The last Smart Dieter’s Guide revealed why you should flavor your meals with herbs. This one focuses on another important way to flavor your food and amp up your weight loss with The Smart Dieter’s Guide To Flavoring With Spices!
People often confuse herbs and spices, but they’re different. Herbs are the leafy or flowering parts of plants, whereas spices are made from what remains of plants. And although there are a wide range of herbs to choose from to flavor your food, there are even more spices!
This article explores what spices are, the benefits of cooking with spices, how spices support weight loss and other well-being initiatives, and how best to incorporate spices in your diet (hint: not only in cooked foods).
What are spices?
Spices are dried parts of a plant other than the leaves. This is because the leaves, as we briefly mentioned above, are actually considered herbs. This means that bark, roots, berries, twigs, seeds, or virtually any other part of the plant is a spice.
For example, cinnamon is a bark, cardamom is a seed, and cloves are dried flower buds. And, because there are so many spices to choose from, you can make the same foods but flavor them differently to keep your diet interesting.
Weight loss benefits of cooking with spices
Cooking with spices comes with an array of health-related benefits. In fact, spices have been shown to support weight loss efforts by:
- Improving the health profile of your meals. Adding spices to your meals may help you to save on some of the salt, fat, and sugar you would otherwise add to amp up the flavor in your dish. This means you can also add spices to protect against health conditions associated with excessive sodium, such as high blood pressure. Moreover, spices are a zero-calorie flavor-booster that will keep meals interesting while keeping them healthier as well.
- Eating less. Well-seasoned foods are more satisfying. This helps those who are trying to lose weight because they will eat less food while feeling satiated.
- Boosting general wellness. Many spices contain anti-inflammatory properties, can boost immune health, and may even reduce blood sugar levels. This supports general wellness in addition to weight loss and helps reinforce your commitment to your overall health.
What are some of the healthiest spices?
While all spices are likely to benefit your health in one way or another, certain spices are more beneficial than others.
Here are some of the best spices to incorporate into your diet:
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, which gives the spice its medicinal properties. This means it fights inflammation and can even lower cholesterol. Most notably, cinnamon lowers blood sugar by slowing down the body’s breakdown of carbs while improving insulin sensitivity.
- Turmeric. Turmeric is commonly used in curries and contains curcumin, which gives this spice its medicinal properties. Curcumin reduces inflammation and its benefits may also protect against high cholesterol, stomach ulcers, and diabetes.
- Cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper’s active ingredient, capsaicin, reduces appetite and has also been shown to increase fat burning. Chili powder contains capsaicin as well, making it another beneficial spice to add to your diet!
- Black pepper. Black pepper may not seem too important but recent studies reveal that its active compound, piperine, may interfere with the formation of new fat cells. This process is known as adiopogenesis and can help people lose weight.
- Mustard seeds. Some studies reveal that eating just one teaspoon of mustard, which contains just five calories, can boost the metabolism by up to 25% for several hours afterwards. Allyl isothiocyanates, phytochemicals in mustard, are thought to give the spice this effect.
- Cumin. Recent studies suggest that cumin increases metabolism and, due to high iron levels, can increase energy as well.
- Ginger. Ginger is known to increase the metabolic rate while decreasing appetite. Most importantly, ginger regulates digestion, which is essential when you want to lose weight.
How to incorporate spices into your diet
You may think that you should buy some spices, add them to your dishes, and that’s all you need to worry about. However, there are other ways to incorporate spices into your diet and, most importantly, get the most from the spices you do use, especially for the weight loss benefits above.
It’s important to remember that you can add spices to almost anything: dressings, smoothies, juices, teas, and other foods and drinks. As such, you shouldn’t think about spices only when you’re preparing a main dish. Think of creative ways to spice up your diet and you’ll remain satisfied and interested in what you’re eating.
It’s also important to remember that not all spices are created equal. Here are some tips to get the most out of any spices you use:
- Buy spices whole. The extra step of working them down with a grinder or mortar and pestle is worth it because they’ll last longer and be more flavorsome in the dishes you create.
- Store spices in a cool, dry place. Always store spices away from moisture, heat, and direct sunlight. Any of these factors can affect the quality of spices.
- Know when to throw spices away. Do you have spices in your cupboard that you bought years ago? Most people do. You should throw these away and refresh your supply with new ones. The new spices will be tastier in your new favorite meals.
Spice up your diet for maximum weight loss
When you want to keep your diet tasty, interesting, and primed for weight loss, spices are a simple way to do so. Most importantly, when combined with a comprehensive weight loss supplement like PhenQ, you can amp up weight loss by layering substances designed to burn fat, increase metabolism, and support you in your weight loss endeavors.
So, what will you spice up first? No matter what you choose, you’re sure to enjoy a more interesting, dynamic diet that will help you lose weight and keep it off.