List: 12 Herbs and Spices That Will Help With Weight Loss


Herbs and spices may be the key to your weight loss success.  

Spices can do more than perk up the flavor of a meal.  We are continually looking for alternatives to medications to help with improving our health.  You may be able to reach for the bottles in your spice cabinet for assistance with everything from diabetes to your waistline.  One of the most significant obstacles to being healthy in the world today is central obesity.  Obesity is an increasingly social and medical problem all over the world.  This excessive fat deposition in waistlines is a considerable risk factor for multiple diseases that go much further than just being overweight.  In some counties of the world, over two-thirds of the population is overweight or obese and the number continues to grow almost as much as the average belt size.  

Being overweight is the condition of energy imbalance in the body in which we have too much energy, and now our bodies must try to store that excess energy as fat for a day of less intake. The problem is that the day of drought in which we eat too little does not come today.  Are there changes you can make to your diet to help reduce this overload of calories?  The answer is yes.  You can eat smart, and part of that might be to utilize certain spices in your diet.  Below is a list of suggestions and each has a link to an article that reviews the research.  

Spices and herbs that may help with weight loss:

  1. Ginger: Ginger promotes satiety and enhances calories burned.  Studies suggest a potential role of ginger in weight management.  
  2. Cayenne: Red pepper or cayenne may curb your appetite, speed up your metabolism, and help you burn calories.  
  3. Cumin: Cumin appears to help with fat/weight loss and as effective as the prescription drug Orlistat without the stain in your underwear.  
  4. Turmeric: Turmeric appears to help with fat loss by reducing inflammation that increases obesity and increases fat loss by boosting fat utilization for energy.  
  5. Cinnamon: Cinnamon appears to affect insulin levels and resistance, reduce carbohydrate absorption, suppress your appetite, and reduce belly fat.  
  6. Black pepper: Black pepper appears to boost metabolism, reduce insulin resistance, and block an expansion of fat storage.  Black Pepper contains a substance called piperine, which not only gives it its pungent flavor but also may block the formation of new fat cells.
  7. Ginseng: Research indicates ginseng appears to help with reducing insulin resistance, blood sugar, body weight, and fat. 
  8. Cardamom: Cardamon might help you with weight loss as both a diuretic and reduce the effects of metabolic syndrome. 
  9. Peppermint: The scent of peppermint might be useful as a useful adjunct to decrease appetite, decrease hunger cravings, and consume fewer calories.
  10. Chili Powder: Chili powder can help with fat and weight loss, and it will increase satiety.  
  11. Mustard: Mustard may assist with weight loss by increasing your metabolism.   If you increase metabolism, you will increase fat burning and weight loss as long as you do not also increase food intake.  It is big on flavor and may increase satiety.
  12. GarlicConsuming garlic may help you control your weight, but the pounds won’t magically melt away.  Garlic adds flavor to food, assist with weight loss, and can help reduce cravings. 
  13. Cloves: Cloves are more than just a spice.  They a welcome addition to any spice cabinet and they may just help lower your body fat and increase your insulin sensitivity.  
  14. Caraway:  Caraway seeds have a pungent flavor that comes from some of the components.  They are used to flavor bread and rice preparations.  A study shows that supplementation with an extract of caraway results in reduced appetite, reduced body weight or body fat, and reduced carbohydrate intake.
  15. Star anise: Star anise is sweet spice from the dried fruit of the evergreen tree. Research suggests that star anise assists with weight loss by changing the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. 
  16. Nutmeg:  Nutmeg is the seed of the tree Myristica fragrans and has a sweet warm flavor.  Indian cuisine incorporates nutmeg in sweet dishes while Middle Eastern use it for savory dishes.  The compounds present in nutmeg are unique: trimrystin imparts flavor and fragrance to the spice, myristicin works as a brain stimulant while eugenol works as a pain reliever.  Research shows that nutmeg extracts mediate anti-obesity effect by influencing the function of anti-obesity targets in the body like AMPK and protein tyrosine phosphatase.  Results suggest that active ingredients of this spice may benefit in obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

The bottom line: Many of these spices have been shown to help with weight loss.  They are also known to interact or counteract with prescription medications.  Speak with your medical provider before adding or increasing these spices in your diet.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.