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In a world where we are constantly bombarded with new diets and superfoods, it can be hard to know what to eat to optimise our health. However, some key foods and the best metabolism supplement can improve metabolism and promote optimum health.

Hack Your Metabolism: 11 Foods and Supplements to Consider Taking
Metabolism Boosting Foods

From the best supplement stacks to nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich food and drinks, we’ve rounded up the top 11 hacks to help you boost your metabolism.

Metabolism 101: Learn the Basics

Most people have a basic understanding of metabolism — the process by which your body burns calories and converts them into energy. However, you may not realise that your metabolism is a complex system that plays a vital role in your overall health and well-being. So here’s a crash course on metabolism: what it is, how it affects your life, and why it’s essential to consider doing what you can to boost it.[1]

Metabolism is the process by which your body breaks down food and converts it into energy. This process occurs in every cell of your body and is affected by various factors, including age, weight, diet, and activity level.

For many, slow metabolisms lead to issues with weight gain. That’s because your body stores more of the calories you consume as fat. In addition, a sluggish metabolism can also lead to fatigue, as your body has difficulty converting calories into energy.

There are many ways to boost your metabolism, including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding stress. While some people are blessed with naturally high metabolisms, there are things that everyone can do to give their metabolism boost.[2]

So if you’re looking for ways to increase energy levels and lose weight, consider incorporating some of the foods and supplements we cover in this article into your diet.

Eat and Drink Your Way to a Healthier Metabolism

Fortunately, there are foods, drinks, and supplements that can help boost your metabolism. Here are some of the best options to consider:

1. Green Tea

Green tea is a popular choice for those looking to boost their metabolism, as it contains caffeine and antioxidants. In addition, research has investigated how green tea might help to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation.[3]

What a great metabolism helper!

If you’re not a fan of hot tea, try incorporating it into your smoothies in the form of matcha, a finely ground powder that dissolves in liquid.

2. Coffee

Like green tea, coffee contains caffeine, which has been shown to boost metabolism.[4]

In addition, coffee is a rich source of antioxidants, which can help to protect cells from damage and promote overall health. Drinking coffee regularly has also been linked to a lower risk of weight gain and obesity.

Just don’t confuse plain coffee with a bit of milk or a dairy alternative for those sugar bombs your favourite barista serves up. But one of those on occasion is nice, too. Just don’t expect it to help your metabolism.

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a type of saturated fat that has been shown to boost metabolism. It is also a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat metabolised differently than other types of fat.

MCTs are absorbed and metabolised quickly. This makes MCTs a great source of energy for everyone, from athletes to people trying to lose weight.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated fats that have been shown to boost metabolism. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to protect cells and promote overall health.

Omega-3 fatty acids are everywhere. From fish, such as salmon, to various plant-based sources, such as flaxseed oil and chia seeds, you won’t have trouble sneaking them into your diet. But if you do, your favourite supplement supplier will be able to recommend capsules to fill the gap.

5. Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient necessary for cells’ growth and repair. It is also a key player in metabolism, as it helps build and maintain muscle mass. Eating protein-rich foods can help to boost metabolism, as well as promote satiety and weight loss. Good protein sources include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, and eggs.

Speaking about significance of adding protein into diet, Rina Ahluwalia, Certified Health Coach emphasizes that adequate protein intake can help preserve lean muscle mass, which is important for overall body composition and metabolism. Additionally, protein-rich foods can increase feelings of fullness and satiety, which can reduce calorie intake, help with portion control, and prevent overeating.

6. Iron

Iron is a mineral that is essential for the production of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood. Iron is also necessary for the proper function of enzymes involved in metabolism and energy production.

An iron deficiency can lead to fatigue and brain fog, as your body does not have enough oxygen to produce energy.[5] Red meat, dark leafy greens, beans and iron-fortified cereals are all good sources of iron.

7. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the proper function of the nervous system. It is also necessary for your body’s metabolic processes to produce energy, as it helps convert food into glucose.

Fatigue is a common sign of not getting enough vitamin B12, as your body does not have enough energy to function correctly. If you want more vitamin B12, include eggs, milk, cheese, and yoghurt in your diet. If you’re still lacking, be sure to reach for a B12 supplement.

8. Chromium

Chromium is a trace mineral that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. It also plays a role in metabolism, as it helps the body to metabolize carbohydrates.

Not getting enough chromium can lead to insulin resistance, especially for those with type 2 diabetes.[6]
Good sources of chromium include oranges, tomatoes, whole-grain bread and brewer’s yeast.

9. Zinc

Zinc is a mineral necessary for the proper function of enzymes involved in metabolism. It is also essential for the synthesis of proteins and DNA. According to studies, getting enough zinc can help with body weight management. Good sources of zinc include oysters, beef, poultry, beans, and nuts.


Metabolism Weight Management

10. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for the absorption of calcium. It is also necessary for the proper function of enzymes involved in metabolism.

When we spoke to an expert about vitamin D deficiencies, Julia Perlman, Registered Dietitian and Co-Founder of JAM Nutrition, expressed that there are plenty of circumstances where supplementation can be beneficial to improve vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and to manage health-related symptoms. For instance, Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 supplements (dosage dependent on age, current lab value, etc) can help correct Vitamin D deficiency. Most vitamins are best absorbed when taken with food.

A lack of vitamin D can lead to weight gain and a decrease in muscle mass. Tons of good sources of vitamin D exist, including fatty fish such as salmon, fortified milk and egg yolks.

11. Prebiotics and Probiotics

A tip-top metabolism can only happen when your gut health is running smoothly. Prebiotics are types of fiber that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live bacteria that support gut health.

When it comes to the best food suggestions, Dr. Rimas Geiga, Medical Doctor and Registered Dietitian says that foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are excellent sources of probiotics whereas foods rich in prebiotics include garlic, onions, bananas, and asparagus. By incorporating both probiotics and prebiotics into your diet, you can support a thriving gut microbiome, which is essential for proper digestion, nutrient absorption, and even immune function.

When in doubt, reach for high-quality prebiotics and probiotics supplements to get the job done.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the best foods, drinks and supplements to consider taking to boost your metabolism. So whether you need more fruit and veggies on your dinner plate or some gut health supplements to keep things ticking along, make sure to add these metabolism-boosting ingredients into the mix. Your body (and fitness goals) will thank you for it.

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We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

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Lisa Davis, MPH

Lisa Davis has nearly two decades of broadcast experience and is a former sex educator. She holds a master's degree in public health.