The Best Foods to Eat to Boost Your Metabolism

Metabolism is the process by which your body converts the food you eat into energy. It affects how fast you burn calories, how much you weigh, and how you feel.

A high metabolism means you can burn more calories and fat, while a low metabolism means you may struggle to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Many factors influence your metabolism, such as your age, gender, genetics, hormones, muscle mass, and physical activity. However, one of the most important factors is your diet.

What you eat and when you eat can have a significant impact on your metabolic rate and your overall health.

In this article, we will share with you the best foods to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to boost your metabolism and help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

We will also explain why these foods are beneficial for your metabolism and how to incorporate them into your daily routine.

Breakfast: Protein-Rich Foods

Protein is the most important macronutrient for your metabolism. It has the highest thermic effect of food (TEF), which means it requires more energy to digest, absorb, and process than carbs or fats.

This means that eating protein can increase your metabolic rate by 15–30%, compared with 5–10% for carbs and 0–3% for fats¹.

Protein also helps you build and preserve muscle mass, which is crucial for your metabolism. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, which means it burns more calories at rest.

Therefore, having more muscle mass can boost your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is the number of calories your body burns while doing nothing.

Additionally, protein can help you feel fuller for longer, which can prevent overeating and reduce your calorie intake. Studies have shown that eating a high-protein breakfast can reduce hunger and cravings throughout the day, and increase your satiety hormones.

Some of the best protein-rich foods to eat for breakfast are:


Eggs are a complete protein source, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids that your body cannot make on its own. They are also rich in choline, a nutrient that supports your liver and brain function.

One large egg provides about 6 grams of protein and 70 calories.

¡¡》Greek yogurt:

Greek yogurt is a fermented dairy product that contains probiotics, beneficial bacteria that can improve your gut health and immunity.

It is also high in calcium, an important mineral for your bones and teeth. One cup (245 grams) of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt provides about 23 grams of protein and 130 calories.


Oats are a whole grain that contains beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that can lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.

They are also a good source of complex carbs, which can provide you with sustained energy throughout the morning. One cup (81 grams) of dry oats provides about 11 grams of protein and 300 calories.

To make your breakfast more balanced and delicious, you can add some fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, or spices to your protein-rich foods.

For example, you can make overnight oats with Greek yogurt, banana, almond butter, and cinnamon, or an omelet with cheese, spinach, and tomatoes.

Lunch: Mineral-Rich Foods

Minerals are essential micronutrients that your body needs in small amounts to perform various functions.

Some of the most important minerals for your metabolism are iron and selenium, as they are both required for your thyroid gland to function properly.

Your thyroid gland is responsible for producing thyroid hormones, which regulate your metabolism and many other processes in your body.

A deficiency in iron or selenium can impair your thyroid function and lead to hypothyroidism, a condition where your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones.

This can result in a slow metabolism, weight gain, fatigue, cold intolerance, and other symptoms.

To prevent or treat iron or selenium deficiency, you should include foods that are rich in these minerals in your lunch. Some of the best mineral-rich foods to eat for lunch are:


Meat is one of the best sources of heme iron, a type of iron that is easily absorbed by your body. It is also a good source of protein, zinc, and vitamin B12, which are all important for your metabolism and energy production.

One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of lean beef provides about 2.6 milligrams (mg) of iron and 214 calories.


Seafood is one of the best sources of selenium, a trace mineral that acts as an antioxidant and protects your cells from damage.

It is also a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and iodine, which are all beneficial for your thyroid health and metabolism. One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked shrimp provides about 34 micrograms (mcg) of selenium and 84 calories.


Legumes are a plant-based source of non-heme iron, a type of iron that is less well absorbed by your body.

However, you can enhance its absorption by combining it with foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, or peppers.

Legumes are also a good source of protein, fiber, and folate, which are all essential for your metabolism and overall health. One cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils provides about 6.6 mg of iron and 230 calories.

To make your lunch more balanced and delicious, you can add some whole grains, vegetables, or healthy fats to your mineral-rich foods.

For example, you can make a salad with spinach, quinoa, chicken, avocado, and lemon dressing, or a sandwich with whole wheat bread, tuna, lettuce, and mayonnaise.

Dinner: Spicy Foods

Spicy foods can give your metabolism a slight boost by increasing the rate at which your body burns calories.

This is because they contain capsaicin, a chemical compound that creates the sensation of heat and stimulates your nervous system. Capsaicin can also activate brown fat, a type of fat that generates heat by burning calories.

According to a review of studies, capsaicin can help reduce body weight and fat mass, especially when combined with a calorie-restricted diet.

However, the effects are modest and may vary depending on the dose, duration, and individual response.

Some studies suggest that consuming at least 2 mg of capsaicin per day can have beneficial effects on your metabolism and appetite. This is equivalent to about one jalapeño pepper or half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper .

Some of the best spicy foods to eat for dinner are:

¡》Chili peppers:

Chili peppers are the main source of capsaicin, and they come in different varieties, such as jalapeños, habaneros, serranos, and cayenne.

They are also rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that can boost your immune system and collagen production. One medium jalapeño pepper provides about 4 mg of capsaicin and 4 calories.


Ginger is a root that has a spicy and pungent flavor. It contains gingerol, a compound that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

It can also help improve blood circulation and digestion, which may benefit your metabolism. One tablespoon (6 grams) of fresh ginger provides about 0.2 mg of capsaicin and 5 calories.


Turmeric is a spice that has a bright yellow color and a warm and earthy flavor. It contains curcumin, a compound that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

It can also help regulate blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, which may affect your metabolism. One teaspoon (3 grams) of turmeric provides about 0.1 mg of capsaicin and 9 calories.

To make your dinner more balanced and delicious, you can add some lean protein, complex carbs, or healthy fats to your spicy foods. For example, you can make a curry with chicken, coconut milk, cauliflower, and turmeric, or a stir-fry with tofu, broccoli, carrots, and ginger.


Your metabolism is influenced by many factors, but one of the most important ones is your diet. By eating the right foods at the right time, you can boost your metabolism and help your body burn more calories and fat.

Some of the best foods to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to boost your metabolism are protein-rich foods, mineral-rich foods, and spicy foods.

These foods can increase your thermic effect of food, support your thyroid function, and stimulate your nervous system, which can all enhance your metabolic rate.

However, keep in mind that these foods are not magic bullets, and they cannot compensate for a poor diet or lifestyle.

To optimize your metabolism and your overall health, you should also eat a balanced and varied diet, exercise regularly, drink enough water, get enough sleep, and manage your stress levels.

We hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new.


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