Metabolism Boosting Foods

Metabolism boosting foods might seem like a great way to lose weight. While some people may benefit from increasing their metabolism in various ways, incl. e.g. healthy exercise as well as dietary choices, healthy choices for improving metabolic rate are only part of a healthy lifestyle and may or may not be sufficient to attain required weight loss (depending on the person's starting weight and general health - consult an appropriate expert for personal advice and support).

In general, many metabolism boosting foods (foods that boost metabolism) are low in fats and high in dietary fibre. It makes sense that the more effort (energy) is required to digest, or try to digest, foods the more likely they are to increase the body's metabolism when introduced to the diet or when consumed in larger quantities as a proportion of total food intake. Apart from the benefits of dietary fibre, some foods are believed to boost metabolism because they contain certain chemicals.

The following are just examples of some metabolism boosting foods that are readily available in many western countries such as the UK, USA and Australia. It is not a complete list. Some "eastern" or "ethnic" foods might be even better.

Fruits and Vegetables incl. beans & pulses





e.g. black beans, green beans




e.g. blueberries, raspberries, acai berries (also as juices & supplements)

Bok choy


Also known as 'Bak choi', 'Paak choi' & 'Chinese chard cabbage' (member of the cabbage family).



High in calcium, vitamin C (aids calcium absorption), vitamin A, folate & fibre.




Family of hot peppers containing capsaicin.






Known in US English as 'Zucchini'










Oatmeal is a good source of fat-soluble fibre and many other nutrients.



Including pearl onions, shallots and leaks.






Rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium & fibre.

Seaweed / Kelp


Less commonly available to prepare at home but widey recommended.




e.g. Brussel sprouts


Whey Protein

Whole grains


Water (& ice)


Water is also a natural appetite suppressant that also flushes sodium and toxins from the body. It is also useful to overcome the common tendency of mistaking thirst for hunger.

Black Tea


Although thought to be less effective than green tea or coffee



Caffeinated more than decaffeinated

Green Tea


The subject of many studies. Widely claimed to boost metabolism more than coffee or other teas.



The combination of liquid, some solids and taste may act as an appetite suppressant while still providing a valuable energy boost. Various types of soup are good - esp. high-fibre e.g. vegetable soups with pulses or cabbage soup, etc..

Nuts, Seeds & Spices

Almonds (raw)


Contain vitamin E, monounsaturated fat, protein & fibre.

Black pepper


Contains piperine, said to induce body warming.

Canola oil


Less than 7% saturated fat, high in monounsaturated fat, beneficial omega-3 fatty acid profile - made from crushed rapeseed.




There are many types of curry spices.



Contains gingerol, said to induce body warming.

Hot peppers


e.g. Habanero peppers, Jalapeno peppers


Olive oil

Animal Products

'Healthy cuts' of some meat / fish products, such as:






Low saturated fat, high protein, omega-3 essential fatty acid, protein, selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, niacin, vitamin B12 & vitamin B6.





(Lean Turkey, without skin); low in fat but source of protein, folic acid, zinc, potassium, vitamin B1 & vitamin B6.

Dairy Products e.g.

Low-Fat Yogurt


Source of calcium, protein & probiotics "good bacteria"


Soya Milk


Esp. unsweetened. Fortified soya milk often includes extra calcium.
(Check the label.)

The above includes examples of metabolism boosting foods that, in many cases, are listed (and their benefits explained) by many sources. The importance of a balanced diet cannot be over-stated. A balanced diet usually involves foods from all of the major food groups - unless individual medical condition(s) impose exclusions, perhaps to be replaced by supplements.

The groups of foods shown above have been arranged for ease of reference. Another way to categorize foods is by nutritional contents, e.g. foods that contain specific nutrients such as vitamins or minerals. There are several B-vitamins and, as a group, the family of B vitamins has a key role in the body's metabolism, especially vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Foods containing B vitamins may therefore be said to be metabolism boosting foods for this reason. Examples of metabolism boosting foods that contain high levels of B vitamins include asparagus, spinach, fish, poultry, eggs and many types of beans.

See also what is metabolism?, metabolic rate, BMR, carbohydrates, dietary fibre, and proteins.

More about Metabolism

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It's a bumper blueberry season - 13 Jul '18

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Although care has been taken when compiling this page, the information contained might not be completely up to date. Accuracy cannot be guaranteed. This material is copyright. See terms of use.

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