Certain herbs and spices can help you maintain a healthy body weight by increasing your metabolism, shrinking fat tissue and suppressing your appetite.

Adding herbs and spices to your food gives your meals an “upgrade”: you get the extra flavor enhancement and complexity that only natural spices can bring and you get health benefits because herbs and spices contain antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and unique medicinal properties.

So if you’re trying to lose a few (or more) pounds, consider being very generous when adding the following herbs and spices to your everyday life.

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Try these herbs for weight loss:

Garcinia cambogia is a popular ingredient in Ayurvedic medicines for weight loss. Test tube and animal research suggests that hydroxycitric acid (HCA) may be helpful in weight loss because of its effects on metabolism.

When taken with a high-fat diet, Garcinia cambogia might prevent development of visceral fat tissue. [1] It could also help keep blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check, too.

Coleus forskohlii a member of the mint family grows wild on the mountain slopes of Nepal, India, and Thailand. One small double-blind study indicates that a concentrated extract of this herb might increase the rate of fat burning. [2]

Matcha green tea. A 12-week randomized controlled trial with 60 obese adults was performed in a hospital setting with all 60 participants placed on a diet that included three meals per day. All the food was prepared for the participants. Half the group received green tea.

Those in the green tea group lost significantly more weight—24 pounds—over the 12 week period. The researchers demonstrated that weight loss occurred by green tea increasing energy expenditure and fat oxidation. [3] EGCG antioxidant in green tea boosts energy and fat metabolism. Even better when it is combined with ginger.

Only in rare cases will one herb make a big difference in weight loss. That’s why in Ayurveda there are combinations of herbs used for more promising weight loss results.

In a 3-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 70 overweight individuals were divided into four groups:

Placebo, Triphala guggul (a mixture of five Ayurvedic ingredients) plus Gokshuradi guggul (a mixture of eight Ayurvedic ingredients), Triphala guggul plus Sinhanad guggul (a mixture of six Ayurvedic herbs), or Triphala guggul plus Chandraprabha vati (a mixture of 36 Ayurvedic ingredients).

Reportedly, all three Ayurvedic groups produced significant weight loss and improvements in cholesterol compared to placebo.

In addition you may add these spices to help you lose weight:

herbs for weight loss2

Ginger may have thermogenic properties that help boost your metabolism, as well as have an appetite-suppressant effect when consumed, suggesting a “potential role of ginger in weight management.” [4]

Curcumin, one of turmeric’s most thoroughly studied active ingredients, reduces the formation of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels needed to form it, and therefore may contribute to lower body fat and body weight gain. [5]

Capsaicin in Cayenne Pepper, the compound that gives peppers their heat, may help fight obesity by decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, and lowering blood fat levels, as well as fight fat buildup by triggering beneficial protein changes in your body. [6]

Always remember to buy certified organic herbs and spices, as most conventional ones are irradiated, resulting in the formation of harmful radiolytic byproducts, including formaldehyde.

For most people, simply adding herbs and spices to your daily routine will not be enough to trigger significant weight loss, although this will certainly support and help you achieve your weight loss goals.

If you are serious about losing weight, you’ll need a more comprehensive plan which will include nutritional and lifestyle changes.

References:

[1] http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21727/
[2] http://www.jissn.com/content/2/2/54
[3] http://www.wellnessresources.com/studies/green_tea_weight_loss_in_obese_individuals/
[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22538118
[5]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19297423?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20359164

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