Some foods require more energy to digest and increase your metabolism, including different types of protein like chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs, and legumes. “Eating foods that are high in protein can help to spike up metabolism,” says Beckerman. “That’s because it takes the body more energy to break down amino acids in proteins than metabolizing carbohydrates and fats1.”
Fruits and vegetables are always recommended for a healthy diet and that’s because these foods are rich in an array of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. “They provide essential nutrients for metabolic processes and overall health2,” says Schleiger.
Fats often get a bad rap—but not all fats are the same. “Foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil contain beneficial monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that support cellular function and hormone production,” says Schleiger.
And if you love adding spices to your recipes, some can help increase metabolism. “Spices like chili peppers, cayenne pepper, and ginger can temporarily boost metabolism3 by increasing body temperature and triggering a slight increase in calorie burning,” she says.
Whole grains, such as brown rice, oats, quinoa, and whole wheat bread, are an important food group that provides different nutrients. “They have a higher fiber content, which aids in digestion and keeps you feeling fuller for longer4,” says Schleiger.
Drinking sufficient water daily is key for minimizing dehydration and feeling good overall, so it’s not surprising that water is crucial for a healthy metabolism. “Staying hydrated is important for optimal metabolism,” says Schleiger. Drinking enough water helps maintain cellular functions, digestion, and nutrient absorption5.”