Looking for a way to naturally boost your metabolism and drop a couple (or more) excess pounds? Well, the answer just might be as close as your kitchen spice rack. In addition to avoiding the obvious offending food choices such as fast foods, fried foods, packaged processed foods and sugar-laden sweets, adding the right selection of spices to your meals is proven to rev a sluggish metabolism and help you lose pound and inches.
Below, are some of the most common spices that you’ll tend to find in one’s kitchen. In addition to giving amazing flavors to your favorite vegetarian and vegan dishes, they also give a nice kick to your metabolism, helping to aid you in your weight loss efforts.
Black Pepper – Adding just 1/2 of a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper to your meals can help boost your metabolism by almost 10%, AND, the effect will last for two hours after you eat. Black pepper helps to dissolve the fat in foods so it can be quickly flushed from your body, instead of being stored on your hips, belly and thighs. For optimal benefits, you definitely want to purchase a pepper mill and freshly grind your pepper with each use vs. buying the already ground version. The fresher the pepper, the higher the quantity and the more potent the active metabolism-boosting compounds are.
Ginger – In addition to aiding in the digestive processes after consuming food, fresh ginger has now been found to contain powerful hunger-curbing properties, as well as additional compounds that break down the fatty acids in foods, thereby helping to prevent them from being stored as fat on your body. While powdered ginger does retain some of these weight loss aiding benefits, fresh ginger is where the magic is. Try adding some freshly grated or thinly sliced ginger to your favorite dishes, and you should notice a marked decrease in your hunger within just a day or two.
Mustard Seeds – If you are a fan of mustard, you’re going to love knowing that researchers have found that eating 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds with a meal helps your body dissolve 25% more calories for 2-3 hours after consumption. Researchers have isolated several compounds in mustard seeds that are shown to increase blood flow to your muscles, signaling them to burn more fat. Additionally, mustard seeds activate your body’s ‘brown fat’ stores, which when activated, burns extra calories to generate body heat.
Cinnamon – If erratic blood sugar levels cause you to binge either at meals or in-between, you might want to try adding some cinnamon to your dishes. Just 1/2 of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon is all it takes, either in your oatmeal, veggie dish, or even your coffee, and this delicious spice goes to work to steady your blood sugar levels, preventing the spikes that cause those spontaneous food binges. And, the lower your blood sugar, the less fat your body stores, particularly in your stomach area.
Cayenne Pepper – Fresh cayenne pepper is one potent weight loss aid. And, when added to your diet, it can help you lose five, ten and even twenty pounds faster than just diet or exercise alone. All it takes is 1/8 of a teaspoon, and the active compound ‘capsaicin’ found in cayenne pepper helps squash food and sugar cravings by triggering the release of appetite-suppressing hormones in your body. Additionally, it also unleashes unique proteins that actually shrink existing fat cells. If you’re not a fan of hot spices, instead of using ground cayenne pepper, you can reduce much of the ‘heat’ factor by consuming fresh cayenne pepper instead. Just remove all or most of the inner seeds, which is where the ‘heat’ comes from, and slice or dice the cayenne pepper into your favorite dishes.
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina ‘The Veggie Goddess’ Matthews