Staying healthy can be tough when you just want to eat all of your favorite things. One of the tricks that nutritionists like to share is to use herbs and spices to make your healthy meals more exciting. Research shows that certain spices can help you lose weight, so adding them to your recipes can jump start your goals and help you get where you want to go. Of course, you can’t rely on spices alone to lead to weight loss, but they can’t hurt.
If you like things spicy, cayenne pepper is definitely a spice you want to start cooking with. Not only does it add just the right amount of zing to your food, but it also contains capsaicin. Studies show that capsaicin helps fight fat buildup in your body and it can control how much you eat. After all, it’s hard to down too much really spicy food without suffering. Cayenne pepper is great in marinades and soups or sprinkled on potatoes, eggs and veggies.
I’m not talking about the yellow stuff you squeeze out of the bottle here. Add some ground mustard to your spice rack and you’ll never be happier. Why? Because some research shows that mustard seeds can boost your metabolism by up to 25 percent. That means your body burns more calories, even at rest. Mustard is a great addition to homemade salad dressings and you can also shake the ground stuff into marinades or onto your baked potatoes.
Turmeric is used in several kinds of ethnic cooking and is a primary ingredient in curry. It’s the spice that gives it that delicious yellow color. Extensive medical research finds that turmeric helps inhibit fat formation, which can help you control your weight. If you don’t like curry, try turmeric sprinkled on baked potato wedges or a cooked steak. Yum!
Here’s a lesser known spice that you probably haven’t ever tried. Today is the day to change all that though because cardamom has been linked to a higher metabolism and a higher rate of fat burning. You can use cardamom in curries, chai, lentil soup or to give your steamed rice some flavor.
Cumin has many health benefits and weight loss is only one of them. It’s especially helpful for people battling weight issues that go along with type 2 diabetes. Cumin is an acquired taste, but I think you’re going to love it. Toss a bit into posole or shredded meats for just the right touch of flavor.
You can use ginger fresh or ground, but either way, it’s going to taste great and do wonders for your body too. Research shows that ginger can boost metabolism and enhance healthy digestion. Use ginger in marinades or to give a fun new taste to grilled chicken or salmon. You can also use ginger in stir-fry or fried rice. You won’t be sorry!
Not only can cinnamon help control your blood sugar, but it’s also known to boost metabolism, which can help you drop some excess weight. Cinnamon is extremely versatile and you can use it in sweet and savory dishes. It’s often used in baked goods, pancakes or oatmeal. You can also use it in a variety of ethnic dishes.
Which of these spices do you like cooking with? What’s your favorite way to use them?
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