5 Herbs That Can Help You Lose Weight
It’s no secret that what you’re putting on your plate plays a central role in weight loss.
But what you keep in your spice cabinet may be just as important.
Many herbs and spices have been shown to fight cravings and boost fat burning and weight loss.
Here are 5 amazing herbs that may help you lose weight.
Fenugreek is a common household spice derived from Trigonella foenum-graecum, a plant belonging to the legume family.
Several studies have found that fenugreek may help control appetite and reduce food intake to support weight loss.
One study in 18 people showed that supplementing with 8 grams of fenugreek fiber daily increased feelings of fullness and reduced hunger and food intake, compared to a control group.
Another small study found that taking fenugreek seed extract decreased daily fat intake by 17%, compared to a placebo. This resulted in a lower number of calories consumed over the course of the day.
2. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a type of chili pepper, popularly used to bring a spicy dose of flavor to many dishes.
It contains the compound capsaicin, which gives cayenne pepper its signature heat and provides numerous health benefits.
Some research shows that capsaicin can slightly boost metabolism, increasing the number of calories you burn throughout the day.
Capsaicin may also reduce hunger to promote weight loss.
One small study found that taking capsaicin capsules increased levels of fullness and decreased total calorie intake.
Another study in 30 people showed that eating a meal containing capsaicin reduced levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating hunger.
Ginger is a spice made from the rhizome of the flowering ginger plant, Zingiber officinale.
Often used in folk medicine as a natural remedy for a wide variety of ailments, some research indicates that ginger could aid weight loss as well.
One review of 14 human studies showed that supplementing with ginger significantly decreased both body weight and belly fat.
Another review of 27 human, animal and test-tube studies also concluded that ginger may help lower weight by increasing metabolism and fat burning while simultaneously decreasing fat absorption and appetite.
Oregano is a perennial herb that belongs to the same plant family as mint, basil, thyme, rosemary and sage.
It contains carvacrol, a powerful compound that may help boost weight loss.
One study in mice on a high-fat diet that either contained carvacrol or not found that those that received carvacrol gained significantly less body weight and body fat than the control group.
Carvacrol supplements were also found to directly impact some of the specific genes and proteins that control fat synthesis in the body.
However, research on the effects of oregano and carvacrol on weight loss is still very limited. Human-based studies are lacking in particular.
Ginseng is a plant with health-promoting properties that is often considered a staple in traditional Chinese medicine.
It can be categorized into several different types, including Korean, Chinese and American, all of which belong to the same genus of ginseng plants.
Many studies have suggested that this powerful plant could aid weight loss.
One small study found that taking Korean ginseng twice daily for eight weeks resulted in quantifiable reductions in body weight, as well as changes in gut microbiota composition.
Similarly, an animal study showed that ginseng combatted obesity by altering fat formation and delaying intestinal fat absorption.
However, more high-quality, large-scale studies are needed to examine ginseng’s impact on weight loss in humans.
Turmeric is a spice revered for its flavor, vibrant color and potent medicinal properties.
Most of its health benefits are attributed to the presence of curcumin, a chemical that has been studied extensively for its effects on everything from inflammation to weight loss.
One study in 44 overweight people showed that taking curcumin twice daily for one month was effective in enhancing fat loss, decreasing belly fat and increasing weight loss by up to 5%.
Similarly, an animal study found that supplementing mice with curcumin for 12 weeks reduced body weight and body fat by blocking the synthesis of fat.
However, keep in mind that these studies use a concentrated amount of curcumin, far greater than the amount present in a typical dose of turmeric.
More research is needed to examine how turmeric itself may impact weight loss.