It's no secret that what you put on your plate plays a crucial role in weight loss .
But did you know that what you keep in your spice cabinet can be just as important.
Many herbs and spices have been shown to fight cravings and boost fat burning and weight loss .
Here are 13 herbs and spices that can 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 shown that fenugreek can help control appetite and reduce food intake to promote weight loss .
A 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 decrease in the number of calories consumed during the day .
2. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper is a type of chili pepper, commonly used to add a spicy dose of flavor to many dishes.
It contains the compound capsaicin, which gives cayenne pepper its signature heat and offers numerous health benefits .
Some research shows that capsaicin may slightly boost metabolism, increasing the number of calories you burn throughout the day .
Capsaicin may also reduce hunger to promote weight loss.
A small study found that taking capsaicin capsules increased satiety levels 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 the ginger could also help with weight loss .
A review of 14 human studies showed that ginger supplementation significantly decreased body weight and belly fat .
Another review of 27 human, animal, and test-tube studies also concluded that ginger may help reduce 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 can help boost weight loss .
A study in mice on a high-fat diet that either contained carvacrol or not found that those given carvacrol gained significantly less body weight and body fat than the control group.
Carvacrol supplements have also been shown 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 particularly lacking.
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.
Numerous studies have suggested that this powerful herb may aid in weight loss .
A small study found that taking Korean ginseng twice a day for eight weeks led to a quantifiable reduction in body weight as well as changes in the composition of the gut microbiota .
Similarly, an animal study showed that ginseng combats obesity by altering fat formation and delaying intestinal fat absorption (
However, higher-quality, larger-scale studies are needed to examine the impact of ginseng on weight loss in humans.
6. The Caralluma Fimbriata
The Caralluma Fimbriata is an herb that is often included in many diet pills.
It is believed to work by increasing levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that directly affects appetite .
A 12-week study in 33 people found that participants who took Caralluma Fimbriata had significantly greater decreases in abdominal fat and body weight, compared to those on placebo .
Another small study showed that consumption daily from 1 gram of Caralluma Fimbriata for two months resulted in reduced weight and hunger , compared to a control group .
turmeric is a spice revered for its flavor, vibrant color and powerful medicinal properties.
Most of its health benefits are attributed to the presence of curcumin, a chemical that has been widely studied for its effects on everything from inflammation to weight loss .
A study in 44 overweight people showed that taking curcumin twice a day for a month was effective in improving fat loss , decreasing belly fat and increasing weight loss by up to 5% .
Similarly, an animal study found that curcumin supplementation for 12 weeks reduced body weight and body fat by blocking fat synthesis .
However, keep in mind that these studies used a concentrated amount of curcumin, much higher than the amount present in a typical dose of turmeric.
More research is needed to examine how turmeric itself may affect weight loss.
8. Black pepper
black pepper is a common household spice derived from the dried fruits of Piper nigrum , a flowering vine native to India.
It contains a powerful compound called piperine, which provides both its pungent flavor and its potential weight reduction effects.
One study found that piperine supplementation helped reduce body weight in rats on a high-fat diet, even with no change in food intake .
A test tube study also showed that piperine effectively inhibited the formation of fat cells .
Unfortunately, current research is still limited to test-tube and animal studies.
More studies are needed to determine how piperine and black pepper may influence weight loss in humans.
9. The Gymnema Sylvestre
Gymnema sylvestre is an herb that is often used as a natural remedy to help lower blood sugar .
However, some research shows that it can also benefit those looking to lose weight .
It contains a compound called gymnemic acid, which may help reduce the perceived sweetness of foods to prevent sugar cravings .
In fact, one study concluded that taking Gymnema sylvestre reduced both appetite and food intake, compared to a control group .
A three-week animal study also found that consuming this herb helped maintain body weight in rats on a high-fat diet .
cinnamon is an aromatic spice made from the inner bark of trees in the gender Cinnamomum .
It is rich in antioxidants and offers several health benefits . Some studies have even shown that cinnamon can increase weight loss .
It is particularly effective at stabilizing blood sugar, which can help reduce appetite and hunger .
Studies show that a specific compound found in cinnamon can mimic the effects of insulin, helping transport sugar from the bloodstream to your cells to be used as fuel .
Cinnamon may also decrease the levels of certain digestive enzymes to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates .
Although these effects can potentially reduce appetite and lead to weight loss , more research is needed to investigate the effects of cinnamon directly on weight.
11. Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee bean extract is commonly found in many weight loss supplements.
It is made from coffee beans that have not been roasted and is rich in chlorogenic acid, which is believed to explain its potential weight reduction effects.
One study found that drinking green coffee reduced body mass index (BMI) and abdominal fat in 20 participants, even with no change in calorie intake .
Another review of three studies concluded that green coffee bean extract can reduce body weight by an average of 2.5 kg. However, the researchers noted that the quality and size of available studies were somewhat limited .
Therefore, more high quality studies are needed to assess the effectiveness of green coffee bean on weight loss .
cumin is a spice made from the dried and ground seeds of Cuminum cyminum , a flowering plant in the parsley family.
It is well known for its distinct nutty flavor, but also rich in health benefits, including the potential to speed up weight loss and fat burning .
A small three-month study found that women who ate cottage cheese with 3 grams of cumin twice a day lost more weight and body fat than a control group .
Similarly, an eight-week study reported that adults who took a cumin supplement three times a day lost 1 kg more than those who took a placebo.
Cardamom is a highly prized spice, made from the seeds of a plant in the ginger family.
It is used worldwide in cooking and baking, but may also aid weight loss .
An animal study found that cardamom powder helped reduce abdominal fat in rats following a diet rich in fats and in carbohydrates .
Similarly, another animal study showed that black cardamom in particular was effective in reducing both abdominal fat and total body fat in rats on a high-fat diet .
Unfortunately, most research on cardamom 's weight loss potential is limited to animal studies.
The influence of cardamom on weight loss in humans has not yet been studied.
How to use herbs safely
When used as a seasoning for food, herbs and spices aforementioned can provide a host of health benefits with minimal risk of side effects.
Don't go overboard. Stick to no more than one tablespoon (14 grams) per day and be sure to pair it with nutrient-dense whole foods to help boost weight loss even more.
If you are taking herbs in supplement form, it is important to follow the dosage recommended on the package to avoid adverse effects.
Additionally, if you have any underlying health conditions or are on medication, it is best to speak with your doctor before starting any supplement.
If you experience any negative side effects or food allergy symptoms, discontinue use immediately and talk to a trusted healthcare professional.
In addition to adding a kick of flavor to your favorite foods, many herbs and spices have been shown to increase metabolism, improve fat burning, and promote feelings of fullness.
Diversifying your spice cabinet is a simple and easy way to boost weight loss with minimal effort.
Be sure to combine these herbs with a balanced diet and balanced and one healthy lifestyle to get the most bang for your buck with weight loss .