Top 10 Herbs and Spices for Weight Loss
There are many lingering myths about what it means to eat “healthy” food. If you want to lose a few pounds, choosing what to eat is going to be hell. It’s restrictive. It’s a lot of work. You won’t be able to eat any of your favorite foods.
And maybe the silliest of them all: weight loss foods are bland.
You can picture it, right? Those images from the 1980’s. Cottage cheese, melba toast, boneless, skinless chicken breast. Everything beige and boring.
Well, it wasn’t true then, and it’s not true now.
The truth is, if you want to reduce your waistline, spice is a powerful tool.
Adding herbs and spices means you’re less likely to be waterboarding your food with salt. More salt leads to higher blood pressure, because it holds excess fluid in the system. When you have higher blood pressure, your heart has to work harder to get blood to your organs. This leads to a higher risk of heart disease. When we don’t need to turn to salt to add flavor to our food, our hearts thank us.
Herbs and spices are also important because they make healthy foods more flavorful overall. When you can make that chicken breast taste like it came from a high end restaurant, you’re more likely to eat it. You’re less likely to look at your meal, burst into tears, and order a pizza. You’re more likely to stick to your healthy eating plan.
On top of all that, many herbs and spices boost your metabolism, lower inflammation, and help keep your body burn fat more quickly. Read on for our Top 10 superstars to help start the new year by achieving those weight loss goals.
This golden spice is a “warming” one. Turmeric increases your body heat, which in turn can boost your metabolism.
It may also help your body burn more fat. A 2009 study at Tufts University fed a group of mice curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric. The mice who ate the curcumin lost more fat than mice on the same diet with no curcumin. It appeared that the curcumin suppressed the growth and expansion of the mice’s fat tissue.
How to Eat It: Turmeric has long been a staple of Indian curries and mustards. But its health properties and golden glow have inspired a craze in the health and wellness world over the last few years. Turmeric can be added to most soups and stews, sprinkled over vegetables or added to rice. Our favorite way to eat it? In golden milk, a warming and delicious drink. Try Wellness Mama’s great recipe for golden milk.
Cinnamon has been shown to help balance blood sugar. A study in Agricultural Research Magazine found that consuming just one gram of cinnamon per day can increase insulin sensitivity and support management and reversal of type 2 diabetes. These balancing properties help reduce sugar cravings, and keep you fuller longer.
How to Eat It: Toss some cinnamon onto anything you’re sweetening for the blood sugar benefits. We love adding some to coffee or tea first thing in the morning to start the day off right.
Ginger is great for your digestive system generally by reducing blockages and helping to flush out toxins. The European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found in a study that ginger may help to accelerate gastric emptying. Which is to say, it keeps things moving.
Plus, it’s said Confucius ate ginger daily, and who are we to argue with Confucius?
How to Eat It: Tea! Tea tea tea! Chop it roughly and cover with piping hot water. Add a little honey and lemon and you’re set with a perfect warming winter beverage.
Scientists at the Oxford Polytechnic Institute found that eating one teaspoon of mustard can boost the metabolism by up to 25%. And that boost can last for several hours. For best results with mustard, avoid French’s or anything else neon yellow. Go for pure mustard seeds, oils, and higher quality prepared mustards.
How to Eat It: Mustard peps up salad dressings like nobody’s business. Throw it into your next vinaigrette and enjoy those greens.
Ginseng is a great helper when it comes to reducing cravings. Dried and powdered ginseng can help suppress “hunger hormones”, which lead us to snacking and reaching for those processed foods.
Ginseng has also been shown to reduce blood sugar levels by regulating the intake and absorption of glucose.
How to Eat It: Ginseng is a favorite in Korean recipes, where it’s often used as a base ingredient for soup stocks. We’re big fans of this Chicken Ginseng Soup in particular.
Black pepper is a spice with a deep,rich history. It’s been used for centuries in Eastern medicine to cure a variety of ailments, including inflammation and stomach problems.
Black pepper has been shown to block the formation of new fat cells, which can help stop weight gain before it even starts.
How to Eat It: You can put black pepper on pretty much everything savory and it’ll taste better. But have you ever tried putting it on sweeter dishes? Stir some into your cottage cheese the next time you eat it, we think you’ll like it.
Coriander is high in antioxidants and have antibacterial properties that increase the production of digestive enzymes. It’s also a big helper in flushing toxins from the system and balancing cholesterol. Coriander even fights fungus and bacteria in the gut that can impede proper digestion of nutrients.
How to Eat It: Coriander is a foundational spice in Thai cooking, so give it a prominent spot in all your coconut curries and salsas.
Want to learn more about coriander? Check out our blog post on its many benefits!
Cayenne is another warming spice. Sometimes too warming, as you will know if you’ve ever accidentally added too much to a recipe. But we forgive it, because cayenne will get your metabolism going and get that fat burning. In fact, as Lauren Minchen, RD, told Prevention, adding the spice to food can help you burn up to 100 calories per meal.
How to Eat It: Add a little cayenne to your scrambled eggs to give them a kick.
Garlic is a big heavy lifter in your kitchen. It boosts immunity, reduces inflammation, and protects blood vessels from damage.
We’re also starting to see evidence that garlic has weight control properties. Shape Magazine reported on a Korean study that showed mice fed a diet supplemented with garlic experienced lowered body weights and fat stores. They also saw garlic reduce the effects of a high fat diet on the animals’ blood and livers.
How to Eat It: Garlic is delicious and it goes with everything. You’ll find it in the base of most flavorful recipes, but have you ever tried garlic soup? If not, may we suggest you get on that?
Black Cumin Seed
Black cumin seed has long been seen as a very potent health support. When it comes to weight loss, black cumin lowers overall body weight and reduces the amount of fat your body stores.
It also balances blood sugar by improving glucose absorption, which helps reduce cravings for sweet things.
Studies on the effects of black cumin seed on obese men and women have shown that ingesting the seed increases weight loss overall and shows significant support for reducing waist circumference and blood pressure.
How to Eat It: Check out our guide below for top tips on how to use this amazing ingredient!
Our favorite way to get black cumin seed is in oil form. Consuming oil instead of a pill or powder increases the potency of the seed. It’s also the most bioavailable way to consume black cumin, and ensures a level of purity that is harder to achieve in pill form.
There are a lot of black cumin seed oils on the market, but not all of them are created equal. When choosing your brand, make sure you get one that is extracted from Nigella Sativa (pure black cumin seeds) that are GMO-free and organic.
Most importantly, stay away from brands that extract their oils using heat or friction. This damages the nutrients in the seed.
Our Perfect Press® Black Cumin Oil hits on each important aspect of a good black cumin oil. It’s properly cold-pressed using non-GMO, organic seeds and is stored in a UV-protective Miron glass bottle. Only our Perfect Press Technology™ completely maintains the integrity of the black cumin seed’s nutritional components.
Discover the benefits of Perfect Press® Black Cumin Oil for naturally boosting the speed and effectiveness of your weight loss plan.
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