Not just empty flavor enhancers, herbs and spices are packed with antioxidants and a myriad of healing benefits. Here are my favorite ten Fat Flushing herbs and spices:
Let’s start with Cumin – Cumin has a distinctively spicy, earthy, meaty flavor, making it a great salt substitute. Cumin improves liver function and relieves gas and digestive issues. This popular Fat Flush spice is not only a wonderful taste enhancer, cumin is a catalyst for weight loss. The latest research out of the Middle East, where cumin is popularly consumed, shows that one teaspoon of this spice boosts weight loss by 50 percent, most likely due to its ability to raise body temperature, thereby heating up metabolism.
Ginger – Ginger is a culinary staple in Chinese Indian spice mixtures. Ginger not only serves as a natural blood thinner and anti-inflammatory; it can give a metabolic boost of as much as 20 percent. It both energizes and cleanses while providing warmth. Ginger revs up circulation and promotes healthy sweating, encouraging detoxification of the body. It supports liver function, clears up clogged arteries, and lowers serum cholesterol levels. Aim for ½ to ¾ teaspoons in recipes or in a cup of tea daily.
Garlic – When it comes to Fat Flushing, garlic is a magical herb. Garlic is known as an appetite suppressant. Its strong, pungent odor stimulates the satiety center in the brain and increases sensitivity to leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells that helps to control appetite. It also stimulates the nervous system to release metabolic revving hormones such as adrenaline, helping you to burn more calories. The more calories burned, the more you will lose weight! Garlic is also the best antiparasitic, antifungal, and anti-yeast herb. It helps to protect against heart disease, asthma, diabetes, flu, and stomach cancer. One clove of garlic a day keeps the appetite at bay!
Mustard – Here is another Fat Flush favorite due to its fat-burning ability. It raises body temperature, acts as a diuretic, and increases circulation. Mustard is a must in my kitchen. It not only gives a burst of tangy spiciness but helps flush fat by kicking metabolism into high gear. Study data from Oxford Polytechnic Institute shows that mustard spikes metabolic rates by 25 percent. By adding mustard to a meal, participants burned at least 45 extra calories during the next three hours. Try a pinch of mustard in as many meals as you see fit. It is especially well suited as an ingredient in salad dressings (powdered form or prepared).
Turmeric – This mildly spicy relative of ginger is a powerful Fat Flush fat digestant. Turmeric is the best spice for a barbecue because turmeric added to meats before they are grilled reduces toxic compounds up to 40 percent. Turmeric is widely known for its high antioxidant content and its anti-inflammatory effects. It stands out as a stellar Fat Flush spice because it can help thin and decongest bile so your body can metabolize fat more efficiently. Aim for 1 tablespoon per day.
Cilantro – This mildly spicy herb is also known as Mexican or Chinese parsley. Its pungent taste is good with salads, soups, and tomato-based dishes and as a garnish. Cilantro is one of natures best heavy-metal eliminators and it helps to relieve bloating, diarrhea, and GI tract disorders, which makes it a must-have for Fat Flushers. Try adding 1-3 tablespoons of fresh, chopped cilantro in smoothies, salads and as a garnish on soups.
Dill – This mildly aromatic herb is featured in Northern and Eastern European cooking. Dill contains a high amount of dietary fiber and B-complex, which makes it beneficial in the metabolism of protein, fats and carbs, as well as overall weight loss. It helps keeps us feeling fuller for a longer period of time and is very low in calories, thus helping us reduce our total daily calorie intake. I recommend 1 tablespoon of dill added to smoothies or dressings per day.
Sage – Thought of as a purifying herb, along with its sisters in the mint family, sage has antiviral and antimicrobial properties. The volatile oil in sage contains a compound called thujone and the phenolic acid rosmarinic acid, which is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Sage is also known as a natural phytoestrogen, which is helpful as a menopause remedy and it helps to stimulate and regulate the flow of bile, so it is a great for breaking down fats. Aim for 1-2 teaspoons per day.
Thyme – Contained in the primary oil of thyme is thymol, which is a powerful antiseptic. Because thyme is a natural antibiotic, an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory herb, it is helpful for those with asthma, colds, hay fever, headaches, and cough. It is also a great digestive herb, especially with fatty foods. Try making thyme tea with 1-2 teaspoons of dried thyme to 1 cup hot water. It is excellent in marinades as well.
Rosemary – This pungently spicy herb is a potent antioxidant and energy booster, which makes a perfect Fat Flush addition to recipes. Two of rosemary’s constituents, caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid, plus its plant compounds diterpenes and monoterpenes are the sources for its health-promoting benefits. These acids and compounds are anti-inflammatory and liver protecting. The oil is also an antibiotic and antiviral. It helps to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain, essential for memory and healthy brain function. Two to three tablespoons per week will provide these anti-inflammatory and brain health benefits.
By adding these 10 essential Fat Flushing herbs and spices to your smoothies, soups, salads, dips, sauces, dressings, and other Fat Flush recipes, you can rev your metabolism, burn more calories, increase your energy and overall health.
With the upcoming Fat Flush Smoothie Shakedown Challenge approaching, get creative by adding these herbs and spices to your smoothies. Try pairing ginger and/or cilantro and turmeric with your green smoothies. Green smoothies also love thyme and rosemary. Turmeric loves ginger, oranges and coconut. Dill pairs well with cucumbers and sage. Cumin would be a perfect addition to citrus smoothies. Get creative and explore the endless possibilities of these healthy herbs and spices! For more tips on what types of cures you may have hiding in your kitchen, listen to my podcast with Dr. Cass Ingram: the Cures Are in The Cupboard.