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Four Spices that Aid Weight Loss and Liver Health


Four spectacular spices can make your food extra tasty while also helping you achieve a healthy weight and protect your liver.

Thank goodness for spices. By activating our taste buds, spices can transform bland food into exciting dishes. However, spices can do much more than just add flavor. A handful of spices commonly used in the kitchen can help people lose excessive weight and support their liver’s health. Whether incorporating spices into the food you cook or seeking them out in a supplement form, these four spices can support a healthy metabolism and contribute to a lean liver.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 69 percent of American adults are either obese or overweight. This statistic suggests that at least two out of every three adults is carrying an excessive amount of weight! Losing weight can be a challenging feat, especially considering that many of us live predominantly sedentary lives and eat high caloric foods. Strategies to help those who are overweight achieve their weight loss goals are in high demand, especially those that are safe and effective.

Seeming to dovetail the growing rates of overweight Americans, the percentage of adults with the non-alcoholic form of fatty liver disease is rising similarly. According to the American Liver Foundation, at least 20 percent of American adults have fatty liver disease. If non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is not identified and addressed swiftly, a person’s progression to advanced liver disease can include liver fibrosis, cancer or liver failure. The most important factor in reducing the risks inherent to NAFLD is losing excessive weight – a feat that simultaneously reduces fat accumulation in the liver.

Four spices that support the liver while helping those who are overweight achieve weight loss are:

  1. Turmeric – A member of the ginger family, turmeric is a yellow-orange colored spice that is the foundation for many curried dishes. Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin (found in Clinical LiverSupport), is a potent antioxidant that reduces the formation of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels needed for fat formation. Experts believe turmeric helps the body metabolize fats by decreasing fat storage in liver cells – a clear benefit to weight loss seekers and reducing fat accumulation in the liver. Did you know that Turmeric 95, a very potent turmeric supplement, contains 95% curcumins and offers 20x the absorption?
  2. Cinnamon – Besides being a staple in cooking and baking, cinnamon is an ideal spice for boosting metabolism, reducing triglycerides and regulating blood sugar levels. Especially for diabetics or pre-diabetics, cinnamon can alter body composition and improve insulin sensitivity. A study in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics showed that the addition of dietary cinnamon reduced the accumulation of belly fat. In addition, a series of studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adding a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon to a starchy meal might help stabilize blood sugar and ward off insulin spikes. Regulating blood sugar levels is a primary goal for weight loss and preventing (or reversing) NAFLD.
  3. Garlic – Garlic is a versatile kitchen staple that is well known for helping people lose excessive weight. Scientists believe that allicin, garlic’s most active phytochemical, may help break down fatty deposits in the body. In addition, garlic appears to reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood – both of which are associated with fatty liver disease. Read more about “Why Garlic Is Good for the Liver.
  4. Cumin – Slightly bitter and peppery with a hint of citrus, cumin is frequently used in Mexican, Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. (Our Pork Tenderloin with Seasoned Rub recipe makes use of cumin and garlic!) A study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that cumin helps reduce weight gain. Useful for digestion and energy production, cumin appears to improve blood sugar levels. In addition, cumin is beneficial for liver detoxification. According to Ann Gittleman in the book The Fat Flush Foods, cumin stimulates the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, which reinforces the liver’s function in digestion and absorption.

Cooking with the flavors of turmeric, cinnamon, garlic and cumin will do more than create delicious tasting dishes; it can actually reduce your waistline, support liver health and protect against fatty liver disease. In addition, finding one of these four spices in a supplement formula (such as Milk Thistle with Artichoke & Turmeric) brings its health benefits’ to a higher level. If you are among the two out of three overweight Americans, opting for these spices is smart. When faced with a culinary decision of chicken cordon bleu vs. chicken curry; or fish sticks vs. fish broiled with garlic and cumin; or plain hot cider vs. hot cider with cinnamon – make no mistake about which option is the best choice for your liver and weight loss goals., 10 Spices, Herbs That Aid Weight Loss, Retrieved October 18, 2015, Dr. Joseph Mercola, 2015., Obesity and Overweight, Retrieved October 18, 2015, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015., 5 Best Spices for Weight Loss, Retrieved October 18, 2015, Eat This! Weight Loss, 2015., Liver Disease: The Big Picture, Retrieved October 18, 2015, American Liver Foundation, 2015., Garlic is Good for the Liver, Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., Retrieved October 25, 2015, Natural Wellness, 2015., Can Spices Help Cleanse Your Liver?, Skyler White, Retrieved October 18, 2015, Demand Media, Inc., 2015., 1 Daily Teaspoon Of This Spice Could Help You Lose 3 Times As Much Body Fat, Carole Predario, Retrieved October 18, 2015, Rodale Inc., 2015., The Spice that Promotes Weight Loss, Retrieved October 25, 2015, Rodale Inc., 2015., Check Out Spices That Can Speed Up Weight Loss, Retrieved October 18, 2015, Youth Health Magazine, 2015.

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About the Author

Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®

Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM is a long time advocate of integrating perspectives on health. With a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester and a Master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches Institute, Nicole has been a licensed acupuncturist since 2000. She has gathered acupuncture licenses in the states of California and New York, is a certified specialist with the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, has earned diplomat status with the National Commission of Chinese and Oriental Medicine in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology and is a member of the Society for Integrative Oncology. In addition to her acupuncture practice that focuses on stress and pain relief, digestion, immunity and oncology, Nicole contributes to the integration of healthcare by writing articles for professional massage therapists and people living with liver disease.

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