What are thermogenic foods?
Thermogenic foods, as defined by Wellsphere.com are foods that "naturally speed up our metabolism and ‘cremate’ calories. Thermogenesis, the process of heat production is one of the biochemical processes that make up metabolism."
Medfinds.com explains that thermogenic foods "essentially take more energy to process/digest than what they provide, so they help raise your metabolism and burn body fat."
Burnthefat.com however, clarifies that all foods are thermogenic "because the body must use energy to digest them. This is known as the "thermic effect of food" (TEF) or "specific dynamic action of food." This basically means that foods just vary in "thermic effect" degree – some being more thermogenic than others.
What are the most thermogenic foods?
Most diet and nutrition experts agree that lean proteins lead the pack when it comes being thermogenic. Top lean proteins include: chicken breast, turkey breast, game meat (venison), bison, buffalo, almost all types of fish, shellfish and other seafood, egg whites, very lean red meat such as top round and lean sirloin (e.g. top round and lean sirloin, preferably grass fed for optimal nutrition).
Other top metabolism-boosting, calorie-burning foods named by various sites include:
- Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage)
- Leafy Greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, etc.)
- Chili peppers
Runner ups include herbs and spices such as:
- Citrus Aurantium or Bitter Orange
- Cayenne peppers
However, diet and nutrition experts warn against focusing too much on thermogenic foods. Instead, focus on being healthy as a whole. Know the fundamentals of health and nutrition first before you focus on which foods are the most thermogenic and which ones are the least. The key is a healthy, balanced diet and exercise. Knowing which foods are thermogenic and which are not, only help you in your quest to lose weight and become healthy.