What foods can help me boost my metabolism?

Brooke Alpert, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Some important metabolism-boosting foods include spices (cayenne pepper, ginger, turmeric), and whole foods that contain protein and fiber. In this video, I will share her favorite foods for revving up your metabolism.
Leopold D. Galland, MD
Internal Medicine
Choose foods that give you the most flavor and nutritional value for the calories you consume. These foods are rich in one or more of the dietary elements that help your metabolism, such as vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Foods with appetite-satisfying flavor and lots of nutrition top the list, such as blueberries, tomatoes, ginger, onions, and fresh herbs.
What I consider to be your metabolism is your resting metabolic rate. This rate is the amount of calories that your body burns to perform basic metabolic functions. Just resting your body burns calories and in order to live your body needs fuel to function.

The release of energy at rest is sufficient only for the functioning of the vital organs, the heart, lungs, nervous system, kidneys, liver, intestine, sex organs, muscles, and skin.

Your body does not need fuel to maintain bodyfat (or very very little fuel) but it needs significantly more fuel to maintain muscle. If your metabolism is dependant on burning extra calories for the above then the only one that can increase in size is your muscle. So if you have more muscle your resting metabolic rate (i.e. metabolism) is increased because your body at rest has to expend more calories.

There are specific exercise and nutritional things that need to happen to increase lean muscle tissue but the pure fact is that your body will burn more calories at rest and require more food if you have more muscle tissue.

Muscle needs calories to function and maintain, fat does not.
Dr. Mark Hyman, MD
Family Medicine
Watch as functional Medicine Specialist and family physician Dr. Mark Hyman talks about the types of foods that can help boost metabolism.
Dr. Daniel Hsu, DAOM
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
These foods can help you boost your metabolism:
  • Grapefruit. Grapefruit can lower your body’s insulin; high levels of insulin can make you store extra fat.
  • Green tea. Green tea has epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a healthy catechin that speeds up your body’s metabolism and burns more calories.
  • Spicy peppers. The capcaisin found in spicy peppers causes your body to burn calories long after you eat them.
  • Cinnamon. A powerful herb in Chinese medicine. Cinnamon can help you maintain steady blood sugar levels as well as help lower your cholesterol.
  • Broccoli. Broccoli contains two effective ingredients to help boost the metabolism: calcium and vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body absorb more calcium, which in turn acts as a metabolic trigger.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.