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10 Weight Loss Herbs and Spices You Should Be Using

by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

If you’re looking for some ways to spice up your weight loss routine, these particular weight loss herbs and spices might be just what you’re looking for.

Herbs and spices are so much more than a way to make food taste better—they can actually help boost your metabolism, improve digestion, and reduce inflammation. They may even help curb cravings and increase energy levels, leading to better overall health.

So, if you want to try something new in your diet (or maybe just add a little extra flavor to your favorite dishes), here are 10 of our favorite weight loss herbs and spices you should be using.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak to your doctor before changing your diet to ensure the changes can benefit you and not interact with any health condition or medications you may be taking.

1.    Turmeric

Turmeric contains curcumin, which helps the body burn fat by increasing thermogenesis, which can boost metabolic rate. Turmeric can help you lose weight by reducing inflammation in the body. Inflammation is associated with obesity, and the use of turmeric has been shown to help keep your weight under control, as well as help fight diabetes and heart disease.

In one study with 44 overweight individuals, it was seen that consuming curcumin twice a day for a month effectively boosted fat loss, reduced belly fat, and increased weight loss by around 5%.

2.    Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another spice that can help you lose weight by regulating blood sugar levels, which reduces appetite and keeps your energy levels up. Cinnamon also helps regulate cholesterol levels and improves digestion, which can be particularly useful for people who are overweight or obese due to poor nutritional choices.

3.    Ginger

Ginger is another of the weight loss herbs and spices that made the list as it helps enhance metabolism, inhibit fat absorption, increase fat cell breakdown, and help to avoid excessive hunger. Ginger water also helps reduce the waist-to-hip ratio, fasting glucose, insulin resistance index, and overall body weight.

Ginger also contains an active ingredient called gingerol, which has been shown to increase energy expenditure (calories burned) in cell studies.

4.    Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a great weight loss herb because it helps regulate blood sugar levels, reducing cravings and preventing overeating. It also contains diuretic properties that help the body rid itself of excess water weight.

According to a study, a supplement with 8 grams of fenugreek fiber daily can increase feelings of fullness and reduce hunger and food intake.

5.    Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a popular spice that can help you lose weight. It is known as a thermogenic ingredient, which means it increases metabolism, causing your body to burn more calories.

In addition, cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals. This compound also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease joint pain associated with arthritis and other conditions.

6.    Oregano

This herb is used in many Italian dishes but is also a powerful weight loss tool. Oregano contains carvacrol and thymol, which have been shown to reduce appetite, increase thermogenesis (heat production), and boost the metabolism.

It is also an effective antioxidant that can protect against free radical damage that occurs when fat cells break down during exercise.

7.    Ginseng

Ginseng has been used in Asian cultures for thousands of years.

  • It helps reduce stress and inflammation
  • Decreases glucose absorption and lipid metabolism
  • Suppresses hunger
  • Reduces insulin resistance and the risk of liver damage
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Lowers LDL cholesterol

A study on Korean women suggests that ginseng is an effective herbal medicine for weight loss.

8.    Hibiscus

Hibiscus is a tropical flower that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. The leaves are used to make tea that is high in antioxidants and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Hibiscus also contains an amino acid called L-tryptophan, which may help with weight loss by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which makes us feel happier and less hungry.

9.    Black Pepper

Black pepper is rich in piperine, which gives it its characteristic flavor and helps inhibit the creation of fat cells. As a result, consuming black pepper can lead to weight loss. Pepper also contains antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant properties, and improves gut function.

10.   Cardamom

Cardamom has a distinct aroma and flavor, which makes it a great addition to any dish. It has been shown to help with digestion and weight loss. Cardamom is also packed with antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. This can help you lose weight by helping you feel full faster, so you eat less food overall. You can add cardamom to your tea or coffee or use it in other recipes like curries and stews.

One animal study found that cardamom powder reduced belly fat in rats on a high-carb and high-fat diet.

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