As well as adding flavour to your food did you know that certain herbs and spices can help you maintain a healthy body weight?
They do this by firing up your metabolism, suppressing your appetite and shrinking fatty tissue.
Not only this they are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and may help fight diseases. In many cases, herbs and spices contain more potent antioxidants compared to many well known mainstream food sources. Let me give you some examples.
Cloves (antioxidants 30% dry weight) and cinnamon (antioxidants 18% dry weight) versus blueberries (antioxidants 5% dry weight). Oregano has 42 times more antioxidants than apples, 12 times more than oranges, and 4 times more than blueberries.
From my experience and research, the top 10 herbs and spices that may support your weight loss goals when added generously to food are:
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
Let’s take a closer look at them:
If you’ve ever had ginger tea you’ll know it has a very warming and soothing effect. It’s known to help relax your intestinal tract and is very anti-inflammatory. It may have thermogenic properties that help speed up your metabolism, as well as an ability to suppress your appetite.
Contains a substance called piperine which blocks the formation of new fat cells. It also increases the bioavailability of other foods.
Helps with digestion and energy production, and may improve glycaemic control in people with diabetes. Also been found to improve memory and provide stress-relieving benefits.
Interesting fact, the mustard plant is actually part of the cruciferous family of vegetables. Mustard seeds have been shown to boost metabolic rate by 25% so you burn more calories. In fact, 3/5 teaspoon of mustard seeds daily may help you burn an extra 45 kcals per hour.
Boosts energy levels, improves insulin sensitivity, speeds up metabolism and so helps with weight loss.
Capsaicin is the compound that gives peppers their heat. The heat effect increases the thermogenesis in your body, which in turn impacts on metabolism, weight loss and fat storage.
Turmeric is a yellow-orange spice. Curcumin is one of turmeric’s active ingredients, that reduces the formation of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels needed to form it, and therefore may contribute to lower body fat.
This spice may help boost your metabolism so helping with weight loss. It’s been found to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels, as well as increase glucose metabolism, which would significantly improve your ability to regulate blood sugar. So it’s especially great for diabetics!
Cardamom, an aromatic spice with a spicy sweet flavour, is another thermogenic herb that helps boost your metabolism and may boost your body’s ability to burn fat.
The dandelion slows down your digestion, so making you feel fuller for longer. This in turn helps with weight management. Dandelions are also rich in antioxidants, dietary fibre, beta-carotene, vitamin K1, vitamins and minerals, and are beneficial for normalising blood sugar and cholesterol, as well as cleansing your liver.
On the next up-coming blog I’m going to give you some super simple ways to incorporate these herbs and spices into your diet. Can’t wait to share 😊
Love Gaynor x