9 foods that can help boost your metabolism

Keen to give your metabolism a kick-start? Try adding these 9 foods to your diet.

A fast metabolic rate is something many people wish they had.
Often mistakenly referred to as your metabolism (the metabolism is actually how your body produces energy from fat, protein, and sugar/carbohydrates and how it stores energy), your metabolic rate is how many calories you burn while you're not doing anything or are 'resting'.
The faster your metabolic rate, the more calories you'll burn in a day.
Everyone has a different metabolic rate – but for those of us who aren't lucky enough to naturally have a speedy metabolic rate, is there anything we can do about it?
Over the years there's been a rise in metabolic typing – the idea that everyone has a metabolic type and that if you eat specific foods to suit your 'type' you can benefit from not only a more efficient metabolism, but also increased energy levels, better mod and a stronger immune system. Weight loss can also be an added benefit.
However a metabolic-type diet isn't the only way you can help boost your metabolism.
Along with adding High Intensity workouts (HIIT) to your exercise routine, lifting weights to build muscle and ensuring you're getting plenty of sleep, there's also a number of foods that are easy to incorporate into your diet that are sure to help kick-start your metabolism.
Here's 10 foods you should try to help boost your metabolic rate.
There's a few foods you can add to your diet that could help boost your metabolism. (Image: Getty)

Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper, a type of chilli pepper contains capsaicin, which is shown to have metabolism-boosting properties.
It helps to increase the amount of heat your body produces, in turn helping you burn more calories per day.
It can also help reduce hunger, helping you eat less and feel fuller for longer.

Whole grains

In 2017 a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that whole grains affect the microbiome and found that they help absorb fibre, which in turn can help get your metabolism up and regulates weight.
So with that in mind, add some servings of oats, brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat to your diet.


Eggs and foods rich in protein are some of your best choices for boosting your metabolism.
Protein is one of the most effective nutrients for increasing your metabolic rate because, according to Medical News Daily, the body needs to use more energy to digest it than it does for fats or carbohydrates.
Plus, protein helps preserve muscle mass to keep your metabolism at its peak.
Consider adding eggs into your diet regularly or other lean protein.
Drinking coffee could help boost your metabolism. (Image: Getty)


Not only has coffee recently been found to burn fat, but some studies have found that caffeine can increase your resting metabolic rate (the rate in which you burn calories while you rest) by 3-11 per cent, with larger doses having a great effect.


Adding this leafy green to your diet gives you a solid dose of iron, which helps carry oxygen to your muscle. Oxygen to our muscles is needed to burn fat, so adding more iron to your diet means your muscles can burn fat at a faster rate.
Lentils are also a great source of iron – just one cup of lentils provides you with 35 per cent of your daily iron needs, plus protein and fibre which will aid digestion.

Oily fish

Oily fish like salmon, herring and tuna are super rich in omega-3 fatty acids which in turn can reduce the resistance of leptin.
Leptin is a hormone that helps determine how fast fat is burned and can also help balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, both of which help regulate metabolism.
Oily fish like salmon can help balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, both of which help regulate metabolism. (Image: Getty)


Drinking water is one of the easiest ways to stay hydrated and research has found that drinking water can temporarily boost metabolism by 24-30 per cent and help with weight loss.
While the effects aren't long-lasting (about an hour to 90 minutes), it's just a great reminder to keep drinking that H2O throughout the day.


Legumes and pulses such as beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas and peanuts are all quite high in protein compared to other plant foods and studies suggest that, much like eggs and lean meats, because it requires your body to burn a greater number of calories to digest them, therefore increasing your metabolic rate.


There are several spices such as ginger and cinnamon which have been shown to help increase metabolic rate.
Ginger has been found to help reduce body weight and fasting glucose levels and adding it to meals could help increase body temperature and the metabolic rate.
Similarly cinnamon has been known to help kick-start your metabolism, while also curbing your sweet tooth and helping to balance blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.