Spices form an integral part of Indian cuisines. People add them to main course meals like curry and biryani, desserts and beverages. Even cuisines prepared outside India contain spices in abundance. Historically, spices brought traders from across the globe to India centuries ago. Spices serve a variety of purposes apart from flavour and taste. For example, turmeric is renowned for its antibacterial and therapeutic effects. Many spices can also help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite and burning more calories due to their nutritional properties.
Nutritional Advantages of Spices
Spices have intense flavours but don’t make a significant contribution to the calories in our diet. It is because we use them in relatively small amounts. However, some spices contain large protein, fats, and carbs. Paprika, for example, includes a lot of vitamin A. Spices include significant amounts of iron, minerals, magnesium, and calcium. In addition, most spices have antioxidant effects and contain phenolic components like flavonoids, which improve the body’s absorption of nutrients.
Spices that Help in Weight Loss
Cinnamon has several antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. The most well-known property of cinnamon is its ability to aid weight loss. Cinnamon has a natural appetite suppressant effect. Additionally, it speeds up your metabolism. It acts as an insulin stimulant and allows sugar metabolization more efficiently. One of the major causes of excess body weight is insulin resistance. It does not indicate that the person has diabetes; rather, it indicates un-metabolized insulin. The sugar in the body turns into fat if not absorbed through its metabolism. Cinnamon aids in breaking down and metabolising sugar. As a result, it helps lose weight.
2. Cayenne Pepper
This blazing hot spice gets easily digested by the stomach and decreases hunger. The active element in cayenne pepper helps to reduce bad cholesterol resulting in improved heart health. In addition, the capsaicin in peppers contains thermogenic properties that help in burning fat.
According to one study, adding 1 gram of cayenne pepper to a meal can raise core body temperature significantly. As a result, your body will burn more calories. In addition, it speeds up the metabolic process. The rate of food transformation by the body and liquids into energy is determined by metabolic rate. Therefore, the body turns nutrients into energy rather than stored fat when your metabolic rate increases.
Fennel, commonly known as Saunf, is a natural diuretic and appetite suppressant. It is high in vitamins A, C, and D. It offers several antioxidant characteristics that aid digestive health. Improved digestion naturally results in a healthy digestive system and leads to weight loss.
Fennel is high in fibre, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer. As a result, it reduces cravings and overeating, leading to low-calorie consumption. It ultimately aids in weight loss. Fennel prevents fat accumulation by promoting increased vitamin and mineral absorption. Since Saunf contains diuretic characteristics, consuming fennel tea can help remove toxins from the body, resulting in weight loss.
The seeds of fennel are essential for boosting metabolism. A healthy metabolic rate leads to a healthy and maintained weight. The key to healthily losing weight is to have a healthy metabolism. Fennel seeds contain volatile oils such as estragole, fenchone, and anethole. They aid digestion by increasing the formation of gastric juices. The key to losing weight in a healthy approach is to have a healthy digestive system.
Fenugreek contains fibre that aids in the suppression of food cravings. Fibre also makes you feel full and prevents you from overeating. In addition, the mucilaginous fibre in the fenugreek seeds relaxes and shields the digestive system from damage caused by free radicals. As a result, it improves digestion and food absorption.
Fenugreek seeds have a significant level of insoluble fibre, which is essential for proper digestion and aids in the elimination of toxins. Additionally, galactomannan is a water-soluble heteropolysaccharide in fenugreek seeds. It improves weight loss by lowering fat accumulation.
Cardamom is a diuretic and digestive stimulant that boosts metabolism and burns fat more effectively. So a spoonful of this fragrant spice can help you lose a few pounds.
Cardamom promotes weight loss by preventing indigestion, constipation, and water retention. It contains active chemicals that combat bacteria and balance intestinal flora. It also allows proper digestion. Additionally, it contains melatonin that speeds up the body’s fat-burning mechanism. It also aids in the expulsion of excess water from the body, retained as urine.
The majority of fat collected near the belly in many people increases the risk for various health concerns. Cardamom water aids in the reduction of belly fat-storage by reducing the bulge in that region. You can mix a few pods into your tea or eat them to get the optimum results.
6. Black Pepper
Black pepper is capable of a lot more than merely flavouring your meal. For example, piperine, a chemical found in black pepper, improves metabolic function and reduces fat storage in the body. As a result, you can effectively prevent obesity with black pepper dishes like black pepper tea.
Black pepper additionally aids the body’s ineffective absorption of the nutrients. It is known as dietary bioavailability. In addition, it aids in boosting immunity and prevents infections. If mixed with other fat-burning ingredients, black pepper can burn an equivalent amount of calories as a 20-minute walk. It also prevents the formation of new fat cells.
Along with its strong flavour, this spice also possesses fat-burning effects. Garlic burns the body fat by increasing the overall body temperature.
Garlic is essential for increasing energy levels, which helps you burn calories and stay in shape. It actively increases the metabolic rate and helps the body lose weight more effectively. In addition, garlic is well-known for its appetite-suppressing properties. It keeps you full for long, reducing your chances of overeating.
It’s a fantastic detoxifier. It aids in the removal of toxins that severely damages the digestive system. Garlic also provides several other health benefits, including lowered blood pressure, reduced inflammation, and prevented heart disease and osteoarthritis. Therefore, you should include garlic in your regular diet.
Turmeric is a well-known immunity-boosting plant that can also aid weight loss. In addition, it bears several fat-burning qualities. It aids in digestion and is a powerful fat-burning agent. It also contains a chemical called curcumin, which aids in increasing the body’s metabolic rate simply by increasing core body heat.
Curcumin reduces inflammatory markers linked to obesity. People who are overweight or obese have higher levels of these indicators. Therefore, this substance can help you lose weight, inhibit fat tissue growth, prevent weight gain, and improve insulin sensitivity.
Mix turmeric powder to your curry or beverages and enjoy your healthy diet.
It is one of the most effective spices for weight reduction. This plant can help to improve digestion and promote metabolism. The herb contains antioxidants, anticonvulsants, and antibacterial qualities.
Ashwagandha aids in reducing stress, one of the leading reasons for weight gain in the present time. Especially for women, various physical issues cause stress to women. Few of these concerns include an irregular menstruation cycle, acne, pimples, and bloating. It directly increases the body’s cortisol level, further leading to stress. Stress and elevated cortisol levels commonly contribute to weight gain. Ashwagandha relieves anxiety and reduces the adverse effects of cortisol on the body and overall health. It suppresses your hunger and, as a result, aids in weight loss.
Ashwagandha is high in antioxidants, necessary for weight loss and general health. They boost the metabolic rate, reduce inflammation, and aid in burning fat accumulated in the body.
Guggul is a herb extracted from the resin of the Commiphora Mukul tree. As per a study, guggul can help with weight loss and improve thyroid function. Furthermore, combining a guggulsterone phosphate supplement with regular exercise results in a considerable reduction in the body’s fat mass.
High cholesterol is commonly treated and controlled with this Ayurvedic herb. In addition, ayurvedic remedies are famous for helping people lose weight and live healthier lifestyles.
Guggul includes plant steroids known as guggulsterone that help lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Research suggests that guggulsterone help improve thyroid health, which means they aid the body’s natural ability to control metabolism. The thyroid’s primary function is to regulate your metabolism.
Metabolism refers to how your body converts food into energy that it can use to function. The thyroid produces T4 and T3 hormones to regulate metabolism. These hormones are responsible for informing the body’s cells about how much energy they should consume. Lack of proper release of these hormones results in storing all the nutrients in fat. As a result, it further contributes to weight gain.
Healthy Recipes Using Spices
Asian Jalapeno Chicken
- Cold pressed coconut oil or home made ghee: 1 tbsp
- Boneless chicken breasts chunks: ½ kgs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Sesame seeds: 1/2 tsp
- Chopped fresh cilantro leaves: 2 tbsp
- Cornstarch: 1 tbsp
- Honey: 1/2 cup
- Garlic: 2 cloves
- Lemon Juice: 1 lemon
- Sodium soy sauce: 2 tbsp
- Apple cider vinegar: 1 tbsp
- Sesame oil: 1 tsp
- Jalapeno: 1
- Put the vegetable oil over medium flame in a skillet.
- Use salt and pepper to season the chicken. Place the seasoned skillet in the skillet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes till it turns golden.
- Then mix cornstarch and one tablespoon water in a bowl.
- Take a small frying pan and mix honey, garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil and jalapeno over medium flame.
- Boil it and after lowering the heat, add cornstarch mixture to it till it becomes thick—mix chicken in it.
- Serve after garnishing with sesame seeds.
Spiced Raw Chocolate Mousse
- Raw cashews: 30g
- Raw cocoa: 2 tbsp
- Ripe avocado: 1
- Frozen banana: 1
- Raw organic honey: 2 tbsp
- Cayenne pepper- 1/2 tsp
- Ground ginger- 1/2 tsp
- Pinch of sea salt
- Soften the cashews by soaking them in water for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Put soaked cashews, cocoa, avocado, banana, honey (or maple syrup), cayenne, ginger and salt in a blender and mix until it becomes smooth and thick.
- Add water if it becomes too thick.
- Serve chilled
The Best Ways to Use Spices
Spices have so many health benefits that it’s advisable to incorporate them into your everyday food menu. In addition, you can use them in various ways to promote excellent health.
- The easiest way to add spice into your diet is through cooking. Whole, ground, and blended spices are readily accessible in the market. To improve food taste and nutrient content, you can use specific spices or add significant amounts of mixed spice to food while cooking.
- You can also use spices as preservatives. For example, you can use them to extend the shelf life of prepared meals. Pickles are the most common example of this.
- You can use spices as home remedies to address various minor health conditions. For example, prepare face packs using turmeric, nutmeg, and cinnamon to treat acne and achieve bright skin. Turmeric paste also treats minor scrapes and bruises. In addition, it is rich with antibacterial properties that heal wounds fast.
Spices are beneficial for health. They are generally safe to consume on an everyday basis without causing significant adverse effects. However, individual reactions to different spices can be harmful if you consume spiced foods or drinks that aren’t adequately prepared or preserved. Therefore, you should also avoid excessive consumption of spices.
Overeating hot or spiced foods can result in nausea, stomach discomfort, and diarrhoea. It is because spicy foods produce significant body heat, which harms the good bacteria and membrane of the stomach. Moreover, in case of contact with hot spices, there is a possibility of inducing contact dermatitis or red, itchy rashes. Spices that release quite a lot of heat, like cinnamon and nutmeg, are more likely to cause it.
Furthermore, many spices may react with certain drugs, resulting in blood thinning and haemorrhoids development. Fortunately, these are highly uncommon, and the advantages of spices suppress the minor side effects.
Although spices effectively suppress hunger, it does not mean you should use them excessively. Instead, make intelligent choices, and you’ll lose weight naturally. Also, when purchasing spices, make sure they’re unadulterated and safe, particularly if you’re buying spice blends or powdered spices for consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Which spices are good for health?
A. Cinnamon, fennel, fenugreek, and turmeric are all beneficial to your health. Fennel is a natural diuretic and appetite suppressant, while cinnamon contains many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances that aid in weight loss. At the same time, the fibre in fenugreek helps curb food cravings and improves digestion and meal absorption. Furthermore, turmeric helps boost immunity and lose weight.
Q. How do spices affect your body?
A. Spices offer several health advantages and a delicious taste and fragrance to your food. Therefore, you should include them in your regular diet. They aid in weight reduction, reduce food cravings, enhance digestion and meal absorption, and are also used to promote immunity and improve thyroid function.
Q. What spices boost energy?
A. Several spices help boost energy. For example, ginseng contains ginsenosides, eleutherosides, and ciwujianosides, which have energy-enhancing effects. In addition, spices like cinnamon, cumin, and cloves can help you feel more energised throughout the day.
Q. Which spice keeps the heart healthy?
A. Cinnamon has heart-healthy properties. It helps lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In addition, cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which helps lower blood pressure and keeps blood flowing well around your body. Furthermore, some spices in Indian delicacies also help improve heart health, which include garlic, pepper, coriander, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon.
Q. Are dried spices healthy?
A. Yes, dried spices with high ORAC values, such as cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper, have antioxidant properties. A teaspoon of these spices is about the same amount as a cup of blueberries or strawberries. In addition, dried spices have a lot of nutritional value, which helps benefit the body.
Q. Is Chilli good for health?
A. Yes, Chilli has up to seven times the vitamin C content of an orange. As a result, it has several health advantages. For example, it helps reduce headaches, muscular, joint, and nerve pain, and battling nasal congestion.
Q. What spice unclogs arteries?
A. Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that helps maintain arteries clear from any blockages. That is because of curcumin in turmeric. It helps reduce inflammation, a primary cause of artery hardening.