Everyone knows that you need to eat healthier in order to lose weight, but now there’s research that suggests your metabolism can benefit from following an anti-inflammatory diet. That’s because stubborn belly fat causes inflammation to occur in the body, creating a distressed-like state for the cells and making it harder to shed the pounds.
“Chronic inflammation occurs when our body responds to unwanted substances in the body, like excess fat cells that accumulate in the belly area,” Sidney Fry, MS, RD, writes for MyFitnessPal Blog. “This imbalance, or stress, causes our bodies natural defense system — inflammation — to kick in and release even more chemicals to try and fight it. In small doses, inflammation is a good thing. But over time, you end up with too much of it. Our bodies aren’t designed to be on high alert all the time.”
Thankfully, there are so many tasty anti-inflammatory foods out there. Here are four that experts swear by to boost the metabolism and burn fat quickly:
Pulses, the formal name for up beans and legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and black beans, are plant-based proteins that help reduce cholesterol and combat inflammation thanks to their rich soluble fiber content. They're great for weight loss because they help keep you full and focused, which is great for your metabolism!
There’s a reason eggs are regarded as one of the best dieting foods. “The best foods to eat are high in protein and good fats, which keep your blood sugar steady and provide energy from nutrient-dense sources that will keep you satiated,” says Andrea Wien, culinary nutritionist. “The egg is a nearly perfect food and it's a powerhouse in terms of nutrition, clocking in at 7 grams of protein plus a good dose of vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory omega-3s.”
Salmon helps your body burn off fat rather than store it and reduces inflammation thanks to ample amounts of omega-3s. Choose wild versus farmed salmon because it has more omega-3s.
Blueberries have been found to significantly decrease inflammation because of their high levels of antioxidants called flavonoids. Studies also suggest that the powerful fruit's anthocyanins can even help neutralize the inflammatory effects of high-fat, high-carb meals by effectively turning off inflammatory and immune genes. These little guys are also a rich source of vitamin C and resveratrol, which is a polyphenol with anti-inflammatory effects that prevent free radicals in the body.