My 5 Favourite Spices for Weight Loss
03 September 2015
For those of you who love your spicy foods, I have really great news! Spices, although typically associated with rich and heavy dishes, are actually incredibly beneficial when it comes to boosting the metabolism, detoxifying the body and losing fat - I prefer to use the term fat loss rather than weight loss because weight loss includes the loss of water too which isn’t really a significant indicator of whether a person has actually reduced their body fat (which is essentially the aim right?)
Don’t you find properties of natural foods so fascinating? So many of us simply use herbs and spices to make our cooking taste better, without realising just how powerful the benefits of these foods really are. Spices, such as ginger, turmeric and cinnamon are powerful sources of anti-oxidants which help fight free radicals in our bodies, and promote the body’s natural detoxification mechanisms. If you are like me and don’t tend to cook with spices every day, you can get your daily dose of these powerful spices by drinking them too! I make sure to get in some good quality spices first thing in the morning on an empty stomach my drinking my Miracle Morning Tonic. (Many of my clients will be familiar with this recipe ). I include many spices in this detoxing drink, including ginger, turmeric, cayenne, pepper and cumin, to cleanse my system, promote healthy digestion and of course boost my metabolism to keep me burning fat efficiently throughout the day
These are my top favourite spices for weight loss, so be sure to include these in your diet daily:
Ginger effectively reduces appetite and helps curb any cravings, making it an excellent addition to your daily diet. I love enjoying a warm cup of ginger tea after a long day. Simply cut up a few slices of fresh ginger, place in a 1 litre jug with boiling water and some honeybush tealeaves...mmmm so warming and delicious. I also add fresh ginger shavings to soups, stews and curries.
Turmeric has been shown by numerous studies to help reduce inflammation, high levels of which are known to be a significant cause of obesity and difficulty losing weight. I love sprinkling turmeric over cauliflower florets with a little pink salt, olive oil and rosemary and then oven grilling these until crispy – a delicious way to enjoy this amazing spice!
This seriously hot spice revs up the metabolism, especially when consumed first thing in the morning. The capsaicin in cayenne pepper (which makes it hot) helps with a process called thermogenesis through which your body converts fat into heat. This means you are burning more fat which adds to weight loss. Add a little cayenne pepper to your eggs or sprinkle in mug of hot water and lemon for maximum benefits.
Cinnamon helps stabilise blood sugar and insulin levels which controls hunger and keeps those unwanted cravings at bay. I love adding ½ a tsp. cinnamon to oatmeal or quinoa porridge for breakfast. I also enjoy brewing some homemade chai tea at night to increase my cinnamon intake, and it tastes delicious too!
Cumin is rich in phytosterols – these are plant chemicals known to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the body. Cumin, like other hot spices, can also temporarily increase the metabolic rate.
Want to try it yourself?
Here are some yummy ways to enjoy cumin:
Add a few teaspoons of ground cumin to your favorite roasted veggie recipe (it pairs especially well with sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, squash, and cauliflower
Blend ground cumin with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and ground red pepper for a DIY meat seasoning.
Add a dash to mayo or hummus for sandwiches and dips.
Kick up mild guacamole with a little cumin powder to taste.
Sprinkle ground cumin into a batch of roasted chickpeas or nuts for a delicious snack
Yours in Health Always,