Vitamins and Minerals That Boost Your Metabolism

Vitamins and Minerals That Boost Your Metabolism / Supplements

Metabolism is the process the body uses to break down food and nutrients to get energy and promote different functions. What people eat, including vitamins and minerals, affects their metabolism.

A faster metabolism burns calories faster than a slower one, decreasing the likelihood of the person gaining weight. A person's metabolism naturally declines as he ages.

Some vitamins and minerals can help keep your metabolism functioning effectively. Supplements really can help, but whole foods are the best source of vitamins and minerals and the most effective way to get them.

The five best vitamins and minerals to maintain and enhance body functions, including metabolism, and support weight control, are as follows:

1. Vitamins of the B complex

B vitamins play many essential roles in the body's energy metabolism. The vitamin B complex includes:

  • B12 vitamin;
  • Biotin;
  • Folate;
  • Vitamin B6;
  • Pantothenic acid or B5;
  • Niacin or B3;
  • Riboflavin or B2;
  • Thiamine or B1.

Deficiency in one of the B-complex vitamins can affect other B-complex vitamins, which can disrupt a person's metabolism.

  • Vitamin B12 is essential for the metabolism of proteins and fats. It needs vitamin B6 and folate to function properly.
  • Vitamin B6 also helps to metabolize proteins.
  • Thiamine helps the body metabolize fat, protein and carbohydrates.

The ability to process fats, proteins and carbohydrates is essential. A healthy metabolism ensures that the body uses these nutrients as energy instead of storing them as fat.

People should regularly eat foods that contain B vitamins to suit their daily needs.

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Good choices of foods that contain B vitamins are:

  • Lean meats and seafood;
  • Whole grains, including barley and brown rice;
  • Dairy products;
  • Eggs;
  • Some fruits, such as bananas, apples, grapes and watermelon;
  • Nuts and seeds;
  • Some vegetables, including spinach, potatoes and pumpkin.

Vitamin B12 is found only in animal products, which means that vegetarians and vegans may have difficulty consuming enough of this vitamin.

In addition to dairy products, the following foods may contain B12:

  • Fortified herbal milk;
  • Nutritional yeast;
  • Fortified breakfast cereals;
  • Meat substitutes.

2. Vitamin D

Two studies looked at vitamin D and weight in women and older children. Both found that participants with more fat had lower levels of vitamin D than those with less fat.

Researchers are currently unsure whether low vitamin D contributes to obesity or vice versa. Diet, blood sugar control and time spent outdoors can play a role in a person's weight.

Research suggests that vitamin D may help control blood sugar and improve insulin resistance in people with diabetes.

Unlike other essential vitamins, people can get vitamin D from sunlight. Safe sun exposure is the fastest way to complete vitamin D.

Foods that contain vitamin D include:

  • Egg yolks;
  • Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines;
  • Cod liver oil;
  • Liver steak;
  • Fortified dairy products;
  • Fortified herbal milk;
  • Fortified breakfast cereals;
  • Some types of mushrooms.

If a person is overweight, vitamin supplementation alone can not improve weight. Weight loss has to come from lifestyle changes as well.

However, a study in 2016 found that postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes, ingesting fortified yogurt with vitamin D, improved blood sugar levels and reduced inflammation. They also had a reduction in waist size.

An older study found that taking calcium with the addition of vitamin D slightly reduced the risk of weight gain in postmenopausal women.

3. Calcium

Following on from the above, emerging research further suggests that calcium can be vital for a healthy metabolism and control of blood sugar, as well as healthy bones.

Some 2010 research suggests that increased intake of calcium combined with vitamin D may help with diet-related weight loss.

An older study in 2007 found that a diet rich in calcium increased weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes.

However, more recent research is needed to determine if this is an effective weight loss strategy.

Although calcium supplements are available, it is best for people to get enough calcium from the food sources first, which are:

  • Milk;
  • Yogurt;
  • Fortified cereals;
  • Fortified orange juice;
  • Dark vegetables;
  • Seeds;
  • Almonds.

4. Iron

The body needs iron for healthy growth, development and metabolism. Iron is also vital for the proper functioning of cells and the creation of some hormones.

Iron is essential for carrying oxygen in red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to and from the muscles and tissues of the body.

If a person has low iron levels, they may not send enough oxygen to their muscles. Muscles that are poor in oxygen can not burn fat as fuel, as they should. Low iron content also interferes with the ideal metabolism in the body.

Iron sources include:

  • Beef;
  • Beans;
  • Fortified cereals;
  • Brown rice;
  • Nuts;
  • Dark vegetables;
  • Tofu and soy.

Although iron is vital, it is also toxic when consumed in high doses. People should therefore talk to a doctor or nutritionist to find out if they have an iron deficiency before taking supplements.

5. Magnesium

Without magnesium, the chemical reactions that produce energy in the body can not happen. This dependence means that magnesium is essential for metabolism and energy production.

Mineral is available in a wide variety of foods, including:

  • Nuts and seeds;
  • Legumes;
  • Spinach;
  • Bananas;
  • Salmon and sole;
  • Whole grains;
  • Potatoes.

People may also take magnesium supplements but should talk to a doctor first as adverse effects may occur in people with certain underlying health conditions.


Anyone thinking of taking new vitamin or mineral supplements to boost their metabolism and lose weight should talk to a doctor first.

Taking these vitamins and minerals will not necessarily improve your metabolism. However, they will help ensure proper nutrition and correct deficiencies that exist, which can help prevent weight gain and maintain a healthy metabolism.

Some supplements can cause adverse effects in high doses, worsen health conditions or interact with the medication of a person who is already taking.

The safest way to consume more vitamins and minerals to boost metabolism is to eat a healthy, balanced, varied and nutritious diet.

Have you ever had to take a vitamin or mineral supplement that was deficient in your body? What's up? Comment below!