Using herbs and spices when preparing your food, adds much more than just flavour. Herbs and spices contain a whole array of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that have unique medicinal properties.
Certain herbs and spices can help promote weight loss and help you maintain healthy body weight. Make sure you include these powerful little ingredients in your daily diet to help you reach your weight loss goals.
The top 10 for weight loss include;
- Turmeric –turmeric’s ability to help with controlling sugar levels and inflammation in the body, as well as increase the flow of bile to break down fat, all positively affect weight. The active ingredient curcumin has also been shown to reduce the formation of fat tissue.
- Ginseng – valued for its ability to boost energy levels it also helps to speed up metabolism. Panax Ginseng has mainly been linked to weight loss.
- Cardamom – another thermogenic herb that helps to boost metabolism and your body’s ability to burn fat.
- Cayenne Pepper – the substance in peppers that give them their heat is called capsaicin. It helps to fight obesity by decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, lowering blood fat levels and increasing the body’s “thermogenesis” where the body burns fat to create heat.
- Ginger – another warming spice with anti-inflammatory and thermogenic properties. Ginger helps to soothe and relax the digestive system and suppress the appetite.
- Cinnamon – this spice helps boost metabolism, is great for blood sugar balance and is a great seasoning for diabetics and pre-diabetics. Cinnamon can significantly reduce triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol as well as increase glucose metabolism by about 20 times.
- Black Pepper – piperine in black pepper blocks the formation of new fat cells. When you combine it with capsaicin it enhances the effect of other herbs and spices by increasing their bioavailability.
- Dandelion – all parts of the dandelion plant are edible and full of nutrition. They help to slow down digestion and are full of fibre so can make you feel fuller for longer. They are known for helping to normalize blood sugar, and cholesterol levels as well as cleansing your liver – which all help towards long-term weight loss and maintenance.
- Cumin – beneficial for digestion and energy production, cumin is thought to improve blood sugar regulation in people with type 2 diabetes as well as having potent anti-stress properties.
- Mustard seeds – shown to boost metabolic rate by 25% these seeds will help you burn calories more efficiently. In fact, 3/5 tsp daily may help you burn an extra 45 calories per hour!
Indian Fat-burning Dal Recipe
This hearty traditional staple Indian Meal combines many of the fat-burning metabolism-boosting spices into one simple low-fat meal. You can eat it on its own like a thick soup or serve it with whole-grain chapatti or bread or brown rice. Throw in any of your favourite vegetables like spinach, carrots or peppers to increase the nutrient value.
- 120g DesiccatedCoconut
- 220g Red Lentils
- 2 tbsp Extra virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, thinly Sliced
- 2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 tsp Coriander powder
- 2 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground
- 4 cardamom Pods
- 4 Cloves
- 2-inch Cinnamon Stick
- 2 Tomatoes, quartered
- Rock Salt
- Blend the coconut with 2/3 cup water to make milk (alternatively use low-fat coconut milk).
- Wash lentils well and put them in a saucepan with enough water to cover them.
- Bring to a boil and boil gently until the Lentils are soft.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the Onion and Garlic.
- When the Onion softens add the Coriander, Cumin, Turmeric, and Cayenne, mixing well.
- Cook for two minutes, then add the Cardamoms, Cloves, Black Pepper and Cinnamon.
- Cook for another 5 minutes stirring constantly.
- Add more oil if it is sticking.
- Strain the lentils and add to the frying pan stirring rapidly to mix in all the spices.
- Add the coconut milk and pinch of salt to taste and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes and stir.
- Remove from heat and serve.