Who said eating healthy has to be bland or boring?

Knowing the right herbs and spices to add to your recipes can give your food loads of flavor and extra nutrients – plus they may boost your metabolism to help you shed those pesky extra pounds and inches. And, there are many medicinal benefits to herbs and spices that can improve your health.

Sounds like a win-win to me!

It’s always best to use organic and fresh!  Even in powder form, some are fresher than others!  Know your source for the freshest spices – the bottles on the grocery shelf are not your best or most effective source!* 

Here are some of the best herbs and spices to start including in your recipes to help you drop those extra pounds:

  1. Turmeric

Turmeric serves as a warming spice, which means that it increases your body heat which in turns helps speed up metabolism.  It is easy to include into your meals for an added boost of healthy goodness. Sprinkle a go

od organic turmeric powder or use freshly grated turmeric into soups, stews, marinades, chicken, or into your scrambled eggs. To get the most absorbability of the anti-inflammatory compound found in turmeric, called curcumin, always add a pinch or more of fresh ground pepper.

  1. Cinnamon

Interestingly, you’ll find cinnamon in many desserts, but all the sugar that’s usually paired with it isn’t much help to your body. Try sprinkling cinnamon, along with some fruit for natural sugar and more fiber, onto your oatmeal. A light sprinkle in your coffee, on top of yogurt or sweet potatoes is amazing!  Cinnamon can balance your blood sugar and help you feel fuller

longer while adding a sweet enough taste that can help quell your cravings. Test the amount of cinnamon your taste buds appreciate slowly…sometimes too much is just too much as it can go from adding to sweet to being bitter.

  1. Cayenne Pepper

Another wonderful spice that raises your body temperature and boosts your metabolism is Cayenne pepper.  It can be used on your meats, in soups and sauces, or even in salad dressing for an extra pop of spice.  When using turmeric, cayenne is a great partner!

  1. Cumin

Cumin, which adds a smokey flavoR, is a popular spice in Mexican, Chinese, and Indian cuisine.  Recent studies have shown cumin helps promote the burn of body fat.  It’s great in soups.  Try experimenting with it to take your cooking to the next level with rubs and marinades or make a new salad dressing that will have you craving salads regularly.

  1. Ginger

One of my favorites! Ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory. Like turmeric and cayenne, it’s also great for its thermogenic properties. Fresh ginger is best grated right into the foods you cook. You can also slice it and add it to your tea for a post-meal soother. If you don’t have fresh ginger, ground ginger also works well.*

  1. Garlic

Garlic really is in a category of its own, neither herb nor vegetable, but it’s probably most accurate to call it a vegetable even though its rarely eaten on its own. But, have you tried roasted garlic as an appetizer spread?  Heavenly!  Savory and pungent, garlic is very popular as it works well in many recipes. Eating more of it will also help you to burn off more fat.  It’s also has some amazing medicinal properties: reducing cholesterol and blood pressure; may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Garlic contains antioxidants that protect against cellular damage and aging. It’s actually best to eat it raw, but if that’s too spicy for you, adding it to everything you cook still has plenty of health benefits.

  1. Black pepper

Go ahead and add a little more black pepper on top of your eggs, meats, and even salads. Black pepper blocks the formation of new fat cells to stop weight gain before it begins. Plus, it helps bring out the flavors of your food naturally. I like to use a pepper mill for the freshest flavor of pepper.

Each of these spices is easily accessible and fit well into most recipes.

Between these seven options, you can always have at least one in every meal. Get cooking now with these herbs and spices, and you’ll be on your way to losing or maintaining your weight more naturally and flavorfully!

* My favorite source for the freshest spices and herbs is Penzey’s Spices.  However, I use lots of turmeric and after quite a bit of searching and testing, I found Starwest Botanicals Organic Turmeric Root Powder to be the freshest, brightest color, and best flavor!  It’s available from Amazon Prime.

Image from Shutterstock

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