Adding a variety of spices to your meal brings about different flavors, texture, and color to your food. Did you know that those spices that help to burn fat – promote weight loss.
Every time you add herbs and spices to your meal, you add the medicinal value of your meal with double if not triple the value? This is because herbs and spices have many antioxidant contents that outrank most fruits and vegetables.
Studies have identified and reviewed certain herbs and spices that help people to lose weight or maintain healthy body weight. They work by increasing metabolism, shrinking fat tissues and suppressing appetite.
Herbs and spices are also known for other additional health benefits such as a good source of the most potent antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and unique medicinal properties that can help to fight obesity along with some other conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, some forms of cancers and help to slow down the aging process
Most people confuse between Herbs and Spices: Herbs are plant products obtained from the leafy green part of the plant, for example, rosemary and oregano while spices are obtained from other parts of the plant such as roots, bark, seeds, and bulb usually used in dried form.
If you are planning or trying to lose weight, consider using some of these herbs and spices that have proven effective in the fight against obesity and weight control.
It contains an active component called capsaicin that gives cayenne pepper their hot taste. Fight obesity by shrinking fat tissue, lowering blood fat levels, preventing fat buildup, suppressing your appetite and reduces calorie intake.
The capsaicin heats potential temporarily increases heat production (thermogenesis) in the body by stimulating fat burning process to create heat that has beneficial effects on metabolism, fat storage and potentially speeds up weight loss.
For those of you who enjoy hot spices, Cayenne Pepper is good to add to your food or it can be taken in powder form by adding it to water/ protein shake/ smoothie (take about 28 grams for this preparation) and also available in capsule form that you can buy at any local pharmacy or order online.
Studies have shown that consuming thermogenic ingredients such capsaicin may help to improve body metabolism rate with about 5 percent and increase the fat burning process by up to 16 percent. A study done in 30 people show that capsaicin suppresses appetite by reducing levels of ghrelin (an appetite-stimulating hormone).
Avoid taking a large amount of this spice as it may cause diarrhea or stomach upset after consumption due to the capsaicin component. Cayenne pepper may also interfere with some medications including those for reducing stomach acid (antacids), Anti-hypertensive drugs ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diabetes medications, and blood thinners.
Caution: Keep away from children and never give cayenne pepper to them.
It contains a substance called piperine that has similar effects to capsaicin and gives black pepper its hot taste. The piperine in black pepper is effective for weight loss as it prevents the formation of new fats cells (a process is known as adipogenesis) and optimizes cholesterol levels.
When used in combination with capsaicin and other substances, it has shown to burn many calories similar to taking a walk of 20 minutes. However, it also helps to increase the bioavailability of other herbs and other compounds.
This pepper can be taken from seasoned dishes or adding the powder in a tea (add 1-2 teaspoon of black pepper to your tea) ideal for flat tummy or in form of black pepper oil.
A study done in rats found that supplementing piperine to food helped to lose bodyweight even with no changes on food intake on a high-fat diet.
A curry spice with a yellow to orange color contains an active component called curcumin helps to combat obesity by suppressing blood vessels needed for the fat formation and reducing the formation of fat tissue.
Curcumin interacts with several key pathways in the body that are useful for the metabolism, prevention and treatment of obesity-related chronic diseases.
Studies have suggested that curcumin plays an important role to regulate lipid metabolism that is critical for the development of obesity and its complications. The curcumin in turmeric helps to reduce inflammations that contribute significantly to obesity and the inability to lose weight.
The easy way to take turmeric it is to purchase and use turmeric capsules. A small spoon of turmeric can be sprinkled directly onto food or turmeric can be taken as a tea with other herbs and spices including; ginger, cinnamon, and mint leaves
A spice that boosts metabolism by about 20 times which significantly improves your ability to lose weight. It also has an impressive benefit in regulating blood sugar levels that makes it ideal for people with type 2 diabetes.
Use cinnamon as a primary spice in savory dishes to enhance the taste and improve your health. It can also be taken in the form of tea.
Stick to one tea teaspoon a day to avoid overdose, which may have effects such as nausea and lose motion.
It is important to know that Cinnamon can help you to reach your weight loss goals but to maintain long-term weight management there is a need to incorporate a healthy diet and exercise.
The herb is valued for its ability to boost energy levels and speed metabolism that has been linked to weight loss benefits. It is known to combat obesity by altering the fat formation and delaying fat absorption in the intestines.
The herb has an active compound called ginsenosides which varies in different varieties of ginseng. A study in mice has shown a significant loss in weight after 12 days on ginseng.
Three major varieties are found with unique properties including American ginseng, Asian ginseng also called red ginseng and Siberian ginseng
Ginseng is also a well-known herb used for boosting memory and energy level. However, it has many other health benefits include helping you to withstand mental and physical stress.
American ginseng is known to have properties that protect the heart health including anti-hypertensive effects and stroke, it protects against cold and flu, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer-related fatigue.
Asian ginseng is used for heart health, neurodegenerative diseases and has stimulant properties. It’s also beneficial for treating erectile dysfunction and improves sperm count and sexual performance.
Siberian Ginseng is referred to as not a true ginseng but it is used for immune system stimulation, anti-viral properties and increases longevity.
Ginseng is commonly found in supplement form with fermented ginseng offering faster results as compared to non-fermented varieties.
It contains active compounds called taraxacin and taracerin along with inulin and levulin that are thought to explain some of its properties. It works by slowing down the digestive system that makes you feel full longer and help to maintain your weight.
To lose weight take dandelion by adding fresh dandelion greens to salads or soups, drinking 3 to 4 cups of dandelion leaf tea each day or consume 15 to 30 drops of dandelion tincture per day.
Dandelion is also known to be beneficial for normalizing blood sugar and cholesterol levels and cleansing the liver. They are also a great source of dietary fiber, beta-carotene, vitamins and minerals
Belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
According to a study done at Oxford Polytechnic University in England, consuming one teaspoon of mustard seed boosts the metabolism rate by 25 percent that persists for several hours after consumption resulting in a more efficient way of burning calories.
Taking mustard seeds daily (3/5 teaspoon) help you to burn extra 45 calories an hour this is due to phytochemical which also gives its flavor.
Are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, soothing and relax the intestinal tract. Studies have reviewed that ginger helps people to lose weight by suppressing appetite and increasing metabolism due to its thermogenic properties.
The spice is made from the rhizome of the flowering ginger plant called Zingiber officinale, belongs to the same family as turmeric and cardamom and it contains a bioactive ingredient, gingerol that studies have reviewed to be associated with fat burning and its medicinal properties.
Ginger powder can be consumed in a form of capsules or it can be mixed with water to make a ginger drink. Ginger juice can be made at home by putting fresh unpeeled ginger (about 1/3 of a pound cut into chunks) in a blender along with about 1 cup water.
An aromatic spice with a spicy-sweet flavor and is another thermogenic herb that helps enhances metabolism function and the body’s ability to burn fat.
Besides its thermogenic effects, studies have shown many other health benefits and use such as being an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, it also noted for balancing gut flora that helps to optimize digestion and soothe the gastrointestinal system.
A study in animals with Cardamom found that rats lose belly fat while on a high-fat and high-carb diet. Black cardamom was found to be more effective at reducing both belly fat and total body weight fat. Unfortunately, studies for cardamom are limited to animals and there is a need to conduct cardamom studies in humans.
The spice is made from the dried and ground seed of the Cuminum cyminum plant belonging to the parsley family. It helps people to lose weight by boosting the fat burning process.
Apart from its effects on weight loss, Cumin is also a good source for dietary fiber, vitamin A, E, B and C, and other health-promoting minerals including Zinc, Iron and Copper, Potassium and Manganese
Other health benefits include aiding digestion, energy production and may improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. The spice has also been found to improve memory and provide potent anti-stress benefits.
One study review that people who consume a meal with 3grams of cumin twice daily lose more weight than those in the control group. Similar findings were also found to those people who took cumin supplements three times a day, they lose one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight than those on the placebo.
Garlic is loaded with beneficial compounds such as vitamin B6 and C, fibre, manganese, calcium and many others that play a big role in weight management.
The strong flavor of garlic may also suppress the appetite and makes you feel full for longer that prevent you from eating too much.
Studies have found that when you eat garlic your body temperature rises a sign of an increase in metabolism.
Other health benefits of garlic include the prevention of high blood pressure, treating diabetes, curing diarrhea, lowering the risk of heart attacks, killing cancer cells and help you to live longer.
To enhance weight loss, take 2-3 cloves of garlic every morning or use it with other spices such as ginger or with lemon. It’s also available in supplement form (capsule or pills).
Note: most herbs and spices have shown to have minimal side effects when used as a seasoning, however, when using supplements adhere to the recommended dosage to avoid unwanted effects.
The final say
Although herbs and spices can help you to lose weight and control it, they are not magical pills for weight loss and body weight control. You still need to incorporate good dietary choices and exercises to achieve ideal body weight.
Herbs and spices provide a lot of benefits with minimal risk of side effects. Make sure to pair them with nutrients rich whole foods to help boost weight loss.
Additionally, if you have any underlying health condition or you are taking some medications its good to talk to your doctor before starting any supplements. When you are taking them and you experience any food allergy or effects please discontinue them and talk to your practitioner immediately.