We all tend to think of the bigger picture when it comes to weight loss; a vigorous exercise routine or a major diet change. But have you ever thought that maybe it’s the little things that could make a big difference in your weight loss? Believe it or not, the spices you use in your meals can contribute to your weight loss goal. Some of the spices that you already have in your pantry are the same ones that bring lots of flavor to your food, and help battle the bulge. Put down the salt shaker and consider these five spices that you might want to keep next to the stove.
- Cinnamon- A recent study suggested that just one teaspoon of cinnamon per day can boost the body’s weight loss ability by reducing blood sugar and promoting healthier processing of carbohydrates. In addition, cinnamon lowers the LDL cholesterol by up to 27 percent and total cholesterol by as much as 25 percent. Keep in mind that cinnamon contains a chemical called coumarin, which can lead to liver damage if consumed in large amounts. Cinnamon can be added to the most savory dishes, like chili, just to give it an extra pop.
- Cayenne- Mostly found in hot peppers, the main ingredient in spicy cayenne is capsaicin which has been studied for its fat-burning abilities. Capsaicin acts as an appetite suppressant and increases fat oxidation, increases energy, and stimulates activity by the sympathetic nervous system. All of these may help you shed more pounds in your weight loss efforts. Research has found that cayenne’s ability to reduce appetite is equally effective whether ingested in food or in capsule form.
- Black pepper- Among the dozens of health benefits of this common household ingredient is its ability to improve digestion and promote the absorption of nutrients in tissues all over the body. Plus, its main component, piperine, boosts fat metabolism by as much as 8 percent for several hours. If you want your pepper to pack the most punch for weight loss, use freshly ground pepper which has the most concentrated amounts of piperine. This might make you feel a little less guilty when adding a little pepper to the top of your veggies or potatoes.
- Mustard seed- Spicy mustard helps boost your metabolism and allows you to burn fat quickly. The thermogenic properties have been found to boost metabolism for several hours with just one little teaspoon. If you consume a 700 calorie meal which includes spicy mustard, you can burn up to 45 more calories. So use this as a condiment for added flavor if you’re looking to lose weight or burn calories.
- Ginger- Long used for its medicinal properties, ginger is also an effective diuretic, which is a substance that increases the elimination of urine. It improves gastric mobility and helps to push the waste out of your system, and hinders the absorption of cholesterol. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, more study is needed on the weight loss effects of ginger. Preliminary evidence suggests that this versatile spice helps to increase metabolism so it is probably a good spice to add to your diet.