Whether you’re looking to gain some extra energy, or drop a few pounds, try incorporating some of these foods that change your metabolism, in just one week! These foods are all incredibly healthy for you, unlike all those diet foods on the market today. Certain foods increase your metabolism due to their amino acid complex, which revs up metabolism, their healthy fat components, which raise metabolism, or they may have a thermogenic effect, heating up the body and raising your metabolism. Others are simply just healthy for you, and help your metabolism work better because they are incredibly easy for your body to process. Add these incredible foods that change your metabolism to your diet, and enjoy the many benefits they have to offer.
One of my favorites of all foods that change your metabolism is salmon! I love wild Alaskan salmon, and it is so great for your body in many ways. The omega 3 fats are in the form of DHA, which decrease obesity risks, improve brain health and depression, and the amino acids in salmon help your body burn calories, just by eating it. Salmon is truly a powerful food and one of the best you can eat, so long as you buy wild caught, and preferably Marine Council Stewardship certified.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are another fabulous source of omega 3 fats and fiber to boot! This raises your metabolism by burning fat, and the amino acids in chia seeds are also excellent for raising your metabolism. Chia seeds also help to keep you fuller longer, which stabilizes your mood and blood sugar, and aids in energy levels. You can add them to anything, and around 1 tablespoon is the perfect amount for most people.
Kale is a super green that is truly so wonderful for you. Kale is rich in fiber, magnesium, Vitamins A and C, low in calories, and has no sugar. Kale is great for your metabolism because it is a leafy green, which contains chlorophyll that helps alkalize the body, preventing inflammation. Inflammation is one of the most uncommonly known signs of weight gain, or one of the most ignored. Adding leafy greens, whether raw or slightly steamed is a great way to raise your metabolism and keep you lovely too!
4. Plain Greek Yogurt
Many people say dairy is bad for your weight, but I disagree when it comes to plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt. For such a small serving of nothing but cultured milk, you’re getting 20 grams of protein, 20% of your daily calcium for the day, over 300 mg of potassium to keep you from being bloated and fatigued, very low amounts of sodium, plus Vitamins B12 and D, along with magnesium that promotes healthy energy. Greek yogurt contains highly bio-available amino acids, which stimulate the metabolism. Plus, it is also fat free if you buy non-fat. Just avoid the flavored varieties that have added sugars.
Another wonderful food for your metabolism is eggs, so long as you don’t have an allergy. Eggs are a low calorie source of Vitamins A and D, along with iron, zinc, 6 grams of protein and Vitamin B12. Due to the special makeup of nutrients eggs contain, they help stimulate the metabolism and help promote a lean body mass. Eat them however you like, but be sure to eat 1 egg with the remaining eggs being the whites only. This keeps your meal lean but still containing enough healthy fats found in eggs for the nutrients to be absorbed, which are all in the yolk.
Spinach is another leafy green to love. Just like kale, it contains chlorophyll, fiber, iron and Vitamins A and C. Spinach has more protein than any other green, with 5 grams per cup. It also has more folate, which is important for women’s health. Spinach raises the metabolism just by eating it, and it is low calorie, which means you burn calories just by eating it.
Cacao, or pure chocolate, is one of the best foods you can eat to raise your metabolism. Cacao contains over 200 chemicals that act like fuel for the brain and body. It has been proven to beat depression, anemia, low energy, a lagging metabolism, and inability to focus. It has a similar effect as coffee, but no caffeine if you buy raw, unprocessed cacao powder. Plain dark cocoa powder is another great option if you can’t find the raw variety. I also like 100% chocolate baking bars, which are nothing but pure chocolate, or cacao nibs. Cacao contains iron, magnesium, zinc, folic acid, protein, fiber, and the saturated fats are not stored in the body as harmful fats, nor does cacao contain cholesterol. Just keep it to an ounce a day of the bars or nibs, and no more than ¼ cup of the powder a day. Otherwise, you might be a bit antsy from all the energy cacao gives!
Almonds are excellent for your metabolism for a few reasons. First, the nutrients in all nuts and seeds raise your metabolism naturally and are great for your thyroid. Secondly, the fats in almonds help promote a reduced waistline, because they are monounsaturated fats, which help to burn body fat, especially in the abdominal area. Almonds also contain fiber, which increases your metabolism, just through digestion. Lastly, almonds contain vital antioxidants and amino acids from protein that increase metabolic burn. It is always best to buy unsalted and raw for the healthiest option.
Raw unsweetened coconut is another great food to eat to boost your metabolism. It contains fiber, and a special form of saturated fats called MCTs, which stands for medium chain triglycerides, which help the liver burn fat for energy. Coconut is also one of the best foods for your thyroid you can eat since it stimulates thyroid function, and has almost no sugar and is very low in carbohydrates. I like buying raw coconut shreds that are unsweetened, raw coconut oil to use to cook with in small amounts, and raw coconuts if I can find them. I do try to avoid processed coconut products, which have a lot of hard to digest additives, but if you enjoy these, feel free to add them to your diet. It’s always best for your metabolism the more natural a food is.
10. Black Coffee
Black coffee isn't my preferred way of drinking coffee, but I may just have to switch it up. Milk, sugar, and any flavorings added to coffee add more calories to it than you want. Coffee gives you a boost in your metabolism because of the caffeine in it. You probably shouldn't consume more than three cups in a day or you may gets some negative side effects, but the added energy and metabolism boost are a great reason to start drinking coffee.
11. Green Tea
Green tea is a main source of epigallocatechin gallate, which is a natural antioxidant that is great for speeding up your brain and nervous system which helps your body to burn more calories. If you drink two to four cups of tea in a day, you can burn up to 17% more calories during your workouts! How great is that? If you love tea, now you have an even better excuse to drink more of it.
This is a great one to know because I love turkey! Turkey is a protein-rich meat and eating foods high in protein helps to build lean muscle. What you may not know is that having more muscle tissue in your body helps to speed up your metabolism. Not only does turkey taste great, but it helps your body too!
If you love spicy foods, then you'll love this little trick. The capcaisin in jalapenos causes your body to burn extra calories for hours after you eat them. Capcaisin is the thing in jalapenos that makes them so spicy! This speeds up both your heart rate and your metabolism for increased calorie burning.
Foods that raise your metabolism are great to add to any diet, and there are many more out there to love. If you have a favorite food that raises your metabolism, or gives you energy, be sure to share it with me! What’s your favorite food to raise your metabolism?
This article was written in collaboration with editor Lydia Sheehan.