Spices and herbs not only help to add flavor and interest to clean eating, but they also have health benefits of their own. Check out the health benefits of these herbs and spices and learn ways to incorporate them into your diet.
Cinnamon can help you control your blood sugar and insulin levels, protecting you from diabetes and also managing your hunger. I like cinnamon on almost anything. I put it in my green tea, on my peanut butter and banana toast, in my spaghetti sauce, and on my greek yogurt and berries.
Cayenne pepper contains a compound called dihydrocapsiate, which has been shown to increase the body’s ability to burn fat when eaten three times per day. Use cayenne on your salads, in your spaghetti sauce, over your scrambled egg whites!
Turmeric has been shown to reduce inflammation, high levels of which may be a significant cause of obesity and difficulty losing weight. Turmeric is most commonly used in Indian dishes, but you can sprinkle ground tumeric on eggs, beans, soups, salads, roasted sweet potatoes, and stir fry vegetables. Your imagination is the limit. You can even sprinkle turmeric on an ear of corn and save yourself the sodium!
Fresh or powdered ginger can help reduce your appetite and cut cravings. It also can help with nausea. Use it in salad dressings, stir fry, in a marinade for chicken or beef, or in protein smoothies.
Piperine, is the substance in black pepper that gives it that peppery flavor. Piperine has been shown to help the body burn more calories through the process of thermogenesis. Piperine can also help your body use nutrients more efficiently. Pepper is great on roasted veggies, pasta, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish.
Studies in rats have shown that cardamom can aid in lowering blood glucose and regulating insulin, as well as lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Cardamom is great in tea with cinnamon!
Cloves can help you lose weight by speeding up your metabolism and helping your body to burn more calories. Cloves are yummy in ground turkey or ground beef.
Mustard seed has a thermogenic effect on the body, causing it to burn more calories as it digests food. Try seasoning your food with powdered dry mustard seed for an extra kick!
Garlic helps the body metabolize carbohydrates and fats more efficiently. Animal studies have shown that garlic may also prevent the body from creating more fat! Use garlic in fresh or powdered form to season veggies, meats, fish, dressings, sauces, etc.
Photo credit: Sugar N’ Spice