Metabolism Booster Foods for Vegetarians
This post may contain affiliate links, so if you buy from a link we may earn a commission at no cost to you
Before we get to the list of foods that boost metabolism, we should first define what metabolism is and why it matters to us when we’re trying to lose weight and keep it off.
Metabolism is the chemical process by which your body converts calories in what you eat and drink into energy. Your body needs this energy for its daily required functions such as breathing, blood circulation, growing, adjusting hormone levels, and repairing cells.
The minimum amount of energy your body needs to carry out these daily functions is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR).
The higher the rate is, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off. This number depends on your body size, body composition, age, and gender.
The good news is, you can increase the daily calories you burn by adding certain foods and drinks to your diet and by engaging in some form of daily physical activity. After all, who would say no to a faster metabolism?
Want to know how to boost your metabolism by adding certain foods and drinks to your diet? Here is the list of metabolism booster foods that you can easily add to your menu.
Foods That Boost Your Metabolism
1. Protein-Rich Foods
Protein rich foods like eggs, dairy, and legumes may help increase metabolism because they require the body to use more energy to digest. This is the thermic effect of food (TEF); it is the number of calories your body needs to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in a meal.
Studies show that protein rich foods cause the largest increase in TEF. They increase the metabolic rate by 15-30%, whereas carbohydrates increase it by 5-10% and fat by 0-3%.
So, it’s essential to include these thermogenic foods in your daily menu in order to speed up your metabolism. Check out our article on vegetarian high protein foods to find out more of these metabolism booster protein foods.
2. Chili Peppers
Capsaicin, a chemical found in chili peppers, can boost your metabolism by increasing the number of calories your body burns. A review of studies shows that capsaicin in chili peppers increases energy expenditure by approximately 50 calories per day. It also mentions that regular consumption of capsaicin reduces adipose tissue levels, appetite, and daily energy intake.
Another review also notes that consuming capsaicin daily before each meal causes a reduction in calorie consumption, especially from carbohydrates.
If you can tolerate chili peppers, you can include them in your soups, stir-fries, omelets, or whichever dish you like.
3. Hot Spices
Ready to spice up your life? Consuming spicy foods also benefits in speeding up your metabolism. These hot spices are ginger, turmeric, red pepper flakes, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
One study mentions that consuming ginger powder in hot water enhances the thermic effect of food and reduces feelings of hunger.
As mentioned above, peppers have capsaicin in them to increase energy expenditure. Thus, adding red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and chili powder to your meals may also boost your metabolism.
Turmeric, a highly used medicinal spice in Ayurveda, is shown to increase adiponectin levels, a hormone that helps regulate metabolism. It’s important to mention that the level of adiponectin decreases in obese states; hence the metabolism slows down.
One thing to remember: you should consume turmeric with black pepper because piperine, a chemical compound in black pepper, boosts its absorption.
4. Leafy Green Vegetables
Spinach, kale, and other leafy green vegetables may boost your metabolism thanks to their iron content. Iron is an essential mineral for regulating metabolism. Moreover, these veggies provide a good amount of magnesium which is crucial for metabolism and energy production.
Remember that leafy greens are a source of non-heme iron, which means they are not fully absorbed in the body. However, if you pair them with a source of vitamin C, such as lemon, tomatoes, or bell peppers, you can increase the body’s absorption of non-heme iron.
Coffee has been a popular metabolism booster drink for many years. A study showed that consuming a cup of coffee that provides 100 mg caffeine, increased the metabolic rate by 3-4% after consumption.
Another study noted that the thermic effect of a meal increased significantly after coffee consumption. Now you have a good reason to hold on to your morning cup of joe 😊
Tea, especially green and oolong tea, has been shown to increase metabolic rate by 4-5%. Moreover, oolong and green tea are shown to increase the body’s fat burning rate by using stored fat for energy more effectively.
You can have a cup of these teas after a meal or if you’re not a big fan of drinking coffee in the morning, you can prefer green tea for the same metabolism boosting effects. As a bonus, you can add fresh or powdered ginger into your tea to double up the metabolism boosting effect.
In conclusion, certain foods and drinks can help boost your metabolism slightly. And adding them to your diet regularly may help you lose weight and keep it off in the long term.
However, adding these foods to a poor-quality diet will not help you in losing weight. You should add these foods and drinks to a balanced and moderately calorie-restricted diet to lose weight. Always remember that balance and moderation are key to a healthy life at a healthy size.