Being on a strict healthy diet to reduce weight doesn’t mean that the food should be tasteless. Although tasteless food can discourage eating, there are options to make healthy food choices palatable. Adding the right kinds of seasoning to healthy food options can also encourage a regular taste for healthier choices.
Condiments are one of the most important things to add into food for taste, flavor and an added health boost.
1. Black Pepper
Black pepper is one of the most beneficial spices around. Piperine, a chemical component found in pepper, increases HCA or hydrochloric acid secretion which aids in digestion. The outermost layer of a peppercorn actually helps in the breakdown of fat cells in the body. Once this happens, the fats are easier to secrete through urination or utilized as energy. Regular consumption of pepper can assists it proper utilization of fat and reduce its accumulation in the body.
Cinnamon is definitely a great addition to any drink or meal. The effect of cinnamon in the body is that it speeds up the metabolic rate during the process of digestion. It also assists in maintaining blood sugar levels. It is similar to insulin in a way that it helps the cells utilize glucose in the body. There is an added benefit of helping to decrease fat especially in the abdominal area, which results in lower triglycerides levels.
Ginger stimulates thermogenesis in the body. Thermogenesis is the increase of body heat resulting from increased metabolic processes. A recent study in 2012, studied the thermic effect of ginger and its effect on satiety. The results revealed that those subjects who had consumed certain amounts of ginger in their diet reported lower degrees of hunger as well as elevated thermogenesis. This would definitely be useful for weight management.
Turmeric is primarily used in curry dishes. An active ingredient in turmeric, which is curcumin, helps reduce the formation of fat tissue in the body. It serves as a great antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals in the blood and at the same time increasing the levels of natural antioxidants. It also improves the function of the blood vessels, lessening the risk of developing heart problems. Overall, turmeric not only assists in metabolic functions but may also prevent the development of certain diseases.
5. Cayenne pepper
The active component in cayenne peppers that give it heat and spice is capsaicin. Its effect is similar to that of ginger. Capsaicin increases thermogenesis and speeds up the metabolic rate. It aids in lowering carbohydrate intake, decrease triglyceride levels in the blood as well as trigger fat metabolism. According to a journal published in Physiology and Behavior, “consuming just half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper along with a meal can help suppress appetite and burn calories.” The end result would be weight loss.
6. Mustard seeds
Spicy mustard can help in weight loss. Same as other spices, it increases metabolism and generates a warm sensation. According to a study in Penn State University, “very hot foods can increase metabolism up to twenty percent for thirty minutes after consumption.” This is also true in the case of mustard. Not only that, but it is suggested to be a good source of antioxidants and omega 3.
Cardamom belongs to the same category as ginger. It also increases metabolic rate through thermogenesis. This particular herb can control cholesterol levels in the blood. The micronutrient in cardamom helps counteract the flow of excess lipids in the body. Thereby promoting excretion of unnecessary cholesterol through urination and preventing build-up of fat in the body. The long-tern benefit would be good cardiovascular health and a trim waistline.
Cumin is well-known for aiding in digestive problems. Thymol, a compound found in cumin, increases metabolism. It stimulates glands to release hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes and bile to help with the digestive process. It also has similar properties with insulin. A recent test performed on mice, showed a decrease in the level of glucose in the urine for those mice fed with cumin. There is still a need to perform further testing with human subjects, but the potential of cumin for diabetes management could be a breakthrough.
In general, the condiments that have most effect on the digestion and metabolic rate are those that are spicy. A common effect of thermogenesis occurs in the consumption of these spices, which not only heat up the mouth but also break out a sweat. The best thing about the addition of all these condiments is not limited to the flavor, which is awesome, but the added health benefit. Everything from digestive to cardiac health can reap the advantages of the added flavor. It not only spices up your food but also spices up your health.