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Health Sciences Metabolism: Welcome

Foods or drinks to increase the metabolism. Exercise and what the effects it has on your body.



At its core, metabolism is the chemical process that converts food and drink into energy or, more simply put, burns calories. says  Mary Weiler, Ph.D., R.D., nutrition scientist with Abbott. It also aids in building and repairing tissues and eliminating waste, adds Dan LeMoine, board-certified nutrition consultant, co-founder of ReVitalize Nutrition, and author of Fear No Food. And certain nutrients—including protein, fiber, iron, and more—work differently to kick it into high gear, Weiler says.

Mary Weiler says, iron is crucial to maintaining a steady calorie burn. “It acts as a catalyst for enzyme reactions, which help the body break down larger, complex molecules for fuel,” she says. “When we’re mildly deficient in iron, one of the first side effects is sluggishness or lethargy, and our metabolism slows.”

Source: 31 Foods That Boost Your Metabolism


Metabolism refers to the highly integrated network of chemical reactions by which living cells grow and sustain themselves. This network is composed of two major types of pathways: anabolism and catabolism. Anabolism uses energy stored in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to build larger molecules from smaller molecules. Catabolic reactions degrade larger molecules in order to produce ATP and raw materials for anabolic reactions. Together, these two general metabolic networks have three major functions: (1) to extract energy from nutrients or solar energy; (2) to synthesize the building blocks that make up the large molecules of life: proteins, fats,...


5 Foods That May Improve Metabolism

While experts suggest that no one single food is best for boosting metabolism, these five foods and nutrients may improve some aspects of metabolic health.

Source: Is There A Best Food For Boosting Metabolism? Here's ...


Protein takes more effort from the body to break down, explains Dr. Albin, resulting in a higher TEF and therefore, a higher expenditure of calories, particularly when compared to carbohydrates and fat.

However, some researchers caution that the TEF of protein and any metabolic benefit from increasing intake may only be in the short-term.

Other possible explanations for how a high-protein diet impacts metabolism beyond TEF in the context of other lifestyle factors for weight management include:

  • Improving feelings of fullness, as protein may increase activity of satiety hormones and decrease activity of hunger hormones
  • Improving body composition (increasing lean muscle mass while decreasing fat mass)
  • Improving blood sugar regulation

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a variety of protein sources, including plant and animal sources of protein like lean meats (e.g., pork tenderloin), lean poultry (e.g., chicken breast), seafood (e.g., pollock), nuts or eggs.

Most protein-containing foods are a good source of B vitamins, says Bruno. “These vitamins help break down the foods you eat into energy, essentially supporting your body with processing the calories better and using them for energy,” she adds.


Legumes are part of the protein and vegetable food groups, but may be in a class of their own when it comes to their unique nutrient combination and metabolism.

“If I had to choose one single food to support as a ‘metabolism booster’, it would be legumes (e.g., beans),” explains Dr. Alvarez.

Legumes (which include beans, peas and lentils), have nutrients important for metabolism, including protein and dietary fiber. They also include resistant starch, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“The fiber and resistant starch in legumes can be broken down by the gut microbiome to produce short-chain fatty acids, which may boost energy expenditure,” notes Dr. Alvarez. Dietary fiber may also influence the biochemical material made by your genes to increase energy expenditure and decrease fat storage, she suggests.


Tempeh—which typically comes in a flat, bar-like structure—is made from fermented soybeans, and is high in protein and “good for you” fats, says Bruno.

“Because it is a fermented food, it contains probiotics, which can be beneficial for your gut health and ultimately may support a more efficient and effective digestive and overall metabolic process,” she notes.

Green Tea

Some studies suggest the compounds found in green tea, like catechins and caffeine, may increase metabolism and your body’s ability to break down and use fat for energy, explains Isaacs.

Herbs and Spices

Spices and herbs that may play a role in metabolism include cinnamon, chili peppers, turmeric and ginger, notes Dr. Albin. “The capsaicinoids in chili peppers stimulate our adrenal system and can increase body temperature (thermogenesis) and energy expenditure while reducing appetite,” she adds.

Dr. Albin also suggests that ginger may improve thermogenesis with potential to improve metabolism, digestion and blood sugar control.

However, there isn’t a one-spice-fits-all shortcut to better health and metabolism, and more research is needed to better understand their impact, she clarifies.

Nutrition with Bureau of Labor

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:


  • "Dietitians and nutritionists are experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease. They advise people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related goal."




  • "Agricultural workers maintain the quality of farms, crops, and livestock by operating machinery and doing physical labor under the supervision of farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers."

List of foods for metabolism

  1. Milk-Whole milk is a great source of bone-building calcium in addition to providing 8 g of protein per cup
  2. Avocado-The protein in this fruit contains all nine essential amino acids, plus heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  3. Cheese-A cup of cheddar has around 25 g of protein
  4. Flaxseeds- are soluble fiber that help the gut microbiome
  5. Beans-are a plant-based protein, and many varieties, such as lima beans, are also a source of soluble fiber.
  6. Sweet Potatoes- one large potato also contains 3.62 g of protein.
  7. Greek Yogurt-Helps digestions and gut health
  8. Walnuts- Provides 18 g of protein
  9. Kimchi- Probiotics helps gut health
  10. Edamame- Include protein, zinc, iron and magnesium for a cup
  11. Spinach- boasts the highest protein content at almost 3 g per 100 raw grams,
  12. Tofu-packs 21.8 g of protein per half-cup
  13. Salmon-One half of cooked salmon 39.3 g of protein
  14. Quinoa-Protein and iron boost
  15. Chikapeas- Protein option
  16. Eggs- Large egg 6.3 g protein 
  17. Chicken- 26.3 g protein
  18. Hemp Seeds- 9.48 of protein
  19. Oats-whole grain rich in fiber,helps maintain stable blood sugar
  20. Cottage Cheese- Can be high in sodium but can be great for protein, another health benefit is adding fruits
  21. Pumpkin Seeds- rich with magnesium, iron and 13.7 grams of protein per one cup
  22. Beef- 22 grams of protein for 3 oz 
  23. Ginger-Improves digestion 
  24. Grapefruit- Has been associated to metabolism booster may due to insulin levels
  25. Muchrooms- Anti-inflamatory 

Source 31 Foods That Boost Your Metabolism


The U.S Department of Aguculture is a great source of info with charts and measurements with foods. 

FoodData Central 

USDA FoodData Central (.gov)



The following table includes the top 12 calorie-burning exercises. These exercises burn the most calories per hour. Remember, the calories listed are an estimate. Your exact calorie burn depends on factors like intensity, duration, and your weight.

Source: 12 Exercises That Burn the Most Calories

This source is a great way to calculate other exercises and has estimates of calories burnt which can help your metalbolic rate.


Factors that influence fuel utilization during exercise

The duration of exercise also influences the metabolic fuel mixture. The uptake of glucose from blood increases progressively during exercise, peaking after 60–90 min. Then, as exercise persists, free fatty acid concentrations in blood increase, and the muscle gradually shifts over to burning more fatty acids and less glucose.

The effects of physical training tend to cause a more effective adaptation of skeletal muscle, allowing them to oxidize fatty acids more effectively, and thus to spare both muscle and liver glycogen.

The antecedent diet can influence this fuel mixture rather acutely, as can changes in the hormonal milieu, particularly the concentrations of insulin, glucagon, or the catecholamines.

Source:The Metabolic Responses to Stress and Physical Activity - NCBI

Exercise and the effects on mental health

What Are the Psychological Benefits of Exercise

Source:Exercise and Depression: Endorphins, Reducing ... - WebMD

Improved self-esteem is a key psychological benefit of regular physical activity. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.

Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as "euphoric." That feeling, known as a "runner's high," can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.

Endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives. They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neuron receptors endorphins bind to are the same ones that bind some pain medicines. However, unlike with morphine, the activation of these receptors by the body's endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence.

Regular exercise has been proven to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improve sleep

Exercise also has these added health benefits:

  • It strengthens your heart.
  • It increases energy levels.
  • It lowers blood pressure.
  • It improves muscle tone and strength.
  • It strengthens and builds bones.
  • It helps reduce body fat.
  • It makes you look fit and healthy.

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Online Articles


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USDA FoodData Central (.gov)

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