Whether as remedies for healing wounds, nutritional supplements, or other wellness benefits, herbs have long been used for a wide range of health purposes. However, few dieters − smart dieters included − think to turn to herbs when they’re trying to lose weight. Instead, they focus on the “big picture” of a healthier diet without considering these more minute details.
Truth be told, herbs are an essential part of any healthy diet. Moreover, certain herbs are integral for wellness and, sometimes, even weight loss. In this article, we’ll discuss what herbs are, the general value of herbs in your diet, which herbs you should focus on for weight loss, simple tips on flavoring with herbs, and how to incorporate more of them into your food.
What are herbs?
This may seem like a silly question, but it’s important to understand what herbs are before adding them into your diet. Put simply, herbs are the flowering or leafy green parts of plants that you can use to flavor food and in medicines and perfumes. By contrast, spices are typically made from the other parts of the plant and come with different, albeit equally valuable, benefits.
Herbs are generally used either medicinally or in food. In fact, most herbs can be used in both ways to produce innumerable health benefits. This article examines these health benefits in greater detail but first, consider why you should add herbs to your diet at all.
The value of herbs in your diet
Herbs contain essential vitamins and minerals the body needs not only to survive, but to thrive. Due to their powerful nutritional profile, herbs eliminate nutritional deficiencies and allow the body to perform at optimal levels. Most importantly, this means herbs help to resolve health issues rather than just mask them.
Each herb often has its own health benefits and as such, you can select whichever herbs you find most beneficial and integrate them into your diet. This allows you to focus on weight loss or any nutritional deficiencies you want to address. Of course, it’s best to consume a wide range of herbs so that you can reap the diverse benefits each has to offer for weight loss and general health.
General health benefits of herbs
While each herb has its own benefits, herbs collectively offer a number of health benefits. Here are some of the most noteworthy benefits herbs have to offer:
- Boost immunity − herbs contain antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, phytosterols, and other plant-based nutrients that support immune health. Many consider plants to be medicinal in nature, even in small doses.
- Reduce inflammation − the essential oils in some herbs are known to reduce inflammation in the body. This can protect against inflammation-related conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even ulcerative colitis.
- Reduce blood sugar levels and cholesterol − some herbs help balance blood sugar and can even help those with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes to control their condition. Other herbs help reduce cholesterol as well.
And, of course, herbs can also play a role in weight loss.
How herbs aid in weight loss
Herbs aid in weight loss in a number of ways:
- Add flavor for no additional calories. If you want to perk up healthy foods without adding calories, you can’t beat flavoring with herbs. Moreover, there are underlying health benefits, like those we mentioned above. As such, you’re flavoring your foods, keeping meals interesting, and supporting your general well-being.
- Boost metabolism. Though garlic is technically a member of the onion family, many consider it a herb. And, as a natural thermogenic food, garlic causes the body to produce heat, which burns more calories.
- Burn fat. Some herbs, such as ginseng, help the body burn fat, further supporting your weight loss goals.
Which herbs to use in your diet
Some of the best herbs for weight loss include:
- Ginseng. Ginseng speeds up the metabolism because it contains caffeine. This helps you burn fat and lose weight due to its thermogenic properties. Studies reveal that ginseng can control obesity, control blood sugar, improve digestion, and improve stamina, helping to power your workouts.
- Dandelion. Dandelion normalizes blood sugar and reduces inflammation, both of which are key for weight loss.
- Spearmint. Spearmint decreases body fat by releasing excess estrogen while enhancing the form of testosterone that helps burn fat.
- Sage. Sage doesn’t automatically trigger weight loss reactions in the body but it does reduce blood pressure, blood sugar, and anxiety. This helps many people to eat less and reduce their cortisol level, which causes calories to be stored as fat.
- Oregano. Oregano promotes healthy digestion, keeping you regular. Digestion is directly related to both your metabolism and weight gain. As such, it’s vital you improve your digestion as you focus on weight loss.
Now comes the fun part: actually incorporating some of these herbs into your diet!
Many smart dieters incorporate herbs into their diets by drinking herbal teas (spearmint, for example) to reap the powerful benefits these herbs have to offer. Others chop them up and put them in their favorite healthy meals, including main dishes, soups, and salads. Regardless of how you choose to incorporate herbs in your diet, it only matters that you do!
Integrate herbs into your diet to begin reaping maximum benefits
While herbs aren’t the “magic solution” for weight loss, they do offer several benefits that will support weight loss and other health-related issues. Most importantly, they keep healthy eating tasty, helping you stay on track while enjoying your food. In fact, flavoring with herbs is one of the easiest ways to switch up your diet and keep things interesting.
Herbs mirror many of the benefits of PhenQ! As your comprehensive weight loss supplement, PhenQ burns fat, boosts energy, and suppresses appetite to keep you on track and focused on your goals. By incorporating PhenQ into your diet along with herbs and other healthy foods, you can approach weight loss from every angle. This means that you won’t only reach your goals, but you’ll be able to maintain your weight loss from a long-term perspective as well.
Want to switch up your herbs for some spices? Check out our Smart Dieter’s Guide to Flavoring With Spices!