10 Great Herbs and Spices for Weight Loss
It can definitely be frustrating to have some of your favorite condiments off-limits during your weight loss journey, but healthy food doesn't have to be boring food. Here are 10 super-powered herbs and spices that can make your food more flavorful than ever and speed up your weight loss at the same time.
This awesome little spice comes from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, and it's good for a lot more than just toast crunch and snickerdoodles. It contains many powerful antioxidants, and a compound it contains called cinnamaldehyde is thought to be responsible for increases in metabolism as well as a host of other health benefits. Try adding it to your tea or coffee or enjoying it with some fruit.
Though its bright orange is sometimes harnessed as a coloring for other foods and cosmetics, turmeric is plenty valuable in its own rights. Its anti-inflammatory properties can work to combat oxidative stress and metabolic syndrome, ultimately reducing users' risk of obesity. Plus, it sure is great in a curry!
3. GarlicThere is debate about whether garlic technically counts as an herb or spice rather than a vegetable, but since it's more often used to augment dishes than eaten on its own, it's close enough to at least categorize as the latter for culinary purposes. Luckily for us, it's even more nutritious than it is delicious; it's full of vitamins and antioxidants, and it also contains a compound called allicin that has been found to reduce blood pressure. Another recent study directly associated garlic with increased fat-burning in mice. Plus, you never do know for sure if a vampire is afoot, do you?
4. CayenneCayenne powder is made from the cayenne pepper, a type of chili pepper from the same family as bell peppers and jalapeños. A chemical called capsaicin is responsible for this spice's metabolism boosting effect, and capsaicin consumption has also been scientifically shown to increase satiety in those who eat it. Throw some cayenne into your next stir-fry, and you'll be well on the road to becoming as hot as it is!
The gingerbread man may have been on to something. Along with having other medicinal properties, ginger reduces free-radicals and inflammation, ultimately leading to weight-loss. It can also help with muscle pain and soreness, making it easier to recover from workouts. Whether you'd rather have it as a seasoning on your favorite dishes or in a plain old cup of tea, ginger is a worthy addition to any weight loss regimen!
This popular herbal remedy comes in both an American and a Korean version; the Korean is thought to be more stimulating and the American version more calming. But both varieties are thought to increase mental and physical stamina, boost immunity, and, perhaps most importantly, speed up fat metabolism.
7. Black Pepper
Instead of dousing your food with heart-unhealthy salt, why not give some more love to its much underrated partner in crime? Made from ground peppercorns and informally known as the "king of spices," black pepper can lower cholesterol levels, boost absorption of nutrients, promote gut health, and reduce appetite. Maybe we've finally found the new black!
Rosemary may be known for its beautiful purple flowers, but this plant is more than just a pretty face. The carnosic acid in rosemary extract has been found to inhibit the action of a digestive enzyme called lipase, therefore delaying the digestion of fats and making your stomach feel fuller. It may also improve your memory and promote hair growth!
Known for its distinctive earthy flavor and often used in chili and curry, cumin is a rich source of iron, contains beneficial plant compounds, may help fight inflammation, and has been found more effective than a placebo when it comes to speeding up weight loss. Its antibiotic qualities also may serve to protect you against food-borne illnesses!
10. CardamomCardamom extract has been found to decrease elevated liver enzymes, protect against stomach ulcers, improve breathing and oxygen use, and treat bad breath and cavities. A recent study has also linked cardamom usage to reduced waist circumference in overweight women. Plus, in two groups of rats given the same high-fat and high-carb diet, those also given cardamom gained less weight and experienced less glucose intolerance.
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