11 Foods That Speed Up Your Metabolism

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

Broccoli Boosts Metabolism

While there are no short-cuts to losing weight, there are a few things you can do to boost your metabolism. Exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep are two of the best things you can do. However, there are also plenty of foods that speed metabolism, so adding them to your diet may give you the extra edge to lose more weight.

Below is a list of eleven foods that help speed up metabolism. Think of these foods as support mechanisms on your path towards fat loss, as any diet that keeps the pounds off requires sustained effort and exercise.

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1. Hot Peppers

Jalapeno, habanero, cayenne and other forms of spicy peppers directly boost metabolism and circulation. In fact, eating hot peppers not only speeds up your metabolism, it also reduces cravings. This is related to its capsaicin content, a compound that stimulates the body’s pain receptors, temporarily increasing blood circulation and metabolic rate. If you have ever experienced a bout of intense sweating after eating a particularly hot tamale, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. In fact, studies have shown that eating hot peppers can boost the metabolism by up to 25%, with the spike lasting for up to 3 hours.

2. Whole Grains: Oatmeal and Brown Rice

Whole Grains

Whole grains are full of nutrients and complex carbohydrates that speed up metabolism by stabilizing our insulin levels. Slow-release carbs, such as oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa offer long-lasting energy, without the spikes associated with other sugar-rich foods. We want to keep our insulin levels low, as spikes in this chemical tell the body that it needs to begin storing extra fat.

3. Broccoli

High in calcium (a known weight-reducer), broccoli is also extraordinarily high in vitamins C, K and A. One serving of broccoli will also provide you with plenty of folate and dietary fiber, plus a variety of antioxidants. Broccoli is also one of the best detox foods you can add to your diet.

4. Soups

One study on soup done at Penn State University found that the liquid goodness offered an appetite reducing combination of liquids and solids that reduced intake of excess foods, speeding up the metabolism and burning fat. In the study, women chose one of three 270-calorie snacks before lunch.

5. Green Tea

It is now a well-known fact, through multiple scientific studies, that green tea extract can significantly boost the metabolism, as well as provide a variety of other health benefits. Green tea is delicious and it’s also rich in antioxidants that actively fight harmful free radicals!

6. Apples and Pears

Apple Metabolism Foods

Studies show that these two fruits help boost metabolism and speed up weight loss. Research performed by the State University of Rio de Janeiro found that women eating three small apples or pears daily lost more weight than women who did not. Organic apples are one of the most widely available organic fruits and pears aren’t too hard to find either, great news!

7. Spices

From cayenne to garlic to cinnamon, spices are one of the best ways you can keep your metabolic rates high. Especially speedy are the more pungent spices such as black pepper, mustard seeds, powdered onion and ginger. A Canadian study found that using spices enabled people to burn up to 1,000 more calories daily than those not incorporating spices into their diet.

8. Citrus Fruits

Fruits like grapefruit have been shown to help us burn fat and keep our metabolism high. This could be related to the fruits’ high amount of vitamin C, a helpful and healthful component that reduces insulin spikes.

9. Foods High in Calcium

Calcium Boosts Metabolism

A study done at the University of Tennessee found that people who consumed 1,200-1,300 milligrams of calcium a day lost almost double the amount of weight as those who were not getting enough calcium in their diet. To help boost your metabolism, eat plenty of foods high in calcium. If you are unable to get enough of these foods, then you should consider taking a calcium supplement. There are many types of calcium and I recommend calcium orotate for maximum efficacy.

10. Foods High in Omega-3’s

Eating foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids is a great way to boost your metabolism. These acids reduce the production of a hormone called leptin, a natural chemical that lowers your metabolism. Animal studies done at the University of Wisconsin found that lab mice with low leptin levels produced faster metabolic rates than mice with higher levels of the hormone.

A Mayo Clinic study found that African tribes with a heavy fish-based diet had leptin levels up to five times lower than tribes that did not consume fish. Please keep in mind that there are many other nutritional sources of omega-3 fatty acids, besides fish. These foods include many nuts and seeds. Hemp oil and flax seed oil are both great additions to your diet because they are naturally high in essential fatty acids.

11. Purified Water

While it’s not exactly a food, it is a metabolism booster. A German study found that drinking water speeds up fat burning. It is also a natural appetite suppressant and detoxifier.

Other Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

There are a couple of other ways to maximize your metabolism. Avoid energy drinks, soft drinks, and processed foods. You may get a temporary energy boost from the sugar or caffeine, but you’ll crash hard soon after. On top of all that, you’ll also be stuck with several hundred extra empty calories to work off.

Your metabolism functions best when you treat your body well. Make sure to get plenty of sleep and reduce stress wherever possible. Perform regular cleanses, especially a colon cleanse and a liver and gallbladder cleanse, to rid yourself of toxin buildup and improve overall health.

If you’ve tried everything and still aren’t getting the metabolic burn you want, you can try supplementation. Supplements are no miracle weight loss formula, but, when combined with diet, rest, and exercise, they may give you that extra little boost for maximum results. If you want an all-natural blend of potent metabolism-boosting herbs, I recommend Slimirex®. When used as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, Slimirex can help fire up your metabolism, control your appetite, and energize your body in a natural way.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Pat

    Dr. Group, another metabolism speeder upper, as well as an awesomely healthful food, and one of the best cooking oils around, is virgin coconut oil. It’s counter-intuitive, being an oil, but true. Here’s a bit about the benefits of coconut oil (including its weight-loss benefits, and a link to a homemade healthy chocolate made with it).

  • Erika Jorgensen

    Great list! I remember learning that cinnamon may be beneficial in controlling blood sugar in diabetic patients (I am in pharmacy school). Is this how it also helps boost metabolism? I think there is a lack of scientific evidence on this topic though, because naturalstandard.com only gives it and evidence grade of C. Well, it tastes good, anyways! Thanks.

  • Annabel

    Very interesting and helpful. Thank you!

  • xherr

    Thank you so much for the really helpful information. Now i know what should i eat to help me reduce my weight.

  • Izzan

    Thanks so much for valuable information 🙂 !!

  • Stephanie

    I didn’t know many of these helped with boosting metabolism. One question about capsaicin. Many books and sources say it is toxic. Does it increase our metabolism and circulation because our bodies are having to work hard to eliminate it? Why does capsaicin boost metabolism?

  • Certified Trainer

    This is all pretty stupid. The percentage that your metabolism MIGHT be affected by something you eat is minuscule. Do the math–you’re taking in calories to use a percentage of them STUPID!! The ONLY way to “boost your metabolism” is to exercise DUH. Deceptive information like this is what keeps people fat. GO TAKE A WALK

  • ghc_health

    Certified trainer,
    Thank you for your post! There are actually a number of ways that one can boost metabolism aside from working out, and limiting yourself to just this can be negligible. What we are suggesting in this article, especially if one is watching what they eat, is to consume more of these food items as listed in this article as they help to boost the metabolic rate.

    Eating raw and organic will also help in loosing weight as well. By making these two initial changes, adding more of these 11 foods and eating raw and organic, many find that they do start to notice a change both in how the food is processed by the body and by how the food makes them feel.

    While exercise is a staple in helping to lose the pounds, it paired with a good diet can increase metabolism and help with over all fat loss.

    take care and be well!

  • Pamela

    what´s the problem with this “Certified Trainer” excersise is not the only way to boost metabolism… a good diet is the other 50% of a successful weight loss program, or a lifestyle. i don´t know where he got the certification, but please please please talk with a bariatric physician to learn something about food, and leave the topic to the experts.

  • meowmeowmeow

    While it is a toxin, so are many of the things we eat. That’s why we don’t eat them by the truckload. e.g lemon juice is good for you, but you wouldn’t drink a bottle of it as you would be sick. Think of it this way: All foods are poisons, what matters is the dose, You can even kill yourself by drinking too much water and diluting your blood.

  • surely youjest

    certified trainer has much to learn.
    because people MUST eat something to exercise CT so they may as well know what is good for them to eat and help NOT put on weight.
    i suspect Ct is young judging by his use of the word stupid.

  • Carly

    Pat, just wanted to let you know that you may be mistaken about the benefits of coconut oil. Coconut oil is almost 100% saturated fat, which is not good for you.

  • Marcie

    Do you offer calorie burning soup recipes?

  • My post never showed up! Trying again.

    Coconut oil is the best! Right up there with olive oil. The oil is able to be digested by our bodies. Check it out!

  • Will

    omg this list makes me want to rub my nipples!!

  • corli

    What on earth about this article about FOOD, makes Will want to rub his nipples? Really Will?

  • Mary

    Dr. group is Hot!

  • I eat oats (whole grain) with skin milk in every morning. And drink green after every meal. It helped me to lose my weight. I don’t get Omega-3 enriched food. Instead of that I’m taking fish oil capsules every day. And also instead of citrus fruit I’m taking 500mg C vitamin tablets every day. Thanks for the information. I think best is to take the real food rather than taking capsules and tablets. I feel that above food speed up the metabolism.

  • Critic

    You do realize that saturated fat is from an animal so you my friend are the one mistaken coconut oil is considered a polyunsaturated fat which means its not so bad for you. sure you can only have it in moderate proportions but a little bit is always good

  • jose

    my dick hurts

  • govindayya

    Dear Doctor, i am pure vegitarian, recently i changed my food schedule, and my self decided stop milk and milk products( buttermilk, curd) etc. and my friend told that you don’t get calcium with out milk products. kindly suggest i can i compansate without milk. shall i continue the same ( my age: 40, height: 165cm,85 kg weight)

  • ghc_health
  • Well.. That explains it. I’ve been in a weight loss competition for the last month, but got sick, so I quit going to the gym. I have had my unhealthy moments, but I’ve started carrying hot sauce with me to work and douse everything in it… Including my soup, which is my nightly staple (I work a night shift). I wasn’t going to weigh in because I had McDonalds in the morning once or twice, and I was sure that I probably gained weight, not lost. Just walked in front of a mirror and noticed that my face looks leaner, so decided to weigh myself anyways. I am down 10 lbs! So, unless my scale is lying, then I guess i haven’t done all that bad. Thank you soup and hot sauce 😉

  • klk

    Leptin INHIBITS appetite. i think you may have the info from the studies reversed.

  • Coconut oil does contain saturated fat, and is a healthy, vegetarian source of saturated fat due to its easier-metabolized MCFA’s instead of the LCFA’s that are in animal sources. It got neglected and bashed with the push of (very unhealthy) Crisco advertizing and deterioration of relations with the east after WWII. Incidently, every natural oil has what’s called an oil profile, and includes some of every kind of fatty acids.

  • Don’t increase your calcium intake without increasing your magnesium intake accordingly. Your intake should be 3:1, magnesium to calcium, in order for the calcium to be absorbed. Jacking up calcium intake without a co factor (magnesium) will mean more free floating calcium which builds up in your brain and arteries, causing hardening (by calcification) and disease.

  • Zax

    Sage tea is a great way to btw. I didn’t find this out till recently but Ive been drinking sage tea for the last few year because I get canker sores on my inner lip and gums and sometimes the tongue and putting sage on them is the best way ive discovered to help them heal up and quickly dissipate. So what better solution than getting rubbed sage and putting it through the coffee machine for tea. Works so great. But I digress. I read that sage is a pretty good metabolism booster, specifically Sage Tea. Go to your store, get some rubbed sage, I bought a large container of it for only 10 bucks so its not expensive and brew it up. You can put it through a coffee machine, put it in tea bags (if you don’t have any empty ones you can just open up some crappy lipton bags or any other kind), or make your own bags by putting it in a coffee filter and stapling it up. Fair warning though, sage tea can get quite strong if you let it sit for to long and is a bit of an acquired taste. Now I really don’t need to do this though, lol, im 19 and I im underweight. So how can I slow it down a bit now?

  • chgghvvh

    Forgot to mention Dragon fruit

  • kazza

    my partner has had alot of trouble with his ankle, overtime he has not been able to walk or exersise. this has obviously caused he kilos to pile on, he now has to have an ankle reconstruction .. in the mean time, he has been advised by his GP to loose 10 kilos..this is also agitating the ankle prob.. there any truth in the so called fat burning soup diet???

  • kazza

    does anyone know if it works??? i found the recipe on the net

  • I’m not familiar with that, what is it?

  • kazza

    its a soup made from celery, tomtoes capsicums, and green beans with a few herbs and spices for seasoning. it is claimed to be a quick fat burner?

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  • Will

    Thanks for this informative information. I know someone who lost a lot of weight by simply walking everyday. She at one time was obese. Asked how she lost the weight and she said walk everyday. No mention of eating cauliflower or carrot sticks. However I do appreciate the information

  • Benson

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  • Frustrated beyond belief

    according to my dietitian she recommends Extra Virgin Olive Oil as it contains little fat in it. If you have a steak then you can eat the fat off it if you so wish but it’s always best to remove all fat when trying to loose weight or just eat a healthy meal.

  • Candlelady

    Jaimee, You have done your homework. You are correct with the Coconut oil and Olive oil is two of the best oils for your body.

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  • Joleen Kirby Shultzabarger

    Coconut oil is good for you too and should be added to this list!!!

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  • Ann Hopy

    Ya all need go to the top of this page and type in coconut oil and they have several articles to choose from to read. You are both right and wrong, Carly & Critic.

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  • Bob Bigellow

    Are you still rubbing your nipples?

  • Nicol Tachie

    I am a night worker who does shift work 8pm to 8am daily….i exercise around 4 times a week and try to eat healthy although at times crave sugar foods…when is the best time for me to eat as I don’t seem to be losing weight…thanks

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