I wonder how much it is generally known that the benefits of using herbs and spices can speed up your weight loss efforts, by quite a considerable amount actually.
We all know that herbs and spices are used with cooking to varying degrees, and of course the primary reason for doing so is to make food much more tasty and interesting.
I suspect however that you might be surprised at the considerable health benefits that can also be gained by using them. In saying this I am referring to those everyday items that can be found in
most larders, and not necessarily those exotic and probably not so well known varieties.
photo: Paul Morris
I happened to discover the many benefits of herbs and spices and the fact that they can be most beneficial to a weight loss program, when I was doing extremely detailed research for my latest book.
The results of that research were so extensive, that it could be the basis in itself for a complete publication, and much more detailed therefore, than I could possibly include in this short article.
However I have been able to include a fair amount of information below about various herbs and spices which are known to particularly help to speed up weight loss, and that is also in addition to their excellent overall health benefits by the way.
You should find that you will be able to purchase these herbs from any good Herbalist supplier.
Garcinia: (Garcinia cambogia) is a herb which is sold primarily for enhancing weight loss and boosting the amount of lean muscle. This is also known as hila or brindell berry. One of the major benfits of Garcinia is that it acts as an appetite suppressant and stops the body from storing fat.
Pysillium: (Plantago spp.) This cheeky little herb has quite a few health benefits. Physillium is known to help lower cholesterol, and another major benefit is that it also helps to
prevent constipation. If you use it as part of your weight loss program, it can help you to eat less calories and yet still feel really full.
This is because of the amount of fiber that it contains.
I mentioned earlier that it does help in preventing constipation, but in order to achieve this you should make sure that you drink plenty of water.
Siberian Gingsing: (Eleutherococcus senticosus) If you are going to start regular exercise as part of your health and weight loss routine, which is normally to be highly recommended, then this is a really useful herb.
It can help your body adapt to the stress of unaccustomed changes, and it will help to make you feel less tired even when you are doing simple exercises like walking for example.
So in turn therefore you are more likely to stick to your exercise routine.
Little Known Secrets In Your Larder…
Cayenne: (also known as Capsicum, hot pepper, chilli pepper, tabasco pepper). The majority of us have cayenne in our larders, and it is very commonly used in many food dishes. Cayenne can be found in many forms such as ground spices, teas, and would you believe it, topical creams.
It is well known for its antitoxidant action, and greatly helps with osteoathritis and rhumatoid athritis, shingles, and diabetic neuropathy.
A note of caution however:
Cayenne may act with anticoagulant drugs so be sure to consult with your doctor. Excessive use may also irritate the intestinal tract.
Manufactured topical capsacin creams can cause a burning sensation, so test first on a small area of the skin, remembering to wash hands thoroughly after applying the cream. This will avoid it spreading to the eyes nose or other sensitive areas.
Fennel: is native to the Mediterranean and is widely utilized throughout the world. You will find it in teas, capsules, tinctures and lozenges. Fennel can be used to help with bloating, flatulence, mild digestive spasms, catarrh, and coughs. It also has antimicrobal, antispadmodic, and anti inflammatory properties.
A note of caution here:
Fennel can sometimes cause rare allergic skin and respiratory tract reactions. Fennel is also a potential source of synthetic oestrogens and should be avoided if you are pregnant.
Garlic: you can buy this fresh, or the one you will most probably have in your larder will be dried. The downside of garlic is the odour which it leaves on your breath, but chewing some
parsley after eating will soon sort out that problem.
Garlic is also known to help stimulate the immune system,and to help in fighting cancer. Well documented health benefits include lowering cholesterol, fighting infections, and reducing blood
Again a note of caution:
Garlic may also interact with anticoaglant drugs, so do be sure to check with your doctor if in any doubt. Rare cases of allergic reactions are known, and some people might possibly experience heartburn or even flatulence.
These are just a few of the herbs you can use in cooking, but do remember that there are many many more, and the benefits in using them frequently can be quite remarkable.
You will realize of course that when using them as part of any dish to use them sparingly, as to add too much would just spoil the meal.
As with everything in life one should try and strike a balance, after all you know what they say “all things in moderation”.
photo: Heijo Reinl