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5 Spices that whittle your waistline

Kelly LeVeque

Burn fat, beat bloat, balance blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity with these five spices.


Turmeric (peppery)


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t Turmeric is worth the hype. This bright yellow spice is used in curry, among other things. Turmeric contains medicinal properties called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. Curcumin is the ultimate “anti.” It has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anticancer activities. And, it can benefit your waistline too. Curcumin helps activate the liver genes that help keep glucose levels in check and can improve your pancreas’s ability to produce insulin. This balances blood sugar by slowing down the metabolism of carbohydrates after meals. Add turmeric to your next chicken dish, sprinkle it over roasted veggies or add a pinch to your hot lemon water.


Ceylon cinnamon (sweet)


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t Ceylon cinnamon is popular in the diabetic community because of its ability to help increase insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial and also a source of manganese. But before you load up your morning coffee, daily smoothie or Moroccan chicken dish, make sure you are using Ceylon. Compared to Cassia cinnamon (the kind most typically found in your neighborhood grocery store), Ceylon cinnamon is not only more effective in blood sugar balance, but it’s also lower in coumarin, a property known to cause liver damage in excess.


Cayenne pepper (spicy)

t cayenne pepper

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t The “skinny spice,” if there ever was such a thing. Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which has thermogenic properties that increase blood flow, boost metabolism and reduce hunger. Even more interesting, it stimulates digestion through increased saliva, enzyme and gastric juice production along with producing peristalsis. Not only will proper digestion fight bloat, but kicking the spice up in your food will help you feel satiated sooner and eat less.


Himalayan pink salt (salty)

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t Ditch your table salt for Himalayan pink salt. Himalayan pink salt is packed with over 84 trace minerals and elements, as opposed to table salt that is 97.5 percent sodium chloride. Excess sodium increases your risk of hypertension, osteoporosis and kidney disease, whereas the diversity of elements in Himalayan pink salt is shown to create an electrolyte balance within your body, strengthen bones, lower blood pressure and improve circulation. It also helps to protect the delicate balance of minerals in your cells, avoid excess water retention and premature aging. Processed foods are loaded with sodium, so limit your processed food intake and when cooking at home, use the pink stuff.


Cumin (earthy)

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t A rich source of iron, cumin can improve your body’s ability to burn fat. At the same time, its essential oils enhance the digestive process by stimulating enzymes and relieving gas. Since iron makes blood rich in hemoglobin, cumin can help produce healthy red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout your body. A little goes a long way. Only one teaspoon provides 4 milligrams of iron, or 22 percent of the daily value. Create an earthy rub for pork with a little cumin and Himalayan pink salt.

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