By Karen Gilman, BA, RHN (Registered Holistic Nutritionist)

Your metabolism is determined by genes, sex, age, hormone levels, body composition and as well activity levels. You can increase your metabolism naturally by eating certain foods:

Egg whites are rich in branched-chain amino acids, which keep your metabolism elevated. Eggs are also loaded with protein and vitamin D. Choose organic, free-range ages as they are the most humane.

Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that can kick your metabolism up a notch. Add a tablespoon of chopped chili peppers to a meal once a day.

Green tea contains the polyphenol EGCG, a component believed to boost metabolism. Green tea is also packed with cancer-fighting compounds that can benefit anyone’s diet, at any age.

Whole grains help your body burn more fat because they take more effort to break down than processed grains. Whole grain foods that are rich in fiber like brown rice and oatmeal are good choices.

Iron-rich foods are essential as iron helps transport oxygen to tissues throughout the body which helps our bodies make energy. Low iron levels can lead to fatigue, loss of appetite, anemia and it can slow down your metabolism. Foods rich in iron include oysters, mussels, beef, lamb, fish and poultry. Plant sources of iron include pumpkin seeds, lentils, tofu, chickpeas and other beans.

Some other tips:

  • Don’t forget to drink lots of water. If you’re mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down.
  • Don’t restrict your caloric intake. If you consume a very low calorie diet you are not providing your body with enough energy so that it can satisfy its basic needs.
  • Some metabolism boosting snacks:
  • 1⁄4 c of sunflower or pumpkin seeds, raw if you can find them
  • 1 sliced cucumber with sea salt and a dash of cayenne pepper
  • Celery with 2 tablespoons tahini or other nut butters

Feel like eating something delicious and sweet? Here’s a recipe for homemade granola bars:

No Bake Granola Bars

2 cups quick-cook oats, uncooked
2/3 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp chia seeds

Process the dates in a food processor until well chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Spread the mixture in a square baking pan and refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares and enjoy.

Dedicated to healthy eating for more than 25 years, Karen Gilman is passionate about helping others eat well and love what they eat. Karen graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2011 where she received a diploma in Natural Nutrition. Karen is also a certified food handler and a member of the Canadian Association of Holistic Nutrition Professionals.

You can make an appointment at the Pinewood Natural Health Centre with Karen Gilman by emailing


Phone: (416) 656-8100

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