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Lose Weight With These 10 Super Spices

June 03, 2015 4 min read

Looking to lose weight in a hurry? Try skipping your salads and start eating some curries! Experts have found that the spices used in Indian and Asian dishes can boost metabolic rate, suppress appetite and even stop fat cells from reappearing after weight loss. Great news! Apparently 1 teaspoon of cumin, eaten daily, can shift up to 3 pounds of fat while a spicy meal with pepper and chillies can burn the same amount of calories as a 20 minute walk. Armed with this information, the Daily Mail, asked nutritionist and author, Dr. Marilyn Glenville, which 10 spices can help with weightloss.

1. Ginseng

According to Glenville, ginseng has been shown to cause weightloss in mice as it boots energy and speeds metabolism. There are lots of different types of ginseng but the one she recommends most for women is Siberian ginseng because it is classified as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is something that works according to what your body needs. Glenville says, "ginseng provides energy when required, and helps combat stress and fatigue when you are under pressure." We all know the cycle: get stressed, make poor food choices, gain weight. "Because of the effects of the stress hormone cortisol, the foods which you are driven to eat will make you pile on the weight around the middle of your body. Panax ginseng is more potent than Siberian ginseng and is often more suitable for men as it has a much stronger effect on boosting energy. In some women it is strong enough to cause palpitations and should only be used for just a few weeks," Glenville explains.

2. Cayenne Pepper

Capsaicin is what gives peppers their kick. It is also what helps fight weight gain and obesity as it decreases calorie intake as well as blood fat levels. According the Glenville, "capsaicin's heat may help with a process called thermogenesis where your body can convert fat into heat." All of this means burning more fat which means weightloss. Including thermogenic ingredients in your diet may help boost your metabolism by 5% and your fat burning by 16%.

3. Cinnamon

This versatile spice is another metabolism booster. 'Studies also show that cinnamon helps reduce blood glucose levels and improve insulin resistance in those with Type 2 diabetes,' she explained. Looking for an easy way to add cinnamon to your diet? Try sprinkling it on your oatmeal or adding it to your herbal teas. I like it to put it in my smoothies. One word of warning, if you are on blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder, be careful with cinnamon. It contains a substance called courmarin which can have a blood thinning effect.

4. Black Pepper

The pepper we add to our meals so often without even thinking contains, piperine. Piperine has similar effects to capsaicin. It is the heat that helps prevent the formation of new fat cells. When you combine black pepper with other spices, like those with capsaicin, it can help you burn the same number of calories as a 20 minute walk, says Glenville.

5. Dandelion

You may think they are just an annoying weed, but the roots and leaves of the dandelion have been used for ages to treat bloating and digestive disorders. "Dandelions contain fiber so can help you feel full longer and so help control your appetite," Glenville explains. Dandelion isn't just good for weightloss, it contains a host of health boosting properties. It is rich in vitamins, including A, C, D and B complex. They are also high in iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, choline, calcium, boron, and silicon. It can be great for women approaching menopause or who have a really poor diet.

6. Mustard

Capsaicin once again. Glenville explains, "mustard is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables which are thought to have many health benefits... if you are buying ready-made mustard make sure that it does not contain sugar as this is going to be counter-productive for your weight."

7. Turmeric

This yellow spice is what gives curry its colour. It contains the active ingredient, curcumin. The research has not shown that curcumin can help you lose weight, but it is thought to stop the regrowth of fat cells after weightloss.

8. Ginger

Ginger has thermogenic properties similar to capsicin as it has warming effects in the body. Ginger is also great for digestion. Try adding a few slices to boiling water to make ginger root tea.

9. Cumin

Dr. Glenville says that dieters who incorporate cumin seeds into their diet lose more weight than those who don't. She said: "Research has shown that adding just one teaspoon a day of cumin to yogurt for three months will help you lose three more pounds than those who don't. And those taking the cumin each day lost three time as much body fat (nearly 15%) as the group just taking the yogurt without the cumin added."

10. Cardamom

This strongly scented spice has been known for its digestive properties but it is also helpful in fat burning. "Cardamom is thought to help increase fat burning by improving metabolism," Glenville says. Now I'm craving a curry or a nice tagine. How about you? How will you incorporate these super helpful (and super tasty) spices into your daily diet?      

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