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3 Spices to Help Whittle Your Middle


Increased weight gain, particularly in the waistline area, is linked to elevated health risks such as heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

One way to attack the problem is to use three spices that help with weight loss, specifically targeting weight loss in the belly: curcumin, cinnamon and ginger.

Here’s the low-down on these weight-loss promoting spices.


In 2015, a study found curcumin, the part of the spice turmeric that imparts the yellow color, promotes weight loss by transforming white fat, which stores calories, into brown fat, which burns calories. This discovery built upon a 2009 study that showed people with more brown fat experience less weight gain. The journal Molecular Medicine Reports, cites curcumin’s ability to induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) in white fat cells.

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Because curcumin is praised for reducing inflammatory markers in the body, and because obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are conditions that involve an inflammatory response, curcumin’s anti-obesity effects may be in part due to its inflammation-reducing properties.

To learn even more about all of the clinically backed health perks of curcumin, see our article,
Benefits of Curcumin: Everything You Need to Know About the Healing “King of All Spices”


A 2012 study found cinnamaldehyde, the active component of cinnamon, helped mice that were fed a diet high in sugar and fat lose visceral fat. As belly fat is visceral fat, the authors concluded the spice could aid in preventing excess pounds in this area.

Cinnamon can also foster weight loss in general by lowering blood glucose levels. Because abnormally high glucose stimulates the appetite, cinnamon may decrease food intake. A 2010 review indicates consuming cinnamon as much as 12 hours prior to eating a food that has the potential to increase glucose levels can help lessen the magnitude of the spike following a meal.


Ginger helps with weight management through several mechanisms. A 2014 study found overweight rats given a supplement of gingerol, a compound in ginger, lost weight after 30 days. The benefit can be explained, at least in part, by the fact that the rats also displayed improvements in blood glucose and leptin, the hormone that curbs appetite and provides a feeling of fullness after eating.

Moreover, a 2004 study suggests ginger suppresses cortisol, the stress hormone. This provides another weight management tool, since chronically high cortisol leads to increased belly fat and weight gain.

Use Spices for Weight Loss

The use of spices should be just one strategy in a comprehensive weight management program that involves a nutritious diet, regular exercise and sufficient sleep. Components of a healthy eating plan include oily fish and the plant foods of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts and olive oil. Seasoning food with herbs and spices helps because aside from their physiological effects that promote weight loss, they add flavor without salt, sugar and extra calories. When food tastes good, it facilitates long-term adherence to a wellness-promoting diet.

In addition to curcumin, cinnamon and ginger, other spices have properties that can help keep extra pounds at bay. Cayenne pepper can help boost metabolism, while cumin, black pepper and garlic stimulate fat burning. Chili peppers are another spice known for their rich flavor but also for promoting weight loss. So when you’re preparing chicken or fish with vegetables for a meal, instead of seasoning them with only salt and pepper, shower on the spices!


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.

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