A faster metabolism can feel like the “holy grail” of weight loss. As we age, our metabolism often slows down and many of us notice that even though we are eating the “same foods we’ve always eaten,” we’re still gaining weight. That can be incredibly frustrating.
Fortunately, there are scientifically backed ways that you can naturally boost your metabolism, such as certain exercise programs like high-intensity workouts or weight-lifting routines. Drinking more water and getting enough sleep have also been shown to contribute to an overall improved resting metabolic rate. But you might be surprised to know, there are also certain foods that can naturally boost your body’s metabolism. Incorporating these metabolism-boosting foods into your diet can be one of the easiest ways to give your metabolism the jumpstart that you’re seeking!
If you’re wondering what foods naturally boost metabolism, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of some of our favorite foods that can help you speed up your resting metabolic rate, as well as how you can incorporate them into your day!
1. Chili Pepper
Spicy foods like chili peppers can give your metabolism a jolt! This is because chili peppers contain a chemical capsaicin, which has been shown in a number of studies to boost metabolism by increasing the number of calories you burn. A review of 20 research studies, published in the journal Appetite, found that capsaicin can help you burn around 50 extra calories each day.
While you can find plenty of recipes that incorporate chili peppers and other spicy foods containing capsaicin, maybe you don’t feel like cooking. If that’s the case, we have a number of spicy Nutrisystem meals that will fit the bill!
As far as foods that help boost metabolism, avocado is another favorite. A study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those following a diet high in monosaturated fat (like that found in avocados) had more energy and as a result, burned more calories.
One of the trending ways to eat avocado right now is on toast—and we’ve got some great ideas for you. But there are plenty of other ideas that you might never have thought of like using it for salad dressings, baking with it or even subbing it for mayo. Just watch your portion sizes as the calories in avocado can add up fast! It’s considered an Extra on the Nutrisystem program.
According to the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, research has also indicated that foods which are high in protein can also help naturally boost metabolism. This is part of a process called the thermic effect of food (TEF). Protein causes the largest rise in TEF as compared to carbs and fats. Since the protein content of milk hovers around eight grams per cup, according to Healthline, it is a great choice if you’re seeking foods that speed up your metabolism for weight loss.
Milk is an easy food to incorporate into your diet as it can be added to smoothies, healthy cereals or even enjoyed plain. Milk is also packed with helpful nutrients like calcium, B vitamins, potassium and vitamin D, says Healthline.
Thanks to its high protein count (around 15 grams per half cup, according to the United States Department of Agriculture), tempeh is another great choice for metabolism-boosting foods. It also makes an excellent meat substitute. If you’re looking for a great tempeh recipe to try, this Moroccan Tempeh Vegetable Stew is full of flavor and easily fits into your weight loss plan.
Of course, any foods that are high in protein can be foods that help boost metabolism. This can include PowerFuels like Greek yogurt, black beans, edamame and more. Because eating a diet that is high in protein is also known to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating, there are many healthful benefits to fitting these metabolism-boosting foods into your daily eating plan.
As far as foods that help boost metabolism, lentils—and other legumes such as beans and peas—are another great choice. A review, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that eating lentils can play a central role in preventing and treating metabolic syndrome. They may also boost metabolism thanks to their rich protein content.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lentils are also rich in fiber and low in fat—and they make another great replacement for meat. Consider adding them to a variety of dishes, including soups, casseroles or salads.
Kale—as well as other leafy green veggies like spinach—can also play a role in a faster metabolism as a result of being high in iron. Research shows that iron can have a direct impact on an individual’s metabolism. According to Medical News Today, “If a person has low iron levels, they may not send enough oxygen to their muscles. Muscles that are low in oxygen cannot burn fat for fuel as well as they should. Low iron also interferes with optimum metabolism in the body.”
Smoothies are a popular way to add metabolism-boosting foods like kale to your diet without even noticing. It can be easily snuck in and takes on the taste of the fruits that you’re using. But there are many different ways that you can incorporate more leafy greens into your diet in a nutritious and delicious way.