These 5 Spices Helped Me Lose 40 Pounds

Written by Nagina Abdullah

With my Indian background, eating spicy, flavorful food was almost mandatory. At our family dinner table, anyone who didn’t add hot peppers to pizza or couldn’t take the heat from my mom’s chicken curry would be stared down and ridiculed.

When I was trying to lose weight, my love of spicy and flavorful food really didn’t translate too well (at least not at first). Food that was considered “healthy” was also super boring! I didn’t have much success in sticking to healthy eating, because I would crave sugar and fattening foods — they tasted so much better!

But after realizing how important flavor is to me, I began creating healthy recipes that incorporated the spices I loved so much. Boom! Losing weight became so much easier. I lost over 40 pounds in a matter of months and the process was more enjoyable than I would have ever believed, because I loved the food I was eating!

The things is, spices not only taste great, they also have additional weight loss benefits. Spices are low in calories, with just four to seven calories per teaspoon.

Here are the five best spices for weight loss and how to use them:

1. Cumin

Cumin is a deeper, smokier spice used in Mediterranean and Indian cuisines. It also helps to control blood sugar while providing a distinctive flavor with little calories.

Add three-quarters tsp. cumin, along with a dash of salt and pepper, to any fish or meat.

2. Cardamom

Cardamom has been used as a digestive aid for centuries, mostly as an additive in tea. It has also been said to cure sugar cravings and serves as a natural breath freshener. Cardamom is warming and aromatic when cooked, and is a low-calorie burst of flavor for vegetables, lentils and soups.

Crack one seed open slightly and add cardamom directly to a cup of tea for smoother digestion after a meal.

3. Turmeric

This beautiful, orange spice brings a warm, earthy flavor to many dishes without an overpowering taste. Turmeric improves digestion, and reduces symptoms of bloating and gas. It also contains cancer-fighting antioxidants.

I use turmeric in curried chickpeas, a dish that helped me a lot with losing my first 10 pounds.

4. Capsaicin

The is the component that gives peppers and red chili powder their heat, capsaicin increases metabolism which causes our bodies to burn more calories, even in a resting state. It also helps control appetite.

The easiest way to start including capsaicin in your diet is to add half a chopped jalapeño pepper or serrano pepper (slightly spicier) into your cooking base (such as oil) to turn up the heat in meat, eggs, beans and vegetable dishes.

5. Cinnamon

This sweet spice regulates blood sugar, which helps reduce appetite and decrease storage of fat.

A tsp. of cinnamon is a great replacement for sugar in coffee or tea, and also adds a lovely kick to smoothies.

Eating food that you enjoy is crucial to losing weight and to keeping it off. Simply put, if you like your food, you will want to eat it. And you will be on a faster path to losing weight and feeling amazing.

You can get a free copy of my weight-loss recipe book with 7 recipes using these spices here.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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