Best herbs and spices for burning fat
Herbs and spices are great ingredients to include in your weight loss meal plans as most of them effectively aid fat burning. However, it is not all herbs that produce this effect. If you want to lose some extra pound of flesh, it will help to know about the weight loss herbs.
Including powerful herbs and spices such as ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper and turmeric into your diet helps you kickstart your metabolism and detoxify your body. Some of these herbs can be used for making your detox smoothies to shed belly fat.
Aside from boosting fat burning, herbs have other health benefits such as:
- Rich sources of antioxidants, which means they can help slow down the ageing process
- Reducing cholesterol level
- Fighting inflammation
- Improving gut health
- Enhancing cognitive function
- Treating nausea and bloating
- Fighting infections and boosting immunity
- Regulating blood sugar levels (helps manage diabetes)
This article will discuss a natural way of losing weight using herbs and spices. It will highlight some powerful herbs best for fat burning and the safety of these weight loss herbs.
Best weight loss herbs
Some of the best, most powerful herbs for weight loss include:
- Cayenne pepper
Below is how incorporating these herbs into your diet can help reduce body weight and keep your body mass index (BMI) within the normal range.
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Ginseng has been known for its medicinal properties. The Chinese have used it for ages past for treating ailments. This herb can help you suppress hunger, thus, making the weight loss journey easier.
Ginseng can also help reduce insulin resistance, regulate blood sugar levels, and lower the body's low-density lipoprotein (unhealthy fat) level. It can also help reduce stress and inflammation, both of which have been associated with obesity, according to research.
A 2014 study of the effect of ginseng on obesity and gut microbiome in middle-aged, overweight Korean women indicated that the herb positively affected their gut health and aided weight loss. Ginseng extract mixed with cinnamon powder and lime can also help with belly fat burning.
Turmeric is a food spice that can give your food a distinct colour and add a sweet aroma to your dish. However, aside from helping you make delicious meals, turmeric can play an important role in your health and general fitness.
Studies have shown that this natural spice can reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol which can lower body weight. It contains curcumin which may help reduce waist circumference, BMI and body weight, according to a recent 2019 study.
You can chew the turmeric root or blend it into your food. It can also be taken as a drink by blending the root with water or mixing the powder with water and lime juice.
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Ginger is one of the most effective herbal remedies for weight loss. Ginger contains fibre which aids digestion and is good for the digestive system. Some people use it as a natural remedy for ailments such as sore throat and cough.
If you are looking for a way to lose weight naturally using herbs and spices, you may want to start with ginger which is readily available and affordable in most parts of the world.
Ginger may help reduce weight by reducing hunger, appetite and fat absorption. Studies such as a recent one published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition showed that taking ginger as a food supplement can help shed belly fat and body weight.
Like ginger, garlic is a popular cooking ingredient with numerous health benefits. Garlic belongs to the allium genus, like onions. It is common in different parts of the world, including Africa and Asia.
Garlic is good for the digestive system. It helps improve gut health and aids bowel movement. It also has high anti-microbial and antioxidant properties. This means it can boost immunity.
Studies have shown that garlic can boost metabolism and reduce body weight and fat deposition. For results, you can include one garlic glove when you cook your daily meals. It can also be taken with ginger as “ginger and garlic tea”.
Consuming ginger may help keep your hunger pangs at bay and can help improve your heart health and lower cholesterol levels. It also has anti-cancer properties.
5. Cayenne pepper
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If you love spicy foods, then the chances are that you have eaten meals prepared with cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper is a type of chilli pepper that families use to prepare meals such as fish and meat pepper soups.
Cayenne pepper is distinctly hot because it contains capsaicin which also has many health benefits. Capsaicin may promote weight loss by reducing hunger. Eating less and only when you are hungry will reduce your calorie intake, which is good for your weight loss goal
An older 2009 study found that consuming foods that contain capsaicin caused a reduction in ghrelin (a hormone that induces hunger). Another study found that the spice may slightly boost metabolism, thus increasing the number of calories a person burns.
Fenugreek is derived from Trigonella foenum-graecum, a leguminous plant. Fenugreek may aid weight loss by controlling appetite and reducing food intake.
Fenugreek is sold as a supplement. It can also be brewed into tea. It is good for gut health and can help lower blood sugar. Aside from their use as food supplements, fenugreek seeds and extracts are used in some beauty products.
Fenugreek contains a substantial amount of vitamins and minerals such as folate, vitamin A, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. Its powder can be mixed with water to form a tea called methi water. This tea is touted for its usefulness in reducing blood sugar levels and burning fat.
Fenugreek may also help induce weight loss and support weight maintenance by reducing daily fat intake, according to an older 2009 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
Rosemary increases fat oxidation (the process of breaking down fatty acids) and liver glycolysis (a process by which the glucose stored in the liver are broken down to produce energy). Through these processes, rosemary helps lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
High cholesterol levels and high blood glucose levels (diabetes) have been linked to obesity, and lowering them may reduce your risk of being overweight.
Rosemary is rich in antioxidants and is also antimicrobial. It can prevent bloating and can serve as a detoxifying agent.
You can use fresh or dried rosemary leaves for cooking to get all nutrients. You can also buy and consume its supplement in tablet form.
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Though cumin is not common in countries like Nigeria, this herb is one of the most effective herbs for weight loss. Cumin can aid digestion, fight inflammation, and lower blood sugar and blood pressure when consumed.
Cumin powder significantly reduced the BMI, fat mass, waist circumference, and triglycerides (bad fats) in obese and overweight females who consumed the herb for three months, according to a 2014 study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practise.
You can consume cumin as a juice by adding about two spoons of its powder into water and adding honey to taste.
Cumin also helps improve sleep, enhances gut health, and prevents anaemia and the common cold. Combining it with honey which is antibacterial, can help you fight infections and flush out toxins.
Other powerful herbs that can aid weight loss include cinnamon, dandelion, cardamom, black pepper, hibiscus tea, oregano, fennel seeds and mustard seeds. These herbs are also packed with nutrients, which are good for overall health.
Are herbs safe to use?
The herbs listed here are fairly safe to use. However, it will be best not to go overboard with them as they have minimal risks of side effects. Don't take more than one tablespoon per day, and ensure you are eating healthy, balanced meals to support.
If you are taking herbs in the form of supplements, ensure you stick with the recommended dosage. Also, if you are taking medications or have underlying health conditions, it will be best to talk with your doctor before taking herbs for weight loss.
You can achieve weight loss and physical fitness by targeting your muscles (exercise) and watching what you eat. Herbs are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. Most of them are antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. They can also boost metabolism, reduce appetite, and aid fat burning.
If you consume any of them and feel like your body doesn’t like them, you can stop. You may also want to consult your doctor or a dietician to recommend herbal weight loss remedies tailored for your specific body needs.