It is no news that there is an overwhelming amount of contradicting and confusing health and weight loss information on the internet nowadays, including weight loss pills, starvation diets, skinny teas which often do more harm than good.
So I wanted to make it simple for you and give you a complete list of 10 herbs and spices approved by scientists all over the world that you can start to add to your meals today to promote digestion, reduce inflammation, speed up metabolism and help you on your weight loss journey.
I will share with you some of the top research-based benefits of each spice.
The herbs and spices listed below can all be found at your local grocery store which makes them a cheap, easy and yet powerful addition to your daily diet to promote weight loss and increase digestive health.
A healthy diet isn't one that restricts your calories and makes you feel guilty every time you look at a slice of cake. Weight loss doesn't have to be miserable and depleting, it should be healing and revitalizing. A healthy diet is one where you swap out unhealthy processed foods for natural healthier alternatives, it's one where you learn to make food that nourishes your body and your soul.
Make food your medicine, not your enemy.
It is a mild red pepper from the chilly family which not only helps you lose weight, but studies show it also minimizes your appetite, increases your metabolism and keeps you fuller for a longer period of time. It raises your metabolism by increasing your body temperature through 'diet-induced thermogenesis' which causes your body to burn calories faster and more efficiently. If you aren't a big fan of spicy foods you can substitute black pepper for cayenne pepper every now and then.
If you don't include black pepper to your meals then you should! Black pepper is packed with antioxidants and is another spice that increases your metabolism through thermogenesis (fat burning), however, unlike Cayenne pepper, black pepper contains piperine, which makes it 100 times more powerful than cayenne pepper. This active ingredient Piperine is packed with potent antioxidants and prevents the proliferation of fat cells in your body which helps you lose, and maintain your weight. Studies show that black pepper boosts the absorption of essential nutrients. Eat with cayenne pepper for better results.
Tumeric is an orange spice from a small root containing powerful healing anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective (against Alzheimers) and cognitive-enhancing properties from the active agent, curcumin. Regarding weight loss, Tumeric is known to help you maintain your weight by limiting the growth of adipose tissue if you ever have a cheat day or your work out routine ends. Like the peppers, this spice also raises your metabolism by raising your core body temperature, however, it is pungent and bitter in taste rather than spicy.
There are multiple studies that affirm that Curcumin is best absorbed and assimilated by the body when taken alongside black pepper.
This golden root improves digestion and increases satiety after a meal. A meta-analysis from 2017 demonstrates that the addition of ginger to the diet ginger significantly decreases weight, belly fat, and increases insulin sensitivity (high insulin sensitivity allows your body to use the sugar in your bloodstream for energy, regulating your blood sugar and reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.) You can take ginger in its natural root form and add it to tea, smoothies, water, and in your cooking, you can also buy the powdered version in the store.
Cinnamon is a natural antimicrobial and appetite suppressant is a tasty addition to any meal. A Journal published in 2014 shows that cinnamon has cardioprotective and cholesterol-lowering effects. It also boosts metabolism and increases insulin sensitivity, but my favorite benefit of this delicious spice is that it improves brain function and memory! I like to add it to my morning cup of tea and it boosts my focus whenever I have to study or work on my laptop for long hours. It is also a natural sweetener so if you're really wanting to lose weight, ditch the refined sugar and spice up your life with some cinnamon!
This spice can TRIPLE the amount of weight you lose. A study conducted on 88 overweight women published in the Journal of Complementary Therapies showed us that when taken daily, cumin dramatically reduced BMI, weight, and waist circumference and overall fat percentage. By taking 1 teaspoon per day you can start to see these changes in as little as 2 weeks.
Cumin increases the activity of the digestive enzymes in your gut which helps you digest and assimilate your food better. Strong digestion is very important if you are trying to lose weight.
Cardamon can help reduce bloating and indigestion and like other hot spices, it increases your metabolism through thermogenesis. It is also a natural diuretic, helping you melt off extra water weight that your body may be holding on to. This study shows the positive effects cardamon has on blood pressure. You can take cardamon in tea or in your meals.
Dandelion is a nice thick leafy green bitter vegetable that you can eat with a meal or infuse the leaves in a tea.
In Italy, we eat dandelion greens at least 3 times per week.
Dandelion is a natural diuretic that can help you manage and eliminate fluid retention and it also reduces fat absorption in your belly.
*Do not eat dandelion greens if you are on blood thinners, consult your doctor.
This herb is widely used in Italy in all meals as it helps fight inflammation and lowers blood sugar. It is packed with free-radical fighting antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds which help improve your blood circulation. This wonderful herb can also be used as an oil to get rid of cellulite and alleviate muscle pain after a workout. Rosemary is also said to help improve digestion and Germany has approved rosemary as a treatment for indigestion.
It's really low in calories and it helps curb your cravings, suppresses your appetite and boosts your metabolism. However, what makes this spice so beneficial to your health and so powerful is that it relaxes your blood vessels, significantly lowering your blood pressure and lowering your risk of heart disease. Our grandparents and ancestors used this spice primarily for its medicinal, antimicrobial and antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
If you are pregnant, diabetic, or taking any prescription medications, consult your doctor before adding any changes to your diet.
Adding these herbs and spices to your diet alone isn't going to create massive changes. They provide a foundation for weight loss but you still need to drink plenty of water, limit processed foods and sugars and also move your body. Eating a wide variety of colorful fruits vegetables, herbs, and spices will help you lose weight faster and in a healthier manner than just exerting yourself at the gym or counting calories.