Foods to Boost Your Metabolism

Believe it or not, certain foods can help increase your metabolism, the rate of which is influenced by several factors like your activity level, gender, diet and sometimes medical conditions. Metabolism refers to the way your body utilises energy and there are several ways you can manipulate your diet to speed things up a bit.

Traditionally, foods can be classified as heating or cooling and it’s the heating foods which help boost our metabolism. Our bodies are burning energy all the time. Even when we’re sleeping our tiny cells are working away repairing muscle, making new tissue and restoring energy levels ready to tackle the next day.

After you eat, your body converts the food and drink into energy by extracting nutrients and delivering them to the cells all around the body and to where they are needed most. When you eat heating or warming foods, they increase the energy produced by the body, meaning we also burn more calories without much effort at all! Sounds easy enough!

So, what types of foods can cause this effect?

All types of peppers (bell peppers, red peppers, jalapenos and habaneros), ginger, garlic, onion, radish, mustard seeds, cumin, cinnamon, radish, wasabi and turmeric are all extremely heating. It’s very easy to add these elements to your food and here are some ways to get you started. Ginger and garlic are great additions to a stir-fry’s along with any chili’s you have lying around. You can also add fresh ginger into smoothies or even onto sweet dishes. Radishes and onion are fantastic to add into salad, wraps, sandwiches, lentil and bean mixes. Cumin and turmeric are extremely fragrant spices that are used widely in curries, also great tasting on lentil dishes too. Cinnamon, unlike the rest of these is great for sweet dishes and there are so many ways to use it but my all-time favourite way to include cinnamon in my diet is sprinkled on warm oats, muesli, or over a colourful fruit salad.

Another way to increase metabolism is to simply drink more water. Studies have shown that drinking a glass of water increases resting metabolism by 5–15% for about half an hour.    This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature. Other liquids like green tea and coffee can also up your rate since they help to convert fat stores into free fatty acids which are then used for fuel.

It’s easy to see how making small changes to your diet can increase your metabolism over time which can also help you lose weight and give you more energy. Remember its all about creating better habits daily.

  • Written by Ann Smith (Nutritionist & Dietitian)

If you’re after specific Nutrition advice, please contact Ann – or 0411214886.