Delicious Dinners That Will Help Speed Up Your Metabolism

These tasty meals will help your body burn more calories and fat

Give your metabolism a jump-start with these meals.

We all know that the best way to lose weight (and keep it off) is to eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, and to get plenty of exercise each day. But what if there were a way to help jump-start your metabolism — to encourage it to burn fat and calories more effectively? Good news: there is. Several studies have shown that some foods can actually help boost your metabolism, so you’ll store less fat and burn more calories. In turn, that can translate to a healthier body weight and better health overall.

Click here to see the Delicious Dinners That will Help Speed Your Metabolism (Slideshow)

Some of the best-known metabolism boosters are peppers, since they contain capsaicin (the compound that makes them so spicy, and also stimulates metabolism); hot chile pepper, cayenne, and chipotle are all said to increase metabolic rate. In one study, fat oxidation (fat-burning) was higher in participants who received a capsaicin supplement than in those participants that received a placebo. It is believed that other foods can affect your metabolism in the same way; caffeine and green tea are also thought to have a positive effect on body-weight management — good news for anyone who loves to add coffee grounds to their dry rub.

Eating foods that take more work to digest (like proteins, whole grains, and fiber-rich vegetables) can raise your body temperature and, in turn, help speed your metabolism temporarily. Crunchy cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts; chewy, fiber-rich whole grains like brown rice and farro; or lean proteins like chicken breast are all great choices.

If you’re looking to give your metabolism a little jolt, you may want to head to the kitchen; these delicious recipes are loaded with whole grains and protein. Some are even finished with a spicy kick for an extra boost!

30-Minute Paella

(Credit: Thinkstock)
There is really no limit to the ways you can prepare (and vary) paella. Traditionally made with rice, this whole-grain version is made with freekeh and is ready in just a half an hour.
Click here for the recipe.

Chile-Honey-Glazed Salmon

(Credit: Thinkstock)
This spicy glazed salmon is one of the tastiest ways to kick your metabolism into high gear. It has jalapeños, chipotle, and chili powder.
Click here for the recipe.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.