7 Herbs and Spices That Can Help with Weight Loss

Article posted in: Nutrition
fresh rosemary herbs on a white plate

On your journey to overall health and wellness, do not overlook the power of the little things. From a sprinkle of fresh herbs to a dash of spices, the smallest additions to your menu can make a big impact.

When we think about the food we put in our bodies, our minds often go to the macros: protein, carbohydrates and fat. You might also think about your veggie and water intake. Don’t get it twisted—these are all super important on your low-carb weight loss plan. However, there are some flavorful superfoods that often get pushed aside.

We tend to overlook the power of herbs and spices. These ingredients may seem minuscule. After all, they are considered Free Foods on the South Beach Diet: How much nutrition could they possibly provide?

We’ve done some research to show you just how powerful these plant-based foods can be. Don’t let herbs and spices become an afterthought! Fight cravings, boost weight loss and enjoy a flavorful meal packed with nutrition. Let’s take a look at seven herbs and spices that can help you do just that!

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Here are seven herbs and spices that can help you reach your weight loss goals:

1. Ginger


According to research, published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, ginger intake may improve weight loss results. A review of 14 separate studies found that ginger “significantly decreased” body weight and waist-to-hip ratio in study subjects. Adding ginger to your daily diet could result in a slimmer figure over time!

Weight loss isn’t the only benefit of this zesty spice. Due to antioxidant compounds found in ginger, eating it is said to help an upset stomach and promote healthy digestion, says Medical News Today. It may also provide relief from muscle pain, inflammation and the (dreaded) seasonal cold and flu. It has long been touted for its versatile use in the kitchen. Enjoy it raw or ground up and sprinkled on seafood, chicken or smoothies.

2. Oregano


Oregano contains the compound carvacrol, which may help with weight loss. According to Healthline, “One animal study showed that carvacrol may help decrease weight and fat gain by altering fat synthesis in the body.” More research is needed on this topic in humans, but you can still enjoy this delicious herb without guilt. Sprinkle this Free Food over pasta or add it to your salads for fresh flavor. It’s also very easy to grow on your windowsill at home!

3. Turmeric


This vibrantly-colored spice is heralded for its medicinal properties, which are mostly due to the presence of curcumin—a compound known for its anti-inflammatory and weight loss benefits. According to Healthline, both human and animal studies have shown that curcumin reduces body fat.

Just like ginger, turmeric also has anti-inflammatory properties. The Arthritis Foundation credits turmeric with the ability to reduce joint pain for arthritic sufferers, says Medical News Today. Fresh turmeric can be hard to come by. However, if you get your hands on this precious root, you can easily add a small piece to your fresh juices and smoothies. A little goes a long way so sprinkle delicately! Click the link below to learn more about this golden spice:

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4. Cinnamon


This spice exudes fall and winter vibes; however, it should be consumed year-round! Rich in antioxidants, cinnamon has many health benefits and has been shown to decrease insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels, says Healthline. According to Medical News Today, “excess insulin, due to insulin resistance or taking diabetes medication, can lead to weight gain.” A component found in cinnamon has been shown to mimic the function of insulin, which transfers sugar from the bloodstream to your cells to be used as fuel, says The Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Sprinkle cinnamon on your smoothie bowls, chia pudding or yogurt. Enjoy its sweet and spicy flavor in our recipe for Cinnamon Roll Muffins! >

5. Rosemary


Rosemary is in the same family as oregano, says Healthline. According to Livestrong.com, “rosemary has been found to help ward off hunger and may aid with weight loss.” It’s high in carnosic acid which helps the muscles utilize glucose. This leads to a decrease in blood sugar levels and may help with hunger. Carnosic acid is also said to prevent the creation of fat cells.

“Just keep in mind that eating rosemary in excess can have some serious side effects, according to the Handbook of Herbs and Spices, ” says Livestrong.com. Enjoy it in moderation and try using it in sauces and marinades. We love the herbaceous flavor it adds to our Marinated Portobello Mushroom Burger! >

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6. Cayenne Pepper


This type of chili pepper contains the powerful and spicy compound, capsaicin. According to Healthline, capsaicin has been shown to increase the metabolism while decreasing appetite and cravings. Sprinkle cayenne sparingly into your soups, stews and chili for a spicy kick! It’s also delicious when used in spice rubs, salsa and sauces. Try it in this low-carb Steak and Egg Breakfast Bowl! >

7. Cardamom


Used in both cooking and baking, cardamom seeds come from the same family as ginger. According to Healthline, “A study in 80 overweight and obese prediabetic women found a link between cardamom and slightly reduced waist circumference.” It may also help to lower blood sugar levels and high blood pressure. Waist circumference, blood pressure and fasting blood sugar are all considered when diagnosing someone with metabolic syndrome, says Disease Models & Mechanisms.

Not sure how to use this versatile spice? Try it in our recipe for No-Bake Key Lime and Avocado Cheesecake! >

*Always speak to your doctor before making any changes to your diet. 

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