20 Foods That Speed Up Your Metabolism


Everyone wants a faster metabolism to help them burn calories and melt away fat. In addition to exercising and taking care of yourself, you can regulate your metabolism by eating healthy foods, avoiding simple carbohydrates and sugars, and drinking plenty of water.

You can also give your metabolism a much-needed boost with the following foods that speed up your metabolism:

1. Dark Chocolate

A healthy way to eat chocolate, dark chocolate has some caffeine in it and increases the levels of serotonin and other feel-good chemicals in the brain – all of which can speed up metabolism and increase your motivation and energy.

Besides, dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that will have a positive effect on your health.  A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70 % cocoa contains 11 grams of fiber, 67% of the RDA for iron, 58% of the RDA for magnesium, 89% of the RDA for copper and 98% of the RDA for manganese.  Naturally, you won’t eat this amount of dark chocolate on a daily basis, but these figures show you just how good it is for you.

Dark chocolate is also a good source of antioxidants and it may lower blood pressure and keep your heart safe.  Finally, it improves brain function and protects your skin against the sun.  So, chocolate lovers, feel free to enjoy your favorite food – it will do wonders for your mental and physical health.


2. Chiles

Chiles and some spices increase your body temperature and release adrenaline into your blood stream. Any time your temp raises, so does your metabolism and ability to burn calories.

New Mexico State University Regents Professor of Horticulture Paul Bosland, director of NMSU’s Chile Pepper Institute said that, ‘’obese patients on a low-calorie diet had their metabolic rates go up by adding chile peppers to their meals. Obese patients taking the chile peppers burned, on average, an extra 80 calories a day, twice that of those taking a placebo.”

“Chile peppers are like fine wine to be enjoyed at meals,” said Bosland, adding that chiles “are better than wine because you can start consuming them at breakfast! Because chile peppers are healthy and there are so many shapes, sizes, flavors and heat levels, everybody should be eating them.” They are extremely good for your heart and blood vessels and reduce the levels of bad cholesterol, without affecting the levels of the good cholesterol.


3. Water

The essence of all life is the most important ingredient that can help you with your digestion process and ultimately your weight.Not only does it lowers your appetite but it also serves as a cleanser, ridding the body of all the toxins and optimizing your metabolic rate.

Researchers in Germany have proved that water speeds up metabolism, the subjects’ metabolic rates increased by 30 % after drinking around 17 ounces of water.  The increase reached its maximum after about half an hour after water consumption.

Basically, if you increase your current water consumption by 1.5 liters per day, you will burn an extra 17,400 calories or around five pounds.  Most of the calorie burning is caused by the body’s attempt to heat the water. Besides, water is the healthiest drink available to humans and even if you don’t lose weight, you will certainly notice that your well-being will improve if you drink lots of water.


4. Fruits with Edible Seeds

Fruits like pears, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries – those with edible seeds and skin – contain a lot of fiber, which slows your digestion and makes you feel full and satisfied. Your body also works harder to digest fiber, causing you to burn more calories.

Foods that are rich in fiber require more chewing time and your body will register when you’re full – this will reduce the chances of overeating.  Also, these fruits have little calories, so you’re less likely to gain weight if you eat them instead of unhealthy snacks. Men need around 28 grams of fiber per day and women approximately 25 grams.

Dietary fiber also prevents constipation and lowers your risk of diabetes and heart disease.  Essentially, a high-fiber diet has many benefits.  For instance, it normalizes bowel movements and maintains bowel health.  Further, fiber lowers bad cholesterol levels and reduces blood pressure and inflammation.


5. Vegetables

Just like the previously mentioned fruits, some vegetables have exceptionally high fiber content. Veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are ideal for boosting your metabolism, but we will deal with them a bit later.

All vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, which makes vegetables the ideal food when you want to lose weight.  Some vegetables contain nutrients that boost your metabolism and you should definitely include them in your diet.  For example, leafy greens are very healthy and speed up your metabolism by supporting the ability of red blood cells to transport nutrients throughout your body.

Beans are also an excellent choice since they are loaded with protein and low in fat.  Sweet potatoes, carrots and pumpkins should also be a part of your diet and they will help you speed your metabolism and lose weight. Basically, you can’t go wrong with veggies and everyone can find a vegetable they like to eat.


6. Caffeinated Beverages

Coffee and other caffeinated beverages boost your metabolism due to their high caffeine content. The caffeine contained in one cup of coffee can increase your metabolism by up to 15%, which is why many diet aids contain caffeine.

A cup of coffee is absorbed into you blood stream quickly, speeding up your heart rate and boosting your metabolism.  The boost will peak at about three hours after drinking coffee.Basically, caffeine increases blood levels of the hormone Epinephrine, better known as Adrenaline.  Adrenaline send signals to our body to break down fats and release them into the blood. The only downside of drinking coffee is that your body gets used to it after a while – you become tolerant to coffee’s effects and your metabolism won’t be as fast as it was when you first started consuming coffee.

Have in mind that you can add a lot of unnecessary fat and sugar to your diet if you stray from straight coffee and tea.  For example, coffee-flavored beverages contain caffeine, but they are also loaded with calories and sugar.


7. Whole Grains

It takes longer for your body to digest whole grains than it does simple carbohydrates. Always choose whole grains over simple grains when selecting breads and packaged foods such as rice and pasta.

Eating whole grains also lowers total cholesterol, bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and insulin levels.  Additionally, they are packed with protein and fiber and have a low glycemic index, which means they are absorbed slowly.  Consequently, they will help you feel full for longer periods of time and you won’t feel hungry between meals.

According to The Whole Grain Council eating a diet rich in whole grains can reduce the risk of stroke by 30-36%, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 21-30%, and reduce the risk of heart disease by 25-28%. As you can see, not all calories are created equal. If you make good decisions about the types of foods you are eating, you can actually boost your metabolism and increase your calorie burn by simply eating.


8. Broccoli

Broccoli is high in vitamin C and dietary fiber, which makes your digestive system absorb it more quickly.  In addition, broccoli also has phytochemicals that boost immunity and protect against several diseases.

Basically, this veggie will not only boost your metabolism and help you lose weight, but it will also improve your mental and physical health.  The best part is that you can eat lots of broccoli on a daily basis since it doesn’t contain a lot of calories: 100 grams of broccoli has only 34 calories!

Although it may seem like not very many people eat broccoli on a regular basis, stats show that 20.842.200 tons of this vegetable are produced around the globe each year and that number is rapidly increasing.  If you like this extremely healthy and beneficial veggie, make sure to include it in your diet.  And if you’re not a huge fan of broccoli, think of alternative ways to prepare it.


9. Green Tea

Although green tea might not boost your metabolism like other foods can, you should know that drinking green tea has various health benefits. Not only do regular green tea drinkers have a lower risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancer, but also consume a lot of antioxidants called catechins that are very helpful to the digestion process. The list of benefits doesn’t end there, however, because green tea is able to boost your metabolism without increasing your heart-rate.

“Green tea has thermogenic properties (producing heat) and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by its caffeine content per se,” says Abdul G. Dulloo, a researcher at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Kathleen Zelman, an Atlanta-based nutritional consultant and spokesperson for the American Dietetics Association, told WebMD that the calorie losses were “not enough to make a difference in the life of an obese person.” However, “anything we can do to boost metabolism [without using drugs] is wonderful.”


10. Soups

Soups work twofold: by reducing your appetite, if consumed before the main course, and by speeding up your metabolism with its huge collection of ingredients. Because you can mix several vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, soup is that perfectly refined metabolism booster that your diet so desperately needs.

The best thing about soups is that the choices are endless!  If you don’t like one type of vegetable, that’s fine; just pick the veggies and ingredients you like and start experimenting. Besides being healthy and tasty, you will never grow tired of preparing and eating delicious soups.  And you can still lose weight, while at the same time truly enjoying your food.

We advise you not to start an only-soup diet; such diets aren’t healthy and don’t provide you with all the necessary nutrients that your body needs to function properly.  Besides, even though you’ll lose weight quickly, you should know that all the weight will probably come back once you start eating normally again.


11. Salmon

Classified as an oily fish, salmon is considered to be healthy due to the fish’s high protein, high omega-3 fatty acids, and high vitamin D. Omega-3s balance out blood sugar and reduce inflammation. They not only normalize the metabolism, but boost it up as well.

Eating salmon also makes you smarter and studies have shown that it also reduces the risk of depression.  Besides, you should give your kids salmon because it prevents ADHD and boost academic performance!  Not only will you be smarter and happier, but also protected from cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia, high blood pressure and high triglycerides. Further, salmon consumption improves bone density and strength and keeps your eyes safe.

Salmon is definitely a food you should include in your regular diet and we recommend that you eat it twice a week, but be sure that the fish is from a sustainable source.  The non-profit organization Sea Choice explains that a sustainable source is, “A species whose biology is capable of withstanding fishing pressure, where the status of the stock is well understood, and where the fishing methods do not adversely impact other species or habitat.”


12. Apples

One of the most widely cultivated tree fruits are incidentally one of the best foods for speeding up your metabolism. Filled with fiber that will stop your body from absorbing fat, apples may also reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. Apple peels contain ursolic acid that, in rat studies, increases skeletal muscle and brown fat, and decreases white fat, obesity and glucose intolerance.

Apples also lower bad cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of diabetes.  Additionally, they help your memory and lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s.  They also boost your immune system and help with breathing problems!  Finally, apples will keep your teeth healthy – they reduce tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria in your mouth.

Further, they contain little calories, so it is advisable to eat an apple per day.  Besides, they taste delicious and are a perfect snack that will keep you full for a long time.


13. Breakfast

This item may be a bit strange, but a quality breakfast is essential if you want to speed up your metabolism rate. The effects are just not the same and without a proper breakfast, all your hard work later in a day can be futile.

“People skip breakfast thinking they’re cutting calories, but by mid-morning and lunch, that person is starved,” says Milton Stokes, chief dietitian for St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City. “Breakfast skippers replace calories during the day with mindless nibbling, bingeing at lunch and dinner. They set themselves up for failure.”

Most people who have lost a lot of weight were used to eating breakfast and distributing the calories properly throughout the day. Kickstart your day with an apple, soup and a bit of coffee and just watch those pounds melt.  Of course, have in mind that if you want to lose weight, the first meal of the day has to be healthy.  You don’t have to prepare god-knows-what, but a simple and healthy breakfast will alert your body and metabolism to start working – and you’ll have more energy to focus on your daily activities and will feel happier.


14. Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotics which help us digest food and absorb nutrients.  So, yogurt boosts your metabolism and helps you feel fuller for a long time.  Besides, one cup of yogurt contains between 60 and 100 calories, making it an ideal snack or dessert. Additionally, yogurt with active cultures helps you with gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, constipation inflammatory bowel disease and h. pylori infection.

And that’s not all!  Yogurt may help prevent osteoporosis since it’s packed with calcium and vitamin D.  If you want to keep your bones healthy, drink lots of yogurt!  It also keeps your heart safe and prevents high blood pressure.

Naturally, not all yogurts have an equal amount of calcium and vitamin D.  Since the levels depend upon the brand, the best way to determine which brand is best for you is simply to check the labels. Also, the perfect time to have a yogurt is within one hour after exercising as it will help you recover faster and repair your muscles.


15. Cinnamon

Although it has not been proven that cinnamon boosts overall metabolism, studies have shown that it helps in the metabolizing process of some types of foods; cinnamon is particularly important for glucose (sugar) metabolism.

Namely, cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity and helps lower blood sugar levels.  According to a 2012 Ball State University study, consuming cinnamon extract may help regulate blood sugar in healthy, normal-weight adults.  A 2009 USDA Agricultural Research Service study found that obese but non-diabetic people could lower blood sugar levels with two capsules of dried cinnamon extract per day. Further, cinnamon can lower your bad cholesterol, eliminate headaches and aid with migraines.  Combined with honey, it can relieve arthritis pain.

Last but not least, just smelling cinnamon boosts memory and cognitive function.  A bit of cinnamon here and there will not only improve the aroma and flavor of your foods and drinks, but it will also help you stay healthy.  Enjoy!


16. Lean Meats

Lean protein will help boost your metabolism and energy levels.  Now, this is some great news for meat fans; Good protein sources are lean chicken, turkey, fish, and lean cuts of beef and pork.When you eat foods that contain protein, the nutrient is broken down into amino acids that build and repair muscles, organs and other cells and tissues.

Therefore, your body has to work harder in order to digest protein, which speeds your metabolism. Lean meat is also great because it makes you feel full and satisfied for a long time.  Basically, after you have eaten lean meats, you won’t feel the urge to constantly eat between meals, which means you’ll have more control over your diet.  Of course, this also means that you can lose weight by consuming lean meats.

Besides, once you have achieved your weight loss goals, lean meats will help you maintain your weight – there won’t be a yo-yo effect. Ladies should also know that protein helps your hair and nails look healthy and shiny.


17. Garlic

Since garlic has the ability to break down fat, it definitely increases your metabolism.  Apart from helping you lose or maintain weight, garlic is considered one of the healthiest foods in the world since it has numerous health benefits.

Garlic has been used throughout history to prevent and treat many diseases and conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack and atherosclerosis.  Besides, garlic can also prevent various types of cancer: colon cancer, prostate cancer, rectal cancer, stomach cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer. Another great health benefit of garlic is aiding the immune system.  If you don’t want to catch a cold, make sure that you include garlic in your diet.

Finally, some evidence exists that fresh garlic can kill certain bacteria such as E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella enteritidis in the laboratory. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, you may eat up to four garlic cloves per day and you will certainly notice that your well-being has improved.


18. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a healthy fat which helps you burn calories and boosts your metabolism.  Research has shown that substituting other types of fats with monounsaturated fat aids people lose a reasonable amount of weight without any special food restriction or physical activity.  Sounds too good to be true?

Don’t worry, several studies found that when people replaced saturated fat with monounsaturated-fat-rich olive oil, they either maintained their weight or lost weight. Monounsaturated fats are more satisfying than other types of fat, meaning you’ll feel fuller for longer periods of time and eat less if you include olive oil in your diet.

Naturally, it would be ideal to consume olive oil and change your bad eating habits.  Combined with exercising, you would lose weight in no time, without jeopardizing your health. Increase the amount of olive oil in your diet and watch those pounds melt.  Besides, olive oil also has various health benefits, so it can’t hurt to try consuming it on a regular basis.


19. Almonds

Even though almonds are high in calories, they can still boost your metabolism and help you lose weight.  According to a 2007 British Journal of Nutrition study, eating almonds on a daily basis for 10 weeks didn’t cause the subjects to gain weight.

They are rich in protein, and protein help us maintain weight – your body burns more calories than usual when you are consuming food with protein.  You should know that just a handful of almonds contains one-eighth of our necessary daily protein intake. The British Journal of Nutrition study concluded that almonds help you shed pounds because they are high in fiber, meaning that the calories in almonds are insufficiently absorbed by your body.

Besides, almonds are loaded with vitamins and minerals that will keep you healthy and full of energy.   They will lower your bad cholesterol level and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Further, they keep you safe from various types of cancer.


20. Apple Cider Vinegar

People have used vinegar for centuries in order to lose weight and now there is some evidence that vinegar actually boost your metabolism. A 2005 study found that people who ate a slice of bread combined with small amounts of white vinegar felt fuller for longer periods of time and more satisfied than those subjects who just consumed the bread. The recommended dose is two teaspoons a day mixed with water or juice.  Taking larger amounts in the long run could damage your health, so take it easy on the vinegar.

Vinegar also benefits your health in more ways than one.  For instance, it may lower bad cholesterol and glucose levels.  A 2007 study of 11 people who suffer from type 2 diabetes found that consuming two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before going to sleep lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%.

Apple cider vinegar can also lower high blood pressure, keeping your hearth healthy.  Last but not least, it decreases the risk of esophageal cancer.

Continue Reading

From Around The Web

Popular on Diet.st