Did you know that there are certain spices that you can add to your cooking to help give your body the jumpstart it needs get the blood flowing and those calories burning? With a little research and knowledge, you can boost your metabolism while increasing your health with the foods that you eat. Although there is no magic cure for weight loss, there are some things that come pretty close. If you aren't too familiar with the benefits of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne, but you want to shed a few pounds, you'll want to learn more!
Our top "Get in Shape" spices
There is a good reason why turmeric has been used by cultures dating as far back as 2500 BCE, its health benefits are off the charts! It just recently has resurfaced in the western world and is getting quite a bit of exposure for its healing qualities, but in a large portion of the world, it has always been considered the miracle spice. When it comes to weight loss, turmeric offers tremendous benefits in fat burning, and also for those suffering from obesity and related metabolic disorders.
At the core of every healthy metabolism system is a properly functioning digestive system. Recent studies have correlated turmeric with improved digestion. It aids in stimulating the gallbladder to produce the bile needed to break down the proteins, starches, and cellulose for cell metabolism.
Although ginger is highly known for its anti-nausea characteristics, due to its composition consisting of both gingerols and capsaicin, it is also highly regarded as a great weight loss tool. Ginger has been proven to increase the metabolic rate by 20% for up to 3 hours at a time! It is a natural appetite suppressant and detox agent. Ginger tea helps to promote a natural cleansing action, therefore, removing toxins and extra waste through the bowel helping the body will shed unwanted weight. You can sip on ginger tea all day, and never experience intense hunger. No wonder it has been used by Ayurvedic remedies for holistic health-care for over 4,000 years!
Cinnamon is amazing. Not only does it make a great tasting spice for may foods, desserts and drinks, the spice has the ability to alter the metabolism of sugar and carbohydrates making the body's system better at burning carb storage before it turns to excess fat! Here's the magic: when you consume cinnamon it causes a metabolic reaction. Your metabolism speeds up because the spice takes a little extra energy to metabolize. This boost in metabolism automatically burns more calories and aids in weight loss.
Cinnamon is also known to be a great appetite suppressant as it slows down the process of digestion, leaving you feeling full for longer increments of time.
Here is a bit of history on cayenne and metabolism: The Native Americans have been using this spice for 9,000 years! They may not have known all the scientific benefits that cayenne had at the time, but they were onto something wonderful. Besides spicing up food a few notches, it also speeds ups metabolism and suppresses the appetite.
The active ingredient in cayenne known as capsaicin, causes the body to produce extra heat and burn more calories for fuel, thus increasing metabolism. Studies have shown that after consuming cayenne, the body's metabolic rate can increase 15 to 20 percent for up to two hours immediately following. Capsaicin also has been shown to stimulate fat oxidation, a healthy process in weight loss that allows the body to use fat as fuel.
Cooking with Turmeric, Ginger, Cinnamon, and Cayenne
You may truly love all the benefits these amazing spices have to offer in reference to boosting your metabolism, but now you might be wondering how to incorporate them into your diet and foods. No problem! We have gathered a few simple, delicious and easy to follow recipes to help you get the most out of every meal you consume. It does not take supplements and capsules of these spices to reap the benefits you've read about. Research has shown just the normal amounts added into foods are enough to produce great results!
*Remember, always choose organic ingredients when possible.
Turmeric Hummus Dip
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 3 tablespoons dried and unsweetened coconut
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1 minced jalapeño
Blend everything together in a food processor until smooth and creamy and serve with your favorite pita chips or bread.
Makes 5 Servings.
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup sweet onion chopped
- 1 1/3 cups plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 pounds peeled and chopped carrots, peeled
- 1 medium peeled and chopped potato
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
In a pot, combine and stir the olive oil, salt, and chopped onion over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger, stir for 2 minutes
Next add the carrots, potato, and the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for approximately 20-25 minutes until the veggies are tender.
On the side, lightly toast the pine nuts in a small saute pan and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, honey, thyme, and pepper
Puree the soup until smooth. Add additional salt and pepper to taste if needed. Place one scoopof yogurt in the middle of the soup, sprinkle the pine nuts on top.
Makes 8 servings.
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup cold green tea
- 1/2 cup sweet or unsweetened almond milk, depending on your preference
- 1/2 banana
- 1-2 scoops of ice
- Optional: Kale or spinach
Blend all ingredients until smooth
Makes one serving.
Spiced Sweet Potato Burger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 1/4 cup dry quinoa, cooked
- 1/4 cup dry barley, cooked
- 15-ounce can of rinsed and drained garbanzo beans
- 1 small baked sweet potato
- 1 1/2 fresh red peppers quartered, with stem and seeds removed (optional)
Combine the garbanzo beans, sweet potato, parsley, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper, flour, and one tablespoon of olive oil in a food processor, then allow to cool.
Mix the bean mixture with the quinoa and barley.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, and put heaping spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, flattening them out into 4-inch patties.
Brown both sides and serve on a bun. Optional: serve with roasted red peppers.
Makes 6 servings.