Spices are a gift from up above for people who don’t like to cook, don’t have the time to cook, or are just looking for a way to add a ton of flavor without many calories. You can save even more time by opting for spice blends. I am OBSESSED with Everything but the Bagel it makes whatever I top my GGs with so much tastier (usually I opt for low-fat cheese with this blend). When it comes to seasoning for things like steamed or roasted veggies or lean protein Pereg Gourmet has a ton of affordable options – literally everything from pumpkin pie spice to kabab.
With so many options I wondered which ones were the best for boosting weight loss and revving up metabolism so I turned to Vanessa Rissetto MS, RD, CDN and Dr. Jennifer Stagg and asked them which ones to make sure to stock up on (either as single spices or in blends).
First up Rissetto’s picks:
- Ginseng: increases energy and speeds metabolism – it’s also said to improve insulin sensitivity.
- Cinnamon: balances blood sugar and carb cravings helping to keep you full for longer.
- Mustard: supposedly increases your metabolic rate by 25%, meaning ¾ of a tsp daily can help you burn an extra 45 calories.
- Tumeric: a 2009 study found that mice fed curcumin which is the active ingredient in turmeric lost more fat than those on the same diet who weren’t fed the curcumin. It is believed to increase body heat and boost metabolism.
- Ginger: anti-inflammatory that controls blood sugar and has the same thermogenic properties as cinnamon and turmeric.
- Cayenne: increases body temperature and metabolism. Supposedly it can help to burn 100 calories per meal.
- Dandelions: even though these are just weeds – they also have some great benefits – the reduce bloating, normalize blood sugar, and cholesterol. They also have vitamins like A, C, and E and minerals like iron and K.
Dr. Stagg echoed many of Rissetto’s picks (she’s a biochemist turned naturopathic physician). Here’s a look at her go-to recommendations:
- Turmeric: a potent anti-inflammatory. The curcuminoids found in turmeric can modulate adipokines which regulate fat metabolism and cravings.
- Ginger: studies show ginger acts through multiple pathways including increasing thermogenesis, increasing lipolysis, suppression of lipogenesis, inhibition of intestinal fat absorption, and controlling appetite.
- Cinnamon: long been known to help with blood sugar control. Research is now showing that cinnamon may also help with weight control through impacting gut bacteria and addressing leaky gut.
- Black pepper: helps improve the effects of turmeric. Pepper also has the ability to inhibit production of new fat cells.
- Cumin: it has actually been studied in a clinical trial in overweight/obese women. The women who used cumin regularly had improvements in BMI and waist circumference, lost fat specifically and had better cholesterol profiles.
- Cayenne: helps regulate metabolism by increasing thermogenic rate. It also can improve insulin sensitivity which helps with blood sugar control.