to be continually sourced through food. B-vitamins can be found in whole grains, beans, vegetables, and lean meat such as chicken and turkey.
Everyone needs magnesium to function. This mineral is responsible for a variety of things and helps individuals with everything from producing energy to regulating blood sugar to creating chemical reactions throughout their body. Magnesium helps transport potassium and calcium safely through the body, which helps individuals have a stable heart rhythm, contract their muscles normally, and conduct impulses through their nerves. In addition to its necessary functions, some studies indicate magnesium might help individuals lose weight. This doesn't mean taking magnesium supplements will instantly lower an individual's weight though. Magnesium might regulate insulin and blood sugar levels in individuals who are obese or overweight. In addition, magnesium reduces water retention and bloating.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract may help individuals with weight loss by boosting their metabolism. In addition, green tea is full of plant compounds and antioxidants that can be very helpful for an individual's overall health. Studies have shown green tea extract can cause an individual's metabolism to burn more calories, even while they rest. The majority of studies indicate the extract boosts an individual's metabolism by three to four percent, though there are studies that show the increase can get to eight percent. Evidence suggests the metabolism-boosting properties can persist for long durations, rather than just being a temporary effect.
Iron is a necessary part of regulating metabolism, growth, and development. Individuals need iron to help their cells function correctly and to create certain hormones. If individuals don't have enough iron in their body, their red blood cells can't carry oxygen to their muscles, and they can end up with a condition called anemia. Muscles with low iron levels aren't able to burn fuel or fat properly. Low iron levels will also slow an individual's metabolism instead of keeping it at a healthy level. While iron supplements probably won't increase the metabolism of an individual who already has healthy levels, they are essential for those whose metabolisms have been slowed by iron deficiency. Iron is available in a variety of foods including dark and leafy vegetables, tofu, soybeans, nuts, brown rice, fortified cereals, beans, and meat.
Fish oil is among the most commonly taken supplements worldwide. It's full of omega-3 fatty acids that help improve brain and heart health. Studies even indicate omega-3s can reduce an individual's risk of depression and improve their skin health. Some studies indicate the omega-3s in fish oil can help individuals lose weight, though the scientific opinion on this is mixed. In addition to suppressing appetite, fish oil might boost an individual's metabolism. One study indicated when young adults took a fish oil supplement every day for twelve weeks, they experienced a metabolic rate increase of 3.8 percent. Another study showed healthy older women who added a supplement to their diet saw metabolic increases of about fourteen percent.
Many fitness and health professionals say creatine is the best supplement for increasing an individual's overall gym performance. Studies indicate it can increase exercise performance, strength, and muscle mass. It may also protect against the development of neurological issues. Creatine is naturally found within an individual's muscle cells. When individuals take supplements of creatine, they increase the amount of creatine in their muscles, which is then used as stored energy. Their body is then able to produce higher amounts of ATP, an energy molecule that lets individuals perform with more stamina. When working out, better-performing muscles lead to an overall increase in metabolic rate.