Turmeric promotes fat burning and improves insulin sensitivity.
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Spices and seasonings contribute flavor and flare that make your healthy, varied diet tasty, visually appealing and satisfying. These flavor-enhancing substances also contribute significant nutritional benefits. Best of all, they do this without adding calories, which makes spices and seasonings a great component of a safe and healthy weight-loss program.
Cayenne and Abdominal Fat Loss
Cayenne pepper adds a jolt of flavor to some of your favorite foods and might also help control your appetite, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Capsinoids, the active substances in cayenne pepper, promoted loss of abdominal fat in a study published in the January 2009 issue of "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." Participants consumed 6 milligrams of capsinoids a day for 12 weeks. Results showed total fat did not decrease significantly. However, a loss of 1.1 percent abdominal fat occurred in the treatment group and a loss of 0.18 percent abdominal fat occurred in the control group.
Ginger and Insulin Reduction
Ginger, a pungent spice that complements both sweet and savory dishes, also offers weight control benefits, according to Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Ginger decreases levels of insulin, a hormone that promotes fat production. A combination supplement containing ginger, raspberry ketone, caffeine, capsaicin, garlic and bitter orange promoted weight loss in a study published in the April 2013 issue of the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition." Participants who consumed the supplement daily for eight weeks, along with participating in an exercise program and consuming a calorie-reduced diet showed a 7.8 percent loss of fat mass compared to a 2.8 percent loss in the control group. Lean mass increased by 3.4 percent in the treatment group compared to an increase of 0.8 percent in the control group. The herbal combination was safe and well-tolerated, in the study.
Turmeric and Fat Metabolism
Curcumin, the active compound in the curry spice turmeric, may help promote weight loss by regulating lipid metabolism -- the intricate balance of signals within the body that promote fat burning and fat storage, according to a review of previously published research that appeared in the December 2010 issue of "Nutrition Reviews." A research review published in the August 2010 issue of "Annual Review of Nutrition" noted that curcumin exerts direct influence on fat, pancreas and muscle cells, helping to reduce insulin resistance -- the inappropriate response of cells to insulin. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends doses of 1.5 to 3 grams of turmeric root, 1 to 3 grams of turmeric powder or 400 to 600 milligrams of curcumin extract three times a day.
Salt Substitutes and Water Loss and Appetite Control
Spices and seasonings enhance food's flavor, allowing you to reduce the amount of salt you use without sacrificing enjoyment of food. Lower salt intake also promotes loss of excess water and prevents water weight gain. A squeeze of fresh lemon can replace a dash of salt at the dinner table. Try removing the salt shaker and replacing it with an attractive bowl of lemon wedges at mealtime. Lemons also boost your immune system, flush toxins and improve the acid/alkaline balance in your body. Other spices that may help you shake the salt habit include pepper, garlic, oregano, sage and curry, all of which add bold, palate-pleasing flavor that may also satisfy your appetite with less food.