Normally harmless spices, such as turmeric and cinnamon, have unfortunately become associated with the fat–loaded foods they are commonly used in – like turmeric in oily curries, and cinnamon in sugary cinnamon buns. And if you’re trying to lose weight, these sinful delights are a definite no-no; which is a waste because, on their own, these spices have unique fat–burning properties. So, to help you burn your fat away with spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper, our experts suggest innovative ways to help you incorporate them into your cooking.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in this Indian staple, helps to burn fat and aids digestion by breaking down high-protein foods. Research in The Journal of Nutrition also found it suppresses the growth of fat tissue.
Serving Suggestion: As well as throwing it into your low fat curries, use turmeric to season a rack of lamb. Or mix with ginger, garlic and cumin in a low-fat yogurt for a spicy dip at your next dinner party.
This spice usually reaches your stomach on the Danish express, but it should be more widely used. Research by the US Department of Agriculture found consuming a quarter of a teaspoon every day for six weeks significantly reduces your blood glucose and “bad” cholesterol. It also increases your ability to metabolise sugar.
Serving Suggestion: Substitute cinnamon for the sugar in your full-fat cappuccino, or target the calories in your Sunday roast by using it to season your beef.
As well as relieving heartburn symptoms and indigestion, pepper grinds away fats, according to research published in Nutrition Today. Piperine, the active chemical, puts your nervous system on high alert, which boosts the body’s metabolic process, resulting in more calories being roasted.
Serving Suggestion: Spice up a chocolate brownie mixture with a couple of grinds of peppercorns.
Sprinkling this firecracker will defuse your appetite and heat up your metabolism by 20 per cent, says a study at Oxford Brookes University.
Serving Suggestion: Put a little fire in your belly by using it to season gut troublers like cheese pie, sticky chicken wings or creamy potato gratin.