Food ScienceHealthy Weight Loss

Best Foods for Increased Metabolism

Certain types of food can aid you in increasing your metabolism. A higher metabolism can be hugely beneficial since it leads to the expeditious burning of calories. This makes it far much more natural to shed off excess fats and maintain healthier body weight. So what kind of foods can you eat to speed up your metabolism? Let’s take a look at some of them. Read on to find out more.


Proteins have been praised as some of the best foods to include in your diet, more so plant-based proteins. They are fundamental in building muscles, hair growth, development of hormones, and digestive enzymes. Examples include meat, eggs, fish, nuts, and dairy products.

Moreover, they are known for increasing your metabolism rates. This is because they require more energy for a breakdown during digestion. Studies show that proteins significantly increase the thermic effect of food (TEF) as compared to other foods. TEF looks at the amount of energy required by your body to breakdown food, absorb it, and process its nutrients.

They, therefore, increase the metabolic processes by 15-30% in comparison to other classes of food such as carbs whose range is 5-10%. An extra tip is that proteins prevent overeating by keeping you full for a more extended period. 

Pulses and Legumes

These are plant-based proteins, and some of them include peas, beans, lentils, peanuts, and chickpeas. Research has shown that they require a high amount of calories for them to be digested.

Furthermore, they are rich in fiber, which improves your digestion and fosters the development of the friendly bacteria in your gut.

Legumes also host a high content of an amino acid called arginine, which can increase the burning of carbohydrates and fats for energy provision.

Beans, peas, and lentils host glutamine, an amino acid that raises the calories being consumed during digestion.


Staying hydrated is an essential aspect of keeping your biological processes running, which keeps your metabolism high. Replacing sugary drinks with water can help reduce your calorie intake and temporarily speed up your metabolism.

Research shows that drinking half a liter of water raises your metabolism by 10-30% for an hour. This rate goes even higher when you take cold water since it forces your body to emanate more energy to heat it up.


Seaweed is an excellent source of iodine, which is used in the formation of thyroid hormones in your thyroid gland. These hormones play a critical role in the regulation of your metabolic rate.

Thus, the high consumption of seaweed has the potential of raising your metabolism and increasing the breakdown of calories. However, be careful of which types of seaweed you eat. Species such as the kelp have incredibly high levels of iodine, and therefore consumption should be kept at a minimum.


Tea contains catechins and caffeine, which have been found to boost metabolism, especially oolong and green tea in particular. These beverages aid in the conversion of stored fat into free fatty acids, which can then be easily broken down for your body energy needs.

Because of their low-calorie levels, they also qualify as perfect drinks for those on weight maintenance and weight loss programs.

Suggestions have also been put forward that they can also help beat the dreaded weight loss plateaus.

Chili Peppers

Chili peppers contain a chemical called capsaicin, which has been found to help increase metabolism rates. They promote faster burning of stored up fats, and a review of several study reports showed that they could help in the breakdown of around 50 extra calories every day.

In addition to burning calories, they are also said to have appetite-reducing effects. This makes it easier to eat less food during meals and also minimizes your need for snacks in between meals.


Some spices have been found to have properties that significantly raise our metabolism levels. A good example is ginger powder. Mixing it with hot water and drinking it with any meal may help you burn more calories than if you drank hot water only.

Grains of paradise have also demonstrated similar effects when tested. Another spice worth considering is cayenne pepper.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Research conducted on animals shows that apple cider vinegar increases the number of calories and fats being burned by the body. For instance, one study done on mice showed that it boosted the activities of the AMPK enzyme, which leads to less storage of fats and increases the breakdown of the same.

While few studies have been carried out on humans, there are other ways through which apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight. One of them is that it slows down the emptying of your stomach, thus promoting a feeling of satiety for a longer time.


Cocoa and cacao make up for tasty treats. These can be significant in the tuning up of your metabolic processes. A study conducted on mice showed that cocoa and its extracts might stimulate the activation of genes that help in the breakdown of stored fats for energy.

Another study found that it prevents the functioning of enzymes necessary for the digestion of fats and carbs. Theoretically, cocoa could help in weight loss by preventing the absorption of fats and calories while promoting the burning of those present in the body.

However, studies examining its effects on the human body are still inconclusive. If you intend to consume more cacao, go for the raw alternatives since industrial processing removes essential compounds.

Coconut Oil 

Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which get transferred directly to the liver upon absorption. Most other fats contain longer chains that require more complex breakdown processes. Because of that unique aspect of coconut oil, they are less likely to be stored up as fats, and several studies have also demonstrated that they increase metabolic rates.

The above ten foods are some of the best foods that will boost your metabolism rates based on various studies conducted on them. Other foods worth mentioning include zinc, selenium, and iron-rich foods. If you have a preference for coffee to tea, it’s also an excellent alternative to consider. Finally, it’s important to understand that users respond differently to these foods, and it’s up to you to figure out which foods work for you.

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