If your idea of burning fat or weight loss meal is plain chicken or fish with a salad and brown rice, then you’re missing out on some major ingredients. Herbs and Spices are the best way to add flavor to food for no extra calories. If you don’t like the taste of what you eat, you’re not likely to stick to any diet, whatever you try, no matter how disciplined you are.
Herbs and Spices add a significant amount of flavor to food and can give your taste buds a satisfaction. For example, that piece of plain chicken can be turned into a restaurant – worthy meal, thanks to just a little rosemary, paprika, sea salt and ground pepper. Not only do they add flavor but also boost your metabolism. Here’s the list of herbs and spices with powers to help you burn that stubborn fat:
This classic holiday spice contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols that are proven to alter body composition and improve insulin sensitivity. It balances the blood sugar, helping to curb your food cravings and hunger and makes you feel fuller for a longer time. While you might already sprinkle some cinnamon in the morning oats, its daily intake can be increased by mixing it with the spices in cottage cheese, plain yogurt, smoothies, or your favorite brew to make a more fragrant tea. “Trying making some dandelion tea, adding a little bit of almond milk, a dash of cinnamon and a bit of honey for an after dinner treats”.
The world’s most popular garnish, this seasoning can do more than just add a color to a dish. Malaysian scientists reveal that antioxidants in parsley may improve liver metabolism. Now, how does it affect the weight? The largest gland of the body, liver, sits right next to the stomach. Along with storing nutrients in the body, it is essential for digestion and metabolism. A clogged, damaged or fatty liver can result in sluggish metabolism, therefore, holding on to extra pounds. Sprinkle parsley in soups, dips, tomato, pesto sauces as well as grilled fish, poultry, and meat.
The brightly colored yellow spice is a close relative of ginger. The pigment comes from curcumin, a phytochemical that directly counteracts inflammation in the body. This improves the body’s receptiveness to leptin, a key metabolism signaling hormone. A “warming spice”, turmeric increases body heat, which in turn can boost metabolism and lead to burning fat. Not only this, the spice also has other health benefits, it helps in fighting Alzheimer’s disease by keeping the hormones balanced. Turmeric can be sprinkled on chicken, in stews and meat marinades and on rice.
Along with burning calories, dialing up the heat can also curb your appetite. If you’ve ever accidentally added too much of this to food, then you know cayenne is a warming spice in a big bad, major way. Similar to turmeric, cayenne also raises body temperature, helping to boost metabolism. This spice can help you burn up to 100 calories per meal. Dust cayenne pepper in salsas, on cheese sticks, and mix it into Mexican-style chocolate desserts.
While this aromatic spice is widely known for helping soothe an upset stomach, it may also encourage weight loss. Like cinnamon, ginger helps control blood sugar, it can prevent a spike in your glucose levels after a sugar-or carb rich meal. Ginger is an antioxidant powerhouse and is loaded with capsaicin, the same compound that puts the ‘hot’ in hot peppers. According to a Barbara Mendez, RPH, MS, an integrative nutritionist in New York, the spice has the same fat burning or thermo genic, properties as turmeric and cayenne. Freshly grated ginger is delicious in marinades and salad dressings, or just grab a box of ginger tea for a healthy digestive system.
Just one teaspoon added to one of your meals per day can help you burn up to three times more body fat. The great news is, we Indians, in general, use this as a means of adding flavor to almost any food. Try it in everything from soups to stews, dressings to dips to stir-fries rubs to marinades and even flatbreads to other savory baked goods.
Another one of those thermo genic spices which help in boosting body temperature and metabolism. A favorite in Indian Cuisine for chai, nobody prefers chai without elaichi. It can also fantastically be mixed with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger for a homemade curry blend.
Black pepper boasts plenty of fat burning properties. The spice blocks the formation of new fat cells which can prevent weight gain in the first place. If you don’t already, just try adding black pepper to everything you eat. It’s even great in traditionally sweetened foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, and oatmeal.
The major ingredients that trigger weight loss are found in our kitchen. Next time you prepare a diet food for yourself just don’t forget to add one of them.