Fresh and dried herbs and spices that act as stimulants not only make food delectable, they can also increase your resting metabolic rate and help you exercise more efficiently. With the stimulated energy level, you’ll burn calories more efficiently and read your body of stored fat. Add these liberally to your food to help with weight loss:
Hot peppers and chiles help metabolize fat. The secret is in the capsaicin, and antioxidant that puts the heat in hot peppers. Hot peppers contribute to a decrease in insulin resistance and have anti-inflammatory effects (Insulin resistance and inflammation are both involved in metabolic syndrome). Sprinkle a little crushed red pepper on vegetables and meat.
Piperine (in black pepper) decreases inflammation, has antioxidant properties, and can suppress cell damage. Cayenne pepper, mustard, and horseradish have similar effects. Grind fresh black pepper onto your meals. Dab fresh horseradish onto meats, and use mustard and cayenne to flavor meats, vegetables, and legumes.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, aids fat metabolism, lowers blood sugar, and increases insulin and leptin sensitivity. Reducing inflammation is another benefit of curcumin’s antioxidant properties. It also acts as a stimulant, spurring weight loss with increased energy. Sprinkle turmeric on any food and into soups and stews.
Garlic is another stimulant and also lowers blood pressure, helps metabolize fat, increases insulin sensitivity, and lowers oxidative stress. Use the flat of a knife to crush garlic cloves, releasing them from their papery skins. Mince and enjoy raw in salads or lightly steamed or sautéed for use in the savory food choices in my diet.
Cinnamon, with its distinctive sent and flavor from cinnamaldehyde increases insulin sensitivity and can lower blood sugar if you are insulin resistant. Because cinnamon can improve insulin function and reduce inflammation, it’s considered an anti-diabetic and a metabolic syndrome preventative. Given its ability to lower cholesterol, cinnamon is a metabolism-friendly spice. Sprinkle it on yogurt, fruit, and meats.
Gingerroot has been used for centuries for its medicinal effects. To aid in weight loss, use fresh ginger as a stimulant to raise your metabolic rate. Ginger has anti-inflammatory effects, and has also been shown to lower cholesterol. Diabetics may find ginger helpful with blood sugar levels because it lowers both glucose and weight. Buy fresh ginger root for a sweet-hot flavor explosion, mincing and sautéing it with garlic to add to vegetables, legumes, and meat. Dice raw and sprinkle on fruit, or boil sliced gingerroot in water and enjoy as a tea.
Cardamom is a plant native to southern India with a unique vanilla-like flavor. The cardamom seeds are what promote healthy metabolism and detoxification. By stripping the seeds and sipping cardamom tea, you relieve gas, indigestion, nausea, gallbladder issues, and intestinal irritation.
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