There are certain foods that always come to mind when we think about healthy eating – fruits, veggies, leafy greens, low-fat proteins. But there is one ingredient that most people overlook: spices.
We all know that spices are essential to adding flavor to dishes, but most people don’t realize just how many health benefits spices can provide as well. And there are certain spices that can even help us lose weight, boost metabolism and fight inflammation.
So we spoke to some experts to determine which spice we should start adding to our meals to help benefit our health and maintain a healthy weight. And to no surprise, they all agreed on turmeric.
The sandals you’ll want to wear all summer long
Turmeric aids in weight loss because it fights inflammation. Tina Marinaccio M.S. R.D. C.P.T., a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist from Integrative Culinary, explained this further.
“Turmeric contains an ant-inflammatory antioxidant compound called curcumin, which has been shown to reduce belly fat,” Marinaccio told SheFinds.
Curcumin absorbs better with food, so adding turmeric to anything you eat will help you reap its benefits. And though it might seem counterintuitive for healthy eating, Marinaccio suggests putting turmeric on fattier foods.
“To enhance absorption, add it to foods with fat, such as a smoothie with avocado or nut butter,” she explained. “Piperine, a black pepper alkaloid, also enhances absorption, so add turmeric to eggs, chili, and soups, and other foods you would add black pepper to.”
And turmeric’s benefits don’t stop there. The spice can also boost your metabolism, which is another aid when you’re working to lose weight.
Dr. Candice Seti, Psy.D., C.P.T., C.N.C., of The Weight Loss Therapist, told us, “When you ingest turmeric, the body accelerates your metabolic rate. This metabolism spike then enables your body to burn a more substantial amount of calories which, consequently, leads to faster weight loss.”
Not only this, but turmeric is a natural detoxifier and has a ton of anti-inflammatory properties. So not only can the spice aid in weight loss, but it is a healthy ingredient for everyone wanting to rid their bodies of inflammation and toxins.
“Elevated levels of toxins in the liver and high adipose tissue mass, which is the scientific term for ‘body fat,’ are leading contributors to weight-loss woes,” Dr. Seti continued. “The curcumin in turmeric aides to reverse these issues, further improving your weight-loss regimen with its ability to lower bad cholesterol.”
And turmeric’s detoxifying property also helps to fight free radicals.
“Free radicals can damage our body’s cells leading to various chronic conditions, including cancer,” explained Lisa Richards, Nutritionist at The Candida Diet. “In this way turmeric can be effective in preventing or mitigating many of these illnesses. Chronic, low-grade inflammation can also lead to difficulty in weight loss and even cause weight gain. Turmeric can help get this inflammation under control and jump start your weight loss efforts.”
Richards continued, “Turmeric is a natural and effective anti-inflammatory compound. This characteristic makes it effective in reducing chronic pain, weight loss, mitigating joint pain, and helping to improve the quality of life for individuals with various forms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.”
How To Get More Turmeric In Your Diet
There are hundreds of ways to eat more turmeric, and a simple Google search can easily prove this. But we’ll simplify it for you, so you can effortlessly revamp your routine to include more turmeric – even for all three meals of your day, if you’re up for that.
Anytime: Turmeric Tea
Turmeric is an all-purpose ingredient – you can even make tea with it. Turmeric tea can reduce inflammation and boost your metabolism. You can easily buy turmeric tea sachets, or make some at home by combining water, turmeric, lemon juice, honey, and black pepper in a pot over heat.
Breakfast: Turmeric Oats
Add turmeric to your oatmeal for an anti-inflammatory and high-fiber way to start your day. Check out our favorite recipe for this dish by clicking here.
Lunch: Turmeric Salad Dressing
Our favorite way to incorporate turmeric into your lunch break is with a simple, homemade salad dressing recipe. No matter what salad base you’re in the mood for, this dressing recipe fits right in.
Dinner: Turmeric Chicken
Adding turmeric to chicken is an easy way to intensify your dinner with flavor. Plus, it probably doesn’t take any longer than your go-to chicken recipe. Check out our favorite turmeric chicken recipe here.