11 best foods to speed up metabolism

11 best foods to speed up metabolism

If you are trying to lose weight or maintain your weight, you can eat more food to speed up your metabolism.

It is true that some foods can speed up your metabolism a bit. This will increase the number of calories your body burns.

By speeding up metabolism, people can lose weight and reduce the risk of obesity and related health problems.

Adding these foods to your diet can help you lose body fat or prevent you from gaining weight if that is your goal.

However, consuming larger amounts of these foods does not guarantee that you will lose weight faster. They are a healthy addition to a balanced diet with moderate calories to promote weight loss.

Here are 11 foods that can speed up your metabolism.

1. Foods rich in protein

Foods rich in protein – such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts and seeds – can help speed up your metabolism in a matter of hours.

This is because they require your body to expend more energy on their digestion. This is known as the heat effect of food (TEF).

TEF refers to the number of calories your body needs to absorb, absorb and process nutrients in your meals. (1)

Studies show that protein-rich foods increase TEF the most. For example, they increase your metabolic rate by 15-30% compared to 5-10% for carbohydrates and 0-3% for fats.

Protein-rich diets help the body maintain muscle mass when losing weight. (2) (3) (4)

What’s more, protein can help you stay full for longer, which can prevent overeating. (5)

2. Hot peppers

Capsaicin, a chemical found in hot peppers, can speed up your metabolism by slightly increasing the rate at which your body consumes calories.

A review of 20 studies finds that capsaicin – from supplements or from peppers themselves – can help the body burn about 50 extra calories a day. (6)

Some studies have reported similar benefits at 9-10 mg per day. This is equivalent to jalapeno peppers. (7) (8) (9) (10)

In addition, capsaicin may have appetite-reducing properties.

According to a review of studies in almost 200 people, eating at least 2 mg of capsaicin immediately before each meal seems to reduce calorie intake, especially from carbohydrates. (11)

Similarly, adding cayenne pepper to your diet can increase the amount of fat your body burns for energy, especially after a high-fat diet. However, this fat burning effect can only be used in people who do not eat spicy foods regularly. (12)

However, findings on the ability of capsaicin to increase metabolism are mixed. (13)

3. Beans and legumes

Legumes such as beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas are particularly rich in protein compared to other plant foods.

Studies show that their high protein content requires your body to expend more calories for their digestion compared to foods with less protein. (14)

Legumes also contain dietary fiber, including resistant starch and soluble fiber, which your body can use as a prebiotic to feed good bacteria in the colon. (15) (16)

On the other hand, these friendly bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids that can help your body use stored fat more efficiently than energy and maintain normal blood sugar levels. (17)

4. Foods rich in minerals

The minerals iron and selenium play different but equally important roles for the proper functioning of your body.

But they have one thing in common. Both are necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which regulates your metabolism. (18)

Studies show that a diet low in iron or selenium can reduce the thyroid’s ability to produce enough hormones, which can slow down your metabolism.

For the best possible thyroid function, include foods rich in iron and selenium in your daily diet, such as meat, seafood, legumes, nuts and seeds.

5. Ginger

Ginger and related spices are believed to have particularly beneficial properties for boosting metabolism.

For example, research shows that dissolving 2 grams of ginger powder in hot water and drinking it with a meal can help you burn up to 43 calories more than if you only drink hot water. (19)

This hot ginger drink can also reduce hunger levels and increase the feeling of satiety.

Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce nausea during pregnancy and after chemotherapy. (20)

6. Coffee

The caffeine found in coffee can help speed up your metabolism.

Several studies have shown that people who consume at least 270 mg of caffeine a day or the equivalent of about 3 cups of coffee burn up to an additional 100 calories a day. (21)

In addition, caffeine can help the body burn fat for energy and is especially effective in increasing the effectiveness of your workout. (22)

However, its effects vary from person to person, depending on individual characteristics such as body weight and age. (23)

7. Green tea

Green tea has received a lot of attention in recent years as scientists have highlighted its potential health benefits.

Several studies suggest that green tea extract (GTE) may increase fat metabolism both at rest and during exercise. (24)

However, other studies did not report any noticeable effects. In addition, scientists cannot guarantee that drinking green tea will have the same results as taking GTE.

Another small study from 2013, which included 63 people with type 2 diabetes, found that drinking 4 cups of green tea a day can significantly reduce weight, body mass index (BMI), waist size and systolic blood pressure. (25)

Other health benefits of green tea include: (26)

  • anti-inflammatory effects
  • antioxidant properties
  • antimicrobial action
  • anti-cancer effects
  • benefits for heart and oral health

8. What

Cocoa is a delicious treat that can also benefit your metabolism.

For example, studies in mice have found that cocoa and cocoa extracts can promote gene expression, which promotes fat burning. This was found in mice fed a high-fat or high-calorie diet. (27) (28)

Interestingly, one study shows that cocoa can prevent the action of enzymes needed to break down fats and carbohydrates during digestion, which can prevent the body from absorbing the calories they give you. (29)

However, studies on humans investigating the effects of cocoa or cocoa products such as dark chocolate are rare. More research is needed before we can draw serious conclusions.

If you want to try cocoa, choose raw versions. Processing usually reduces the amount of beneficial compounds and adds extra sugar and calories. (30)

9. Seaweed

Seaweed is a part of healthy food, rich in iodine, a mineral necessary for the production of thyroid hormones and its proper functioning. (31)

Thyroid hormones have different functions, one of which is regulating metabolism.

Regular consumption of seaweed can help you meet your iodine needs and maintain your metabolic health.

In addition, fucoxanthin is another seaweed-based compound – found mainly in brown algae – that can increase the rate of your metabolism. (32)

10. Medium chain triglyceride oil (MCT).

MCT oil is a unique type of fat that can offer some metabolic benefits. Most of the fats found in food are long-chain triglycerides, but MCT oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides.

Some studies suggest that consuming MCT oil can speed up metabolism in humans. In addition, unlike long-chain fats, when MCTs are absorbed, they go directly to the liver to be converted into energy. As a result, they are less likely to be stored as body fat. (33)

MCT oil is usually taken as a supplement, although it can be added to foods such as soups or smoothies. However, it is not suitable for cooking.

11. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can improve your metabolism.

Animal studies show that vinegar is especially useful for burning more fat for energy. (34)

Similarly, it is often claimed that apple cider vinegar promotes metabolism in humans, but few studies have directly examined this.

Apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight as it slows down gastric emptying and increases the feeling of satiety. (35)

If you decide to take, be sure to limit yourself to 1-2 tablespoons a day and dilute it in at least 1 cup of water per tablespoon of vinegar to reduce the risk of tooth erosion, damage to the lining of the digestive tract. (36) (37)

Other tips to speed up your metabolism

A healthy diet is essential for proper metabolism regulation. Other ways to speed up your metabolism include:

  • Drinking enough water – Drinking enough water is a great way to stay hydrated. In addition, some studies show that drinking water can briefly speed up metabolism by 24-30%. (38) (39) (40)
  • Quality sleep – Getting enough sleep is essential for metabolism and overall health. Adults should strive to sleep 7 to 9 hours a night. (41)
  • Strength training – Regular weight lifting allows people to gain and maintain muscle mass and burn fat. Strength training increases total basal metabolic rate (BMR) by up to 48 hours. (42)


Some foods can help you increase your metabolic rate a bit. So regular consumption can help you lose weight and maintain it in the long run.

For effective, permanent weight loss and their maintenance, look for a gradual reduction in calories and choose mostly full, minimally processed foods.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is metabolism?
Metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body. metabolic rate is the number of calories you consume. Catabolism – the breakdown of energy molecules. Anabolism – the synthesis of all the compounds needed by cells.

How to speed up your metabolism?
Eating food, drinking water, exercising and getting quality sleep can speed up your metabolism.