Nutritionists and doctors know that our metabolism—the rate at which we burn calories—is largely out of our hands, being that it’s determined by our age, height, and genes. However, they also know a few sneaky ways to ramp up the body’s energy use and increase metabolism. One is exercise, and the other is eating the right foods. Protein, in particular, is one nutrient that could help boost your metabolism.
7 grams protein per 1 ounce
The king nut when it comes to protein is the humble peanut, when you want to lose belly fat. In fact, it tops pecans (2.5 grams), cashews (5 grams) and even almonds (8 grams) in the protein power rankings. Peanuts are also terrific sources of the mood-boosting vitamin folate.
8 grams protein per 2 tablespoons
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that’s typically dried and sold in powdered form, although you can also buy spirulina flakes and tablets. Dried spirulina is about 60 percent protein and, like quinoa, it’s a complete protein, meaning it can be converted directly into muscle in the body. A tablespoon delivers 8 grams of metabolism-boosting protein for just 43 calories, plus half a day’s allotment of vitamin B12. It’s a great option if a blended vegan protein isn’t available.