10 Best Foods to Stimulate Your Metabolism

By Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP

Our culture seems to be obsessed with our weight. We all want to be slim, but what about being healthy? Well, I hope we all want that too. If we could manage both, wouldn't that be ideal?

The metabolism plays an important part in both of those factors. The metabolism is defined as the sum of the physical and chemical processes that allow foods to be broken down to release the energy that we need for all of our body's processes. It is basically how your body breaks down foods so that you can get the energy you need to do all of your daily activities. Now the speed and efficiency at which the metabolism does this varies by individual. You have probably heard someone who has struggled with their weight say that they have a slow metabolism, and someone who seems to eat constantly and not gain a pound refer to their fast metabolism. A slow metabolism simply means that the foods you eat are being broken down at a slower rate, and less efficiently, causing you to gain weight.

All Calories Are Not Created Equal

Another factor is calories. Not all calories are created equal. 500 calories of raw vegetables is processed by the body a lot differently than 500 calories of chocolate cake. So the types of foods we eat are also important. Some foods take more energy to digest than others, and burn more calories as you digest them. Simply the act of chewing foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and very lean meats can increase your caloric burn significantly. The fibre and protein in such foods take so much effort to digest that there are way fewer calories left over for your body to store. Eating softer, easier to digest foods (like processed foods) take very little energy to digest and therefore there are many calories available that your body stores as fat. So, increasing the efficiency of your metabolism with the foods below as well as adding more fruits, vegetables, grains and lean meats and fish to your diet will help you feel and look amazing.

Here is the list of the 10 best foods to stimulate your metabolism.


Water to boost metabolism

Water is a natural appetite suppressant. Drinking at least one litre a day of water will help boost the metabolism, and flush toxins out of the liver. Having a healthy liver will help with overall health and filtering toxins out of the body. You can add lemon or lime to boost the liver's flushing function, but be careful not to add sugar and other flavourings, always try to keep it real with your water! (And everything else :)

Garlic & Onions

garlic and onions to boost metabolism

Garlic and onions have an extremely cleansing effect on the body and garlic in particular has a strong cleansing effect on the blood. Both garlic and onions lower blood pressure and cholesterol and promote the contraction of smooth muscles in the intestinal wall helping to move foods further along the digestive tract.

Green Tea

green tea

Green tea has long been touted for its antioxidants, or antioxidant polyphenols. It's active ingredient catechin has been proven to improve fat oxidation and thermogenesis which is the heat produced by digestion. Green tea also protects lean muscle tissue and stabilizes blood sugar levels.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

omega 3 fatty acids

Salmon, herring and tuna are fish high in omega 3 fats, and omega 3 fats boost the metabolism. Omega 3's help to balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, helping to regulate and stimulate the metabolism. They have also been shown to reduce resistance to the hormone leptin which is responsible in part to how the body burns fat.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are full of antioxidants and fibre, both of which are very stimulating the the metabolism. Vegetables like kale, spinach, collard greens and turnip greens are rich in iron which helps red blood cells to transport nutrients throughout the body.

leafy green vegetables

Nuts & Seeds

Stick to raw nuts and seeds to receive their maximum metabolism boosting effects, raw nuts and seeds boost your metabolism twice as much as when they are roasted. Nuts and seeds contain two fat burning nutrients, choline and inositol. They act to remove fat from the body so that it doesn't get reabsorbed, in the places you don't want it.

nuts & seeds to boost metabolism



eggs for metabolism

Digesting protein takes up to seven times more energy than digesting fats or carbohydrates. Eggs are protein rich, packed with vitamins, easy to prepare and portable. :)


pink grapefruit

Along with being a powerful metabolism booster, a one cup serving of grapefruit juice provides more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Grapefruit also reduce insulin levels which ultimately promotes weight loss.


broccoli to boost metabolism

Broccoli is also extremely high in vitamin C which the body needs to absorb calcium which promotes weight loss. Broccoli has high water and fibre content. This combination helps you to feel full and dramatically increases your body's ability to burn fat.

Cayenne Peppers

cayenne pepper

Cayenne peppers speed up your metabolism and allow your body to burn more calories by releasing Capsaicin. Capsaicin is also found in bell peppers and jalapeños, which are part of the vegetable family Capsicum annuum. The body responds by releasing stress hormones that speed up your metabolism and help you to burn fat. Cayenne peppers also contribute to thermogenesis which is the heat produced by digestion which also increases metabolism.

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