Catechins are the antioxidants in green tea to thank for boosting metabolism and helping with weight loss. Paired with the caffeine in green tea, this duo can rev up your metabolism and help your body burn stored fat for energy. You can try swapping out your morning coffee for matcha green tea. If that’s not an option, try having a cup of green tea after lunch. It’s a nice alternative to an afternoon coffee to help get you through the workday.
Cinnamon has the ability to stabilize blood sugar, but new research suggests it can also help improve metabolism. The cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon boosts the body’s thermogenesis (aka the burn from the digestion process). I suggest incorporating at least a quarter teaspoon per day. Sprinkle cinnamon in your oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, or on an apple when that 3 p.m. hunger hits.
Seaweed is rich in iodine, which indirectly boosts your metabolism by supporting your thyroid. The thyroid is responsible for producing the hormones that regulate your metabolism. When your thyroid isn’t functioning at an optimal level, it can cause your metabolism to slow down. Along with zinc and selenium, iodine is an essential nutrient for thyroid support.
Seaweed is a bit difficult to incorporate daily, but it can be done. Sprinkle dulse flakes on your salad, eggs, or avocado toast. Otherwise, add kombu to your grains or beans while they’re cooking. Every once in a while, order a seaweed salad with your sushi.
What can’t coconut oil do? Coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). The liver takes these fatty acids to use as energy rather than storing them away for fat. MCTs are able to increase the metabolic rate more so than long-chain fatty acids. It’s best to replace some of the oil you already consume—especially vegetable oils—with MCT oil. It’s easy to overdo it, so aim for just one to three tablespoons per day.
Okay, so water technically isn’t a food, but it’s immensely important for optimally functioning metabolism. When you’re dehydrated, your metabolism can slow by 3%. Additionally, drinking cold water may also temporarily boost metabolism by 24–30%. This benefit is partly due to your body working to heat up the cold liquid to body temperature.
Aim for half of your body weight in ounces of water per day as a minimum. This measure will vary from person to person and increase if you’re active, pregnant, or breastfeeding.
While these foods can help rev up your metabolism, it’s important to remember that there’s more to the equation. Adding these foods throughout your day is a great way to get an extra boost while also getting in a variety of healthy foods packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When it comes to having an efficient metabolism, getting enough sleep, balancing your hormones, and increasing your muscle mass also play crucial roles. It’s important to address these areas if you want an optimally functioning metabolism. But in the meantime, don’t shy away from adding those chili flakes to your avocado toast.