11 Foods That Speed Up Your 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 speed 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.

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 constituent 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 & Brown Rice

Whole grains are chock-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

Studies show that people who eat soups eat less solid food with their main meals. One study on soup done at Penn State University found that the liquid goodness offered a appetite reducing combination of liquids and solids that reduced intake of excess foods, speeding up the metabolism for fat burning. In the study, women chose one of three 270-calorie snacks before lunch.

5. Green Tea

It is now becoming a well-known fact, through multiple scientific studies, that green tea extract significantly increases metabolism, as well as provide a variety of other health benefits. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also rich in the antioxidants needed for optimal health.

6. Apples and Pears

Studies show that these two fruits help boost metabolism and speed up weight loss. A study done at 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. Apples and pears are also two fruits that you want to eat organic.

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. One Canadian study found the use of spices enabled people to burn up to 1,000 more calories daily than those not incorporating spices into their diet.

8. Citrus fruits

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

9. Foods High in Calcium

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 eat more of these foods, then you should consider taking a calcium supplement.

10. Foods High in Omega-3′s

Foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids are a great way to speed your metabolism. These acids reduce the production of a hormone called leptin, a natural chemical that lowers 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.

Another study done by the Mayo Clinic 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, as they are naturally high in essential fatty acids.

11. Purified Water

Okay, it’s not exactly a food, but it is a metabolism booster. A recent 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

Besides the foods listed above, there are many other ways you can boost your metabolism. First off, don’t drink sugary sodas, energy drinks and other fatty, high processed foods. While some of these foods may give you a caffeine boost, they will not help you lose weight or boost metabolism. Whenever you eat do eat the metabolism boosting foods listed above, be sure to chew them thoroughly, as this will aid in proper digestion.

Be sure to get plenty of sleep. Try to reduce your stress levels as much as you can. Follow a regular exercise routine that consists of lots of cardio. Doing a colon cleanse and a liver flush are two other great ways to increase your metabolism and improve your overall health.

Did I miss any other metabolism boosting foods? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Dr. Edward Group

Dr. Edward F. Group III has his Naturopathic Doctorate, Clinical Herbalist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Clinical Nutritionist certifications, and is a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition and the American Board of Functional Medicine. He founded Global Healing Center Inc. in 1998 which has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

A dynamic author and speaker, Dr. Group focuses solely on spreading the message of health and wellness to the global community with the philosophy of full body cleansing, most importantly colon cleansing, consuming pure clean organic food, water, air, exercise and nutritional supplementation. Visit GlobalHealingCenter.com to learn more about living green and healthy!

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  1. richard nicoletti says

    I eat tons of broccoli, and many of the other foods you suggest. I work out at 7 a.m. 6 days a week, but I’m 68 years old. Is that the disadvantage, my age? It’s a little frustrating. I’m not what you would call fat, but I am overweight for my height, 5-5. Why don’t I lose weight?

  2. Lori says

    Where’s the protein? Protein is crucial for muscle building, it satiates the appetite, stabilizes blood sugar, and increases metabolism. I’m not a big fan of grains, although the ones listed above are okay in small amounts, but we should be avoiding wheat. Plus, calcium foods are great, but supplementing – not so much. Anyone supplementing with calcium needs to be sure they’re also supplementing with D3 for calcium absorption and regulation, K2 for calcium deposition, as well as magnesium and other minerals for balance. Calcium in isolation, especially in the form of a supplement is dangerous. Nutrients in food create a synergy that supplements cannot replicate. Richard – you might check out the PACE program from Dr. Al Sears at http://www.alsearsmd.com/pace2/junb/. It’s an interval training program that is VERY effective in helping one lose weight. It involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of more relaxed movements. It’s only done for 12 – 20 minutes 3 or 4 times a week. Dr. Mercola is also an advocate of this program, and he’ll tell you to be sure NOT to eat any carbs (sugars) within 2 hours after a workout because interval training enhances our production of HGH (human growth hormone) and the carbs will suppress it. Be sure you’re getting plenty of protein and good fats.

  3. Sid says

    The section about apples reminded me of something. I worked out of town one winter in the late 1970’s and ate at restaurants , as well as eating junk at the motel. I gained a bunch of weight. I read somewhere then that you could lose weight simply by eating raw fruit before and after each meal and before adn after each in-between-meal snack. You could eat all you wanted if you did this. I tried it and lost 20 pounds in three weeks. The downside is I used to love apples, but since that time I don’t enjoy them much..

  4. Helen says

    Try pears for a change there are more than apples to eat out there.
    To lose weight try cooking beans. Takes about 3 hours to cook a pot of beans, thrw in an onion carrots, cellery a pork chop and when it gets about done throw in a can of crushed tomatoes and a few crushed galicks if beans are dry when done put a tablespoon or two of vinegar on them. I lived on beans almost a year they are cheep good and clean your system. But do not eat over 239 €,€€,,,,It is a bean joke

  5. Jacquie says

    Great job, How do you cook beans so they don’t casue gas?
    Does the type of bean make a difference? Sure like to be able
    to eat them but can’t.

  6. Lori says

    It looks like the page to the Al Sears MD link I posted has changed. You can still get the info from his site by linking to the fitness topics. Jacquie – just a suggestion: you might try soaking the beans just until they start to sprout and then cook. That may improve their digestibility.

  7. Jerry Sutliff says

    Beans puzzle: Try soaking the raw beans over night and then pour the water off and add whatever water is needed for cooking. Second, _thoroughly_ chew the beans before swallowing. Good digesting.

  8. Health Geek says

    To make beans more digestible,(less gas producing), soak in filtered water overnight. Drain and rinse the next day. Cook them with a piece of kombu. Kombu is a seaweed you can get in the asian area of a health food store. It makes a huge difference in the digestibility of any kind of beans and does not affect the taste.

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