11 types of fruits and vegetables that boost metabolism, says a nutritionist

Have you ever wondered how your adult friend (or sibling, co-worker, etc.) can eat like a growing teenager and still maintain the same body composition? But does another person’s single indulgence make one’s jeans fit better? Marks for many factors – age, activity level, individual differences in muscle mass and metabolism. Oh, and dieting. Some of us are born “fast-burners,” while others experience a slower metabolism. Either way, our metabolism is a spy glass for our overall health. The good news is you maybe Boost your metabolism and it doesn’t require anything overwhelming. In fact, it’s as simple as incorporating more fruits and vegetables to boost metabolism. So let’s start cooking.

What does your metabolism do?

Even as you skim this article, your body is expending energy. In other words: your metabolism is working hard. It derives its energy from what — and how — we eat. Metabolism is the process by which our bodies convert the food we consume into energy to survive and function. Our metabolism powers everything from breathing and blinking to running and strength training. In many ways, it reflects how quickly (or slowly) we can convert food into energy. While a fast metabolism is like a hot furnace (burns calories quickly), a slow metabolism requires less fuel to keep the furnace hot.

Image credit: Michelle Nash

4 lifestyle factors that affect your metabolism

Our metabolism is always in motion. It works around the clock to help us survive. But did you know that certain routines affect how fast (or slow) it works? While we usually can’t speed up our metabolism at rest, our habits do influence other aspects of our metabolism. Consider these four factors to improve your metabolism.

  1. What do you want to eat. When you eat more fruits and vegetables that boost your metabolism, it’s easier for your body to use that energy. When you ingest inflammatory foods, those energy sources are more likely to be stored as fat.
  2. Your blood sugar. Maintaining balanced blood sugar is key. When there is glucose left in the blood, insulin turns this glucose into saturated fat in the body. This can affect your metabolism. To boost metabolism, create a balanced plate by combining carbs with protein and fat. Furthermore, I am an advocate of listening to your body. Limiting or depriving yourself sends mixed messages to your metabolism by telling it to store calories as if it were short of food. Instead, aim to eat every 3-4 hours.
  3. How often you exercise. When it comes to exercise and its impact on metabolism, consistency is more important than intensity. Walking for 25-30 minutes a day is more beneficial than an hour at the gym, twice a week. Any type of resistance training is very beneficial. After all, muscle tissue uses more energy than fat tissue, even when you’re resting.
  4. The amount of sleep you are sleeping. We all know that quality sleep is fundamental to our health. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Lack of sleep can cause the body to produce too much insulin, leading to increased fat storage.
Image credit: Michelle Nash

How does digestion affect metabolism?

Along with resting metabolism, we also have digestive metabolism. This is also known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). Simply digesting food – turning carbs into sugar and turning protein into amino acids – burns calories. When it comes to speeding up your digestive metabolism, there are a number of foods that help. For example, fiber and probiotics. Foods high in fiber, such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, seeds, and fresh fruit, help stimulate the intestines to push food out. Yogurt, sauerkraut, and other probiotic-rich foods are also helpful. They contain live bacteria that promote healthy digestion. Staying hydrated is also key!

Boost your metabolism through diet

Our bodies are inherently fat burning machines. When given the opportunity, they can spin with maximum efficiency. Along with daily exercise, regular sleep, and reduced stress, what you eat can make a dramatic difference. Every day, choose fruits and vegetables that boost metabolism. Like broccoli and berries. Also, prioritize protein. Consuming enough protein is key. Your body needs enough protein to build lean muscle mass. And muscle mass is needed to burn fat. Last but not least, drink green tea. Studies show that green tea contains a compound that may increase calorie (and fat) burning.

11 fruits and vegetables that boost metabolism

When it comes to keeping our engines running smoothly, we need the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Think about color and variety. We need fiber, healthy fats, and total carbohydrates to keep our metabolism going. Here are the best fruits and vegetables to boost metabolism.


Although it’s not apricot season, consider stocking your fridge with these golden tarts and beauties for spring and summer. Apricots are packed in iron, both dried and fresh. Apricots also contain magnesium, potassium, and fiber. All of which support metabolic health.

Recipe: Apricot Salad with Rocket and Salad’s Feta with Anastasia


As mentioned, fiber is key to a healthy metabolism. Artichokes are a great choice. These versatile spring vegetables are an incredible source of fiber, which helps regulate digestion, blood sugar, and more. Artichokes have been studied for their ability to improve metabolic health. Plus, they’re an integral part of the Mediterranean diet, known for their health-promoting abilities.

Recipe: Artichoke and Pea Crostini


A rich source of healthy fats, avocados are high in nutrients that boost metabolism. Containing high amounts of antioxidants, vitamin E, potassium, iron and magnesium, avocados are as good as products can get. In particular, magnesium supports healthy blood sugar and insulin levels, and promotes regular bowel movements (important for metabolism). All together, magnesium-rich foods promote a healthy metabolism.

Recipe: Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing by Simply Scratch

Recipe: Asian Noodles with Butter and Tofu by The Vegan Atlas


At CS, we love antioxidant-rich berries. More than just a naturally sweet snack, blueberries also contain many health benefits. This includes keeping blood sugar levels balanced and slowing digestion (helps keep you fuller longer!). High in fiber, blueberries help keep insulin steady. And when insulin is stable, metabolism can function optimally. When possible, choose organic (fresh or frozen) blueberries. Wild blueberries are especially rich in nutrients! I love them in this vegan chia seed jam.

Recipe: Healthy Blueberry Muffins by Cookie + Kate


Of all the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli may be the most beneficial for metabolism. The reason is that it contains a substance called glucoraphanin. This substance has the ability to “reset” our metabolism, reduce blood fats and reduce the risk of age-related diseases. When possible, choose organic broccoli.

Recipe: Salmon Tacos With Cashew-Broccoli Slaw by Camille Styles

Recipe: Gimme Delicious’s healthy grilled broccoli dip


Can cayenne pepper help you lose weight and speed up your metabolism? Ability. In fact, research shows that chili peppers can curb your appetite and speed up your metabolism. The main active ingredient in cayenne pepper is capsaicin — and capsaicin is a thermogenic chemical. Thermogenic chemicals can help speed up metabolism and reduce cravings.

Recipe: The Best Chili Recipe Cooked by Craving Home

Dark green

Green vegetables contain many essential nutrients such as iron and magnesium. In particular, both of these are indispensable for an efficient metabolism. In essence, spinach, kale, and other green leafy vegetables can boost your metabolism, thanks to their iron content. Research indicates that low iron intake can lead to your metabolism slowing down.

Recipe: Kale Salad with Cranberries

Recipe: Erin Plated Strawberry Spinach Smoothie

Kidney beans

Beans have a number of health benefits, including kidney beans. They are versatile, economical and packed with nutrients. Along with fiber, beans are also an excellent source of plant protein, which helps lower blood sugar, control cholesterol, and increase good bacteria in the gut. In addition, beans are great for boosting metabolism. An amazing source of fermentable soluble fiber, beans have a direct impact on overall metabolic rate. In particular, kidney beans are rich in folate – an important nutrient during pregnancy.

Recipe: Mediterranean Food Kidney Beans and Coriander Salad


Like legumes, legumes are another metabolism-boosting powerhouse. Interestingly, a 2016 review (of 41 animal studies), found that eating lentils and other legumes, such as beans and peas, may play a central role in prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome. Lentils can also increase metabolism because they are rich in protein.

Recipe: Two Peas and their Pod . Lentil Salad

Recipe: Vegan Lentil Soup by Veggie Desserts


Like blueberries, strawberries are another metabolism-boosting berry. One cup of fresh strawberries has just under 50 calories and provides 150% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant that also fights fat. Furthermore, studies show that strawberries promote the production of two important hormones: adiponectin and leptin. Both of these hormones help burn fat and boost metabolism.

Recipe: In My Bowl’s Strawberry and Cream Oatmeal


A food suitable for vegetarians and vegans, tempeh is high in protein and healthy fats. Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh contains extremely beneficial probiotics for optimal gut health and digestion. And, a healthy gut is key to boosting metabolism as it ensures you can get rid of toxic waste from your body (liver) to enable efficient fat metabolism.

Recipe: Minimalist Baker’s Marinated Peanut Butter Tempeh

Recipe: Tempeh Stir Fry by Jessica In The Kitchen

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