While we don’t often think about eating foods to burn calories, many foods contain phytonutrients that have been reported to do just that. We generally think of exercise when we think about burning calories and rightly so since exercise is clearly the best way to burn calories. However, research has suggested that we can also burn additional calories by increasing our resting metabolic rate (i.e. the amount of calories burned while at rest due to our body’s normal metabolism).
Studies have suggested that we can increase our resting metabolic rate by eating certain foods to burn calories. The drawback to this is that we are also ingesting calories at the same time, so the effect can be pretty minimal. Thus some of the best foods to burn calories are ones that increase our resting metabolic rate and have a small number of calories. Many citrus fruits meet both these criteria, making them excellent foods to burn calories.
Citrus fruits are some of the best foods to burn calories because they contain the phytonutrients p-synephrine, naringin, and hesperidin. Each of these phytonutrients has been reported to help support healthy weight loss and a new research study published last month reports that consuming these three phytonutrients in combination increases the number of calories burned while at rest.
In this new study, volunteers consumed a placebo or various combinations of p-synephrine, naringin, and hesperidin. Consumption of each of the phytonutrient weight loss supplements increased resting metabolic rate over the placebo; however the combination of 50 mg p-synephrine + 600 mg naringin + 100 mg hesperidin burned the most calories while at rest.
In addition to their weight loss benefits, naringenin (from naringin) and hesperidin have been reported to have potential beauty benefits as well. Studies have reported that hesperidin metabolic products protect skin cells against simulated sunlight and that topical application of extracts rich in hesperidin protected mouse skin from sun damage. Similarly, naringenin-rich citrus fruit extracts have been reported to have skin protection benefits.
Whether these citrus fruit phytonutrients will have the same skin health benefits when eaten as part of a whole fruit remains to be seen; however, citrus fruits are low in calories, rich in vitamins and other nutrients, and appear to support health weight loss. In fact, citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which is important for many health benefits including collagen health.
If you are looking for some of the best foods to burn calories and possibly help protect yourself from the sun, make sure you keep citrus fruits and/or juices made from citrus fruits on your menu this summer.
Remember that our true beauty starts inside!
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Aaron Tabor, MD
Diet, Anti-Aging, and Nutritional Cosmetic Expert
Author of Dr. Tabor’s Diet and FIGHT NOW: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer.
Learn more about Dr. Tabor’s diet and anti-aging research at www.DrTabor.com.