7 Superfoods that Boost Metabolism


For many people, maintaining a healthy weight is a struggle, even when eating less. So how is it that some lucky people seem to eat whatever they want and never gain weight? The secret to eating without weight gain comes down to metabolic rate. 

Metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns daily while at rest just by maintaining all its basic functions. But that metabolic rate can vary significantly from person to person.

Some people have a sluggish metabolism, set to burn calories at a slow rate. Others have a fast metabolism, where they quickly burn through calories. That’s why two people can follow the same diet with different outcomes.

For most people, metabolism seems to slow down with age. This explains why your weight can seem to creep up as you get older (especially around the belly), even if you haven’t changed what you eat.

The good news is that research shows some plants can give your metabolism a temporary lift, so you burn more calories, even without exercise. Here are seven of the best superfoods to boost your metabolism.

Try these 7 Superfoods for a Metabolism Boost

7 superfoods that boost metabolism infographic

1. Matcha Green Tea

Green tea is a superstar for metabolism support. Research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that consuming green tea extract resulted in higher levels of calorie-burning and fat-burning (1). 

Matcha green tea is considered the king of green teas. That’s because matcha has higher levels of EGCG, an antioxidant found in green tea. EGCG is the compound that scientists believe boosts metabolism.

2. Grains of Paradise

A relative of the ginger plant, grains of paradise has been shown to boost calorie-burning. It can also reduce visceral fat, which is the type of fat that accumulates around the belly area (2, 3, 4). 

In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 70 overweight men and women received either a grains of paradise extract or a placebo. After 12 weeks, the group taking grains of paradise were found to have lost significant weight due to increased burning of calories and fat (5).

3. Green Coffee Beans

Green coffee beans give your metabolism a meaningful short-term boost (6). This is because green coffee beans (unroasted coffee beans) have a special compound called chlorogenic acid. 

Research suggests chlorogenic acid boosts the metabolic output of the liver, which helps to burn more fat (7). Chlorogenic acid is lost during the roasting process, so this beneficial compound is only found in green coffee beans.

Studies in mice also suggest that chlorogenic acid may suppress the release of leptin in the body (8). Leptin is known as the “hunger hormone” so by suppressing the hormone, chlorogenic acid may reduce appetite.

4. Cinnamon

Some superfoods strengthen metabolic health in a different way. Cinnamon supports healthy blood sugar levels, which in turn supports weight loss. 

Research shows the spice cinnamon may aid insulin resistance. This helps the body to metabolize glucose more efficiently. Studies show supplementing with cinnamon may significantly boost weight loss efforts (9). Other spices with a similar benefit include cardamom and cloves (10, 11).

Just make sure to pick the variety called Ceylon cinnamon, which is also known as “true” cinnamon. Unlike cassia cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon has very low levels of coumarin, a compound that can be toxic in high doses.

5. Cocoa

Yes, eating chocolate is associated with weight gain. However, unsweetened cocoa has the power to support a healthy metabolism. How does it work?

Concentrated cocoa powder is rich in theobromine and phenylethylamine. These two compounds promote feelings of wellness and help to curb appetite. One study found that those taking cocoa saw significant reductions in body weight and inches around their waists (12). 

6. Hibiscus

This plant is not just a pretty flower. Hibiscus is gaining attention for its ability to support metabolic health, and for its protective effect on the liver. 

In a study, those who consumed hibiscus extract saw reduced body weight and abdominal fat compared to those taking a placebo. Those taking the hibiscus extract also saw improved liver health (13).

7. Probiotics

According to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, all disease begins in the gut. Scientists now recognize the wisdom of those words. Gut health is viewed as essential to a healthy metabolism. 

Probiotics are the good bacteria your gut needs to thrive. Some can even boost fat-burning. A study on the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri showed that it resulted in a significant reduction of belly fat (14).

Boosting Your Metabolism Naturally

There are also additional steps you can take to speed up your metabolism. One way is to add in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to your workouts. This form of interval training burns more calories than moderate exercise (15). 

Another way to boost your basal metabolic rate is via weight training. By lifting weights, you add more muscle. Muscles burn more calories, so having more muscle means your basal metabolic rate will be higher.

The top performing superfoods to increase calorie-burning and fat-burning include matcha green tea, grains of paradise, and green coffee beans. By adding these superfoods into your routine, you can rev up your metabolism naturally. To amplify your results, try taking a metabolism supplement featuring several of these superfoods.

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