It’s the new year and many of us have a similar resolution: try to lose weight. This can be overwhelming when looking through Instagram for “fitspiration” posts only to end up feeling overwhelmed because you will never be able to live on kale and 1,000 push-ups a day. But don’t worry! If you choose wisely, the spices you cook with and the food you eat can boost your metabolism and help your body burn more fat.
Ginger. Research shows that ginger promotes digestion and increases our metabolism. Just adding 2 grams of ginger powder in hot water and drinking it with a meal may help you burn up to 43 more calories. It promotes a feeling of fullness, decreases hunger levels and calm the digestive tract. You can take supplements or add ginger powder to your meals to get the benefits. Check out a few drinks that improve digestion here.
Cinnamon. The second most popular spice in the United States, after black pepper. The spice that makes your recipes a little more warming and delicious and can be healthy too! Cinnamon boosts your metabolism, improves digestion and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Cinnamon is also a great “salternative” for foods like roasted vegetables.
Turmeric. This super spice has been around for centuries. It’s known to provide a depth of flavor to curry dishes and has an active component with anti-inflammatory benefits. It has been linked to weight loss and the prevention of obesity and diabetes. There’s also a potential that turmeric can prevent dementia and cognitive decline. Ideally, we’d add 1 ½ teaspoons to our diet each day. This seasoning is bright yellow in color and is usually found in curries and Indian dishes. Drinking turmeric tea is a popular way to get this spice into your daily routine.
Cayenne. Capsaicin is found in cayenne and helps increase your body’s ability to burn fat and calories by stimulating body heat. Capsaicin is also found in chili peppers that help speed metabolism. The heat raises our body temperature temporarily increasing our metabolism by 15% to 20%. The hotter the pepper, the higher the metabolic burn. Capsaicin is also known to suppress your appetite and helps cut the cravings for fatty, salty foods. It also helps your brain release endorphins. Check out our best and worst picks for a healthy hot sauce.
Protein. Foods such as meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds could help boost your metabolism as these foods use more energy for digestion. Protein also helps keep you feeling fuller longer, which stops you from overeating.
Avocado. This healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat gives the feeling of fullness. By just adding half an avocado at lunch may help you feel more satisfied and reduce the urge to have an afternoon snack. Avocados are an anti-inflammatory and contain more potassium than bananas. They’re loaded with fiber that can contribute to weight loss, reduce blood sugar spikes and lower the risk of many diseases. Try our Avocado-Cilantro Mockgarita recipe!
Whole grains. Unlike refined grains, whole grains contain fiber and are anti-inflammatory. This helps reduce in-between meals, making you feel fuller longer. Go for the whole grain version of pastas, rice and cereals. Try quinoa and choose the 100% whole-grain or whole-wheat bread. According to Medical News Today, eating fiber in whole grains increases calories lost per day. Whole grains can also help regulate your blood pressure.