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Most of the herbs and spices that we add to our daily cooking are potential fat-burning spices, when used right.
Herbs and spices have been used for centuries to add that zest, flavour, and aroma to cooking. Many of them have therapeutic benefits, and are of medicinal value. One of the integral aspects of our rich culture and heritage is the generous use of these herbs and spices in our daily diet. India is known the world over for the use of aromatic herbs and spices that add an array of flavour and richness to the food that is consumed as staple diet across the country. What is amazing about these herbs and spices is the fact that it is not just the flavour that makes them stand tall, but also that they are packed with countless health benefits, ranging from improved immunity, fat-burning benefits, weight loss, anti-inflammatory benefits, and improved health and wellbeing. Most of the herbs and spices that we add to our daily cooking are potential fat-burning spices, when used right. Here are some commonly used herbs and spices that will help you lose weight, and are excellent for reducing belly fat:
Cinnamon is a wonderful spice that lends its warm and delicious aroma to whichever food it is added. But did you know that it is excellent for boosting your metabolism as well? Studies have shown that cinnamon may also help in keeping blood sugar levels in check and improve insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes. This is because cinnamon helps to activate the insulin receptors and stimulate certain essential enzyme systems that are involved in carbohydrate metabolism. All these properties of cinnamon make it one of the best fat-burning spices. However, the excess use of cinnamon can have some side-effects, so be careful of your dosage.
We Indians have been using ginger since time immemorial, to treat a wide range of health problems. Owing to its digestive properties, this herb is a must for our daily cooking. Studies have shown that ginger has thermogenic properties, which means that it increases the temperature of the body by burning body fat. This property of ginger makes it a must have herb for weight loss! Research also suggests that ginger has satiating properties, which means that you will feel less hungry and will be less tempted to reach out for a bag of crisps or that bar of chocolate. All these amazing properties put ginger on the list of the perfect fat-burning herbs and spices. Ginger also boosts insulin sensitivity, which is due to its anti-inflammatory properties, while reducing fatty acids, and promoting weight stability.
Cardamom is referred to as the ‘Queen of Spices’ in our country, and is one of the most expensive spices available. Yet, you will find yourself adding this refreshing spice to your daily cuppa. Just like ginger, cardamom has thermogenic properties too. It also helps boost the metabolism, which, in turn, burns more belly fat in the body. It also helps in relieving bloating and improves digestion. Studies show, in addition, that this wonder spice has dozens of other health benefits such as antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, improved digestive health, flu-fighting properties, and fighting bad breath. In ayurveda, this spice is described as having diuretic properties. This means that cardamom helps in getting rid of excess water (which presents itself in the form of water retention), as well as in relieving colic, loose motions, and constipation. It can also help in maintaining the balance of healthy gut bacteria that, in turn, help in promoting healthy digestion.
Mustard seeds are excellent for speeding up your metabolism and for burning body fat. Recent studies suggest that by having 1 teaspoon of mustard, your metabolism can speed up by 25 per cent! Mustard can also enhance your weight loss by up to 30 per cent. These fat-burning and weight-loss properties of mustard seeds are due to the presence of certain phytochemicals called allyl isothiocyanates.
The active ingredient in chili powder is a compound called capsaicin. This compound helps in boosting your energy levels and also helps you eat slower, which, in turn, will make you eat less. Also, if you add chili powder to your diet regimen, you will be inclined to opt for healthy plant-based foods like salads, instead of going for an extra slice of bread or a helping of rice. Capsaicin also stimulates brown fat, a type of fat that generates heat by helping you burn calories, which is why it's being explored as a tool for weight loss, healthy metabolism, and more.
Black pepper contains a compound called piperine. Piperne helps in stopping new fat cells from forming (known as adipogenesis), helps keep your waist line in check, lowers your body fat percentage, and also helps keep your cholesterol levels in check.
Cumin is known for its choleretic properties, which means that cumin reduces the reabsorption of cholesterol, especially bad cholesterol (LDL), when the food reaches the small intestine. It also helps to decrease the synthesis of cholesterol. Cumin boosts metabolism, which helps burn body fat. It also helps in digestion, by stimulating certain glands in the stomach and intestines. Recent studies suggest that cumin also helps to keep blood sugar levels in check.
Ginseng is a wonder herb, and is known the world over for speeding up metabolism and increasing energy levels. This, in turn, helps in burning body fat and boosts weight loss. Also, ginseng (the Siberian variety) is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbs or spices that possess healing properties, and help fight stress and boost overall health. They help balance, restore, and protect the body during stressful conditions. Adaptogens are known to counter the physical and chemical effects of stress by keeping cortisol levels in check (cortisol is a hormone that is released in the body under stressful conditions).
So the next time you go grocery shopping, make sure you add these aromatic herbs and spices to your basket. Include these amazing herbs and spices to your daily diet in a regulated way, and see that stubborn belly fat gradually melt away over the next couple of months. But make sure that you eat right, stay active, and drink 2-3 litres of water daily, so that you lose weight in a healthy and safe way.
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