Traditionally, we add spices and herbs to our meals in order to enhance the flavour of our food. Who doesn’t love a dash of chilli on their pasta or a sprinkle of cinnamon on their oats? Spices and herbs are delicious additions to any meal, but did you know they are also excellent additions to a healthy diet? In fact, did you know some spices and herbs can help you lose weight? So, if you’re looking for a healthy diet that is not only going to help with weight loss but also tastes lip-smacking good, look no further than adding these 7 spices and herbs into your daily mix.
1. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a natural herb that has been shown to help with weight loss. This spicy red pepper contains properties that can help decrease your appetite, boost your metabolism and help burn calories (without even getting off the couch). What makes cayenne pepper a great weight loss aid is its main active ingredient, capsaicin, which is also found in a variety of other peppers. Research suggests that capsaicin is a thermogenic chemical, meaning it can help speed up your metabolism and reduce your appetite.
Chances are, you’ve heard of this recently popular spice (turmeric latte, anyone?) However, this spice has long been known for its powerful health and healing properties. Turmeric is excellent at reducing inflammation in the body, as well as aiding in weight loss. What makes turmeric an effective spice for weight loss is its active component, curcumin. Curcumin helps stop the buildup of fat in the tissues of the body. It also helps reduce the amount of fat stored in the liver and the stomach. Turmeric also helps reduce the current amount of fat tissues stored in the body, so it is an excellent addition to any healthy diet that has a focus on weight loss.
Cardamom, with its strong, aromatic and citrusy smell, offers a range of health benefits and is a great addition to any healthy diet. Cardamom has been known to help treat intestinal spasms and gas by increasing how quickly food moves through the digestive tract. In terms of weight loss, cardamom is considered to be another thermogenic spice, meaning it can help the body burn fat more efficiently.
This highly versatile spice is not only delicious, but it likewise has multiple health benefits. Studies have shown cinnamon helps not only with weight loss but also helps lower your risk of heart disease. Cinnamon is often used to aid in minor digestion issues, and studies have shown it can help lower blood sugar levels as it mimics insulin’s activity and increases insulin levels naturally.
Whether you love it or can’t stand the smell, garlic is one of the best herbs you can include in a healthy diet. Garlic is known to reduce blood pressure and inflammation in the body and also aids in weight loss by lessening the effects of unhealthy foods on the liver and body. Oh, and it tastes amazing.
Did you know this tasty spice helps reduce body fat and improves unhealthy cholesterol levels? Cumin has also been shown to reduce triglycerides, also known as harmful fat in the blood. This spice also contains phytosterols, which is a chemical found in various plants that stops the body’s absorption of bad cholesterol.
This zesty spice contains the property of gingerol, which has been shown to help with weight loss and naturally improves blood sugar levels. Some studies have suggested that ginger can increase the level of leptins in the body, which is a protein produced by fat cells. Leptins communicate with the brain to ensure your body’s energy levels are correct. Basically, leptins tell the brain you have enough fat and energy stored to prevent your body from starving. With an increase in leptin levels, your brain thinks your body is storing more fat than it needs too... and can burn it off more effectively.
So there you have it – 7 delicious spices and herbs that will not only enhance the flavour of your meals but likewise aid in weight loss. Losing weight doesn’t mean having to eat bland, tasteless food all day, every day!
...and remember, qualified nutritionists at Healthy Being are available to offer further general advice to help guide you in selecting the right products. So please, feel free to contact us at any time!
Dr Peter Succar heads up the Product Research Team at Healthy Being and is an enthusiastic Health & Fitness Lifestyle Coach. He's passionate about helping others obtain optimum health, advocating realistic and achievable changes in diets and lifestyles that promote the body’s natural immunity, its ability to self-heal and achieve overall mental and physical well-being.