Spice and metabolism

There is no ‘silver bullet’ to good health.  If there was, everyone would be doing the same thing and we would see success everywhere.  However, there are things that you can do here and there that while it may not guarantee good health, at least it contributes to the possibility of good health.

One key ingredient to good health is maintaining an appropriate weight based on your age, height, and body type.  Seeing that over 30% of Americans are considered obese and the trend keeps worsening, this is something everyone should try to strive for.

There are many factors that contribute to a healthy weight such as what you eat, when you eat, how often you exercise, what body type you are, how much you sleep, etc, etc.  So the equation for a healthy weight can get quite complex.

So I try to approach this from all angles.  Think of it as building a wall of healthy weight.  It is comprised of many different types of bricks, so the more bricks you use on your wall, the more likely you are to achieve a wall of healthy weight.

We can call one of these bricks your fat burning metabolism.  The more you can do to convert your body into a fat burning machine 24 hours a day, the more likely you are to achieve a desired weight.  This isn’t just about doing cardio.  Fat burning metabolism consists of many factors.

What you eat can have a great effect on your fat burning metabolism.  But what if there was a way to prepare your food in a way that increases this fat burning capability?  Every little bit helps right?

There is a way….maybe

Spices are often used to prepare foods.  Mostly to give it better taste.  But are there spices that are considered better than others to increase fat burning capability?  Some say yes, others say no, and still others say maybe!

This question is like many questions related to health, you can find opinions that run throughout the entire spectrum.

Spice versus spicy

First let me differentiate on what I mean when I talk about spices.  They come in all types and flavors.  When people relate spices to fat burning properties, most of the time they think of spicy spices versus other types of spices.

A spice may be spicy but it doesn’t have to be.  Spicy has to do with the amount of capsaicin that is found in the spice itself.  It is what gives that type of spice its hotness.

Capsaicin remains in the powder form of jalapenos, chili, cayenne and habaneros peppers when used as a spice.

There has been positive correlation between digesting capsaicin and a decrease in weight.  Capsaicin is said to cause a shift in substrate oxidation from carbohydrate to fat oxidation.  This leads to a decrease in appetite leading to a decrease in food intake.

Even the most skeptical of studies have shown that spicy spices can increase your metabolism by as much as 5%.  Again, my theory is, anything that helps in increasing fat burning ability of the body is worth it so 5% to me is fine.  Others may say it is not worth it and consider it insignificant but I tend to disagree.

Other spices…

So what about other spices that may not be spicy or not as spicy, do they exist and is it worth it?  The answer, in my opinion is yes.

Ginger, while not considered to be spicy does contain capsaicin.  In some studies it has been shown to boost metabolism by 20% for up to three hours!

Turmeric is another spice considered to have fat burning effects.  It contains curcumin, an active component with anti-inflammatory benefits and lots of antioxidants.

In animal studies performed at Tufts University, researchers found that the curcumin found in turmeric appears reduced weight gain in mice and suppressed the growth of fat tissue.  While similar studies have not been done in humans, people will swear to its fat burning effect.

Cinnamon and cumin is very effective in stabilizing blood sugar levels which regulates insulin production that impacts fat burning in the human body.

So when trying to achieve a desired weight, you need to include as much as possible in your arsenal to tackle this problem.  Every little bit helps.  Again, there is no silver bullet.  Don’t discount something just because it may have minimal effects.

My experience has been that when you start combining all the ingredients that impact fat burning efficiency in your body, you can accomplish any desired weight you want to reach.

So add spice to your food and you will see it will add spice to your life in being healthier and…Fit Forlife!







This entry was posted in Nutrition and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *