Spices for Weight Loss and Healthy Living – Part Two

by Maria on March 14, 2013

Research finds that spices are not just flavour powerhouses but also have disease preventing, health promoting and weight loss properties.

For starters, Ginger is a strong antioxidant and an effective antimicrobial agent. It contains a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, as well as Vitamins B-6 and B-5. In addition, the ginger root contains health benefiting essential oils too.

Ginger is great for almost everything. Experts suggest that it increases the feeling of satiety, cleanses and warms the body, prevents colds and soothes the respiratory system, eases nausea, encourages circulation, and decreases muscular pains. Plus, it is known to aid the digestive system and to cleanse the colon.

Slice the ginger bulb thinly when cooking with other ingredients and grate when using for dressings and soups. Use it in stir fries, hot curries, sweet dishes, such as ice-cream, ginger cookies, and cakes etc.

Secondly, mustard is a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium  zinc, niacin, protein, and dietary fiber.

It is known to improve digestion and aid in the metabolism of fat. Moreover, it is warming and can be used to draw infection or congestion from its source. Mustard can help with respiratory and circulatory disorders, asthma, arthritis and certain cancers and is said to lower blood pressure.

Simmered vegetables come to life with a splash of hot Japanese mustard. Mustard is great for sandwiches or served with simmered vegetables, and is used in dressings, dips, and sauces.

Next, nutmeg is rich in essential oils,copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and magnesium as well as B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, which are are essential for optimum health.

It is said to be a brain tonic. Also, it is used in liver and kidney detox, skin care, bad breath treatment, and as sleep aid, and pain and indigestion relief.

Try it in stews, curries, soups, mashed potatoes, cheese dishes, custards, cakes, stewed fruit, pumpkin pie. It is good with cabbage and rice too.

Pepper is an excellent source of many vital B-complex groups of vitamins.

It has anti-inflammatory and anti-flatulent properties. May aid in digestion by increasing gastrointestinal enzyme secretions. It has also been found that piperine in pepper can increase metabolism and the absorption of selenium, B-complex vitamins, beta-carotene, as well as other nutrients from the food.

Turmeric contains a good amount of minerals like potassium, calcium, zinc, manganese, iron, and magnesium, as well as vitamin B-6, niacin, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

It has been long known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. It is a natural liver detoxifier, and a natural painkiller. Turmeric is used to treat arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and is known to speed up wound healing. It is said to assist in remodeling of damaged skin. It aids in fat metabolism and weight management.

Good for curries, fish dishes, deviled eggs, rice dishes, soups, stir fries, and coating for poultry and seafood.

Paprika is so much more than a colorful garnish. It’s a nutritional powerhouse, loaded with health-enhancing and weight loss properties.

The good:Paprika’s top benefit is that it is extremely high in vitamin C. Also, it is an excellent source of magnesium, phosphorus, copper, iron, potassium, manganese, and a very good source of dietary fiber. Plus, it contains vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, Riboflavin, Niacin,Thiamine and vitamin B6. Capsaicin in it is known as a powerful anti-inflammatory, which can ease chronic conditions like arthritis and joint pain.

Paprika is a versatile spice that adds depth and complexity to a variety of everyday foods.

Cayenne pepper is rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, B-complex vitamins, as well as capsaicin, and other essential oils.

It heats up the body and is thought to increase metabolism and weight loss.  It has cleansing and detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, anti-cold and flu, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. Also, it is said to stimulate circulation and neutralize acidity.

Cayenne pepper is used as digestive aid, and in migraine headache prevention. It improves eyesight and is an excellent agent against tooth and gum disease.

This spice can liven up your favorite recipes. It is a favorite ingredient in Cajun cooking, and the main spice in chili con carne. It goes into many types of gravy that are served with duck and other roasted game birds, and blends well with meat sauces, goulash, seafood dishes, and soups.

Bay leaf

This noble spice is a good source of minerals such as copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium that are essential for optimum health. Also, it is a rich source of vitamin C, and B-complex groups of vitamins.

It is known to increase metabolism, and to have antiseptic, anti-viral, antioxidant, digestive and anti-cancer properties.

And last, but not least, cinnamon, called by some “the belly fat pill”

This nutritional powerhouse is a rich source of manganese, iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, fiber and and essential oils. Plus, it contains very good amounts of vitamin A, niacin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine. Further, it is a very good source of anti-oxidants.

Studies have shown that cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory, lowers cholesterol, aids in blood sugar regulation, so you aren’t as hungry (studies have shown that consuming as little as ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon with food helps the body to metabolize sugar 20 times faster), can stop medication-resistant yeast infections, can prevent cancer, has anti-clotting effect on the blood, can relieve arthritic pain (especially when combined with one tablespoon of honey and consumed every morning before breakfast), has anti-bacterial properties, inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage when added to food, could help people retain more muscle and lose fat, decreases feeling of hunger and gives more energy.

The bottom line: Cinnamon could be the new miracle diet pill for weight loss – especially for stubborn belly fat!

Well, I don’t know about you, guys, but I am fascinated by the health and weight loss benefits of spices and am determined to use them religiously in my everyday diet!

 

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