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Foods that Increase Metabolism

Trying to rev up your metabolism using foods that are sure to fire it up? Learn about which foods increase your metabolism and why it is important to keep it high and running.
Uttara Manohar Dec 10, 2018
Metabolism refers to the organic processes that are carried out in the cells of a living organism and are vital for normal functioning of the body. Although every morsel of food that you consume is processed and metabolized, there are certain foods that enhance the rate of metabolism.

Weight Loss and Metabolism

Increased metabolism is achieved by eating smart. It not only helps to enhance the metabolic processes but also helps to burn the extra fat and enhance overall health. It is a fact that amongst all the food groups, complex carbohydrates and proteins require more energy for their breakdown and absorption.
The foods that increase metabolism are those that are high in complex carbohydrates and proteins. Since the breakdown and absorption of complex carbohydrates and proteins takes longer time, the release of the caloric energy is spread out over a longer period of time, which results in releasing of less insulin into the blood stream.
On the other hand, sugars and fats tend to give you temporary and quick energy, which is often followed by a low energy period, which results in increased craving for the sugar and fat products.

List of Foods that Increase Metabolic Rate

The list includes a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and spices. However, in addition to the basic ingredients, the cooking method also has an effect on the metabolism.

Spicy Food

Spicy food can actually have an impact on the metabolism. A compound called Capsaicin present in chili peppers, generates a lot of heat, which helps to burn more calories after a meal. Other spices which generate similar effects are chilies, black pepper, and ginger.
Several studies have shown that a meal containing a spicy dish can temporarily increase the metabolism rate by about 8 percent.


Vegetables are rich in fiber as well as many minerals and vitamins. Hence, breakdown and absorption of minerals takes longer and requires a larger amount of energy to be spent by the body, thus increasing the metabolic rate.
Some of the vegetables that can be consumed include broccoli, radish, turnip, tomatoes, spinach, aubergine, cabbage, celery, carrots, chicory, cauliflower, cucumbers, cress, fennel, gourd, leek, lettuce, marrow, and peppers.


Fruits are high in fiber. Natural sugar in fruits is better than synthetic sugar.
Some fruits which increase metabolism are apples, apricots, blackberries, blackcurrant, clementines, damsons, guavas, grapefruit, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, oranges, plums, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, and tangerines.

Whole grains

Whole grains like oats, wheat, barley, or even soy products increase the metabolism. These contain a lot of protein and fiber, which makes them difficult to break down and hence this increases the amount of energy spent in their breakdown and absorption.
Cooking a dish in little oil is very good, but in cases where it is impossible to avoid using oil, it is better to opt for healthy oils like canola or olive oil. Similarly, instead of having three heavy meals, it is always better to eat smaller portions at regular intervals of two to three hours, combined with exercise.