Foods That Increase Metabolism

News and Advice, Weight Loss
on June 7, 2011

Health experts at the Mayo Clinic agree that the best way to lose weight is to stick to the basics, like healthy eating and getting more exercise. Muscle-building exercises are especially important as we age, because we tend to lose muscle as we get older, and muscle burns more calories than fat tissue. However, you may be able to give your weight-loss a small boost by eating foods that increase metabolism. Just don't forget that these foods should be combined with a proper diet and exercise program in order to get the best results. Fortunately, these reported fat-burning foods are also healthy and chock-full of vitamins and nutrients, so any metabolism-boosting effect is simply a bonus:

Avocados. This guacamole ingredient is high in fat, but it is a healthy fat (monounsaturated), believed to help raise your metabolism as part of a healthy diet.

Green tea. This metabolism-boosting beverage is a staple in many diet plans. Unlike coffee, green tea doesn’t rely on caffeine to boost your fat-burning potential. Instead, it contains a chemical called EGCG, which boosts activity in the brain and nervous system, subsequently increasing the amount of calories you burn.

Milk. If you resist the urge to combine it with calorie-laden chocolate chip cookies, milk can be a good way to boost your metabolism. At the very least, milk is rich in calcium and a good source of energizing complex carbohydrates. However, some studies also suggest that drinking milk can promote weight loss by boosting your body's fat-burning potential.

Jalapeno peppers. If you can take the heat, adding some jalapeno peppers to your meals is a good way to give your metabolism a little boost. A chemical called capsaicin is given credit for the increase in heart rate and subsequent metabolism boost.

Salmon. This oily fish is a great addition to any diet plan, because it is nutritious and high in omega-3 fatty acids. Eating salmon is thought to reduce the body's levels of the hormone leptin, which may in turn promote calorie burning. As an added bonus, eating plenty of salmon can also be good for your hair, skin and nails. If you're not a fish fan, you can get some of the same benefits from fish oil capsules, although getting your nutrients from food is always preferred.

Grapefruit. While we don’t recommend the grapefruit diet, there is good reason that this tart fruit is found in many healthy diet plans. The fiber in this juicy citrus fruit can help you feel fuller longer; whereas the galacturonic acid in grapefruit is believed to help your body breakdown fat.

Other good foods that can help you feel full and provide plenty of vitamins and minerals include broccoli, apples, walnuts, almonds, oats and beans. Asparagus is another recommended food, because it is low in calories and high in nutrients. It also has a diuretic affect, believed to help flush out unwanted fat deposits. These foods may not actually boost your metabolism, but they provide other advantages as part of an overall healthy living diet.