Today I want to talk about certain foods that can help you lose weight. By that I do not mean that you can just sit in front of TV and eat heaps of these foods, hoping to become skinny in a week or two. No, this doesn’t happen. But if you’re active and living a healthy lifestyle along with eating a healthy diet, you might get additional benefits from eating these foods regularly, because they are known to have thermogenic effect, i.e. to have the ability to raise your body temperature to make your metabolism more efficient and help burn fat at a higher rate. Besides, these foods can improve your overall health, so it isn’t a bad idea at all to eat them on a daily basis. Does this sound interesting? Read on.
1. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a hot capsicum that has been used to cure different ailments for hundreds of years. It boosts your metabolism, helping you burn more fat. It can also suppress your appetite leading you to eat less calories during your meals. But aid in weight loss is only one benefit out of many. It also can aid your digestion, increasing the flow of enzymes and gastric juices. Cayenne pepper is known for its detox properties, and in addition to honey and lemon as a morning tea it can promote healthy detox for your body. It possibly has anti-cancer and anti-ageing properties, has the ability to improve your immune system because of its anti-inflammatory properties and it promotes heart health by stabilizing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol.
This one is a bit unexpected, although we all have heard since we wore diapers that garlic is good for our health. Just like cayenne pepper, garlic is also a natural thermogenic and it speeds up metabolism, helping the break down of fat not only in blood (which lowers cholesterol), but also in the fat cells themselves. Garlic is a diuretic as well, which means that it rids your body of unnecessary water retention and thus aids weight loss. Garlic is also possibly helpful in stabilizing blood pressure and fighting or preventing certain types of cancer, including colorectal and stomach cancers, and atherosclerosis. It is important to use natural whole foods and not the supplements, because supplements do not show the same effects. For the most benefits, crush the garlic instead of slicing it and let it sit for 10 minutes before ingesting.
3. Green Tea
With all the fashion surrounded around the teas, it is hard not to know that green tea aids weight loss. Catechins, a type of photochemical found in green tea, boosts metabolism without significantly raising your heart rate, which makes it a better stimulant than coffee. The phytochemicals in green tea are also very potent antioxidants that have antiviral and antibacterial properties. The studies also suggest that green tea might help decrease the risk of developing cancer by fighting free radicals. It is also known to lower cholesterol. Unlike garlic, green tea supplements are also powerful and might produce better results, because it has higher catechins content. You will have to drink several cups of green tea per day to achieve the same effect as from a supplement.
Cinnamon is very high in antioxidants, which add some certain benefits to this ever so popular spice. Although it may not have thermogenic properties like the above mentioned foods do, cinnamon can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar, which reduces cravings. Stabilizing blood sugar is very important for metabolism and your overall helps, especially for those who suffer from Type II Diabetes. Cinnamon can also strengthen your heart and help prevent certain types of cancer. Together with honey and lemon, cinnamon makes a great tonic for your immune system.
5. Guarana seeds
The last, but not least is Guarana seeds. Although harder to find (found mostly in health food and athlete shops, guarana is usually used among athletes to enhance their performance, reduce fatigue and increase energy and, of course, promote weight loss, especially in addition to mate teas. There is a variety of slim-mate teas available in the shops, but you can also find a guarana seed extract or the actual seeds. Guarana seed is quite high in caffeine, so it should be used carefully.
All of these foods can promote weight loss, but should be used with care. If you’re not used to hot spices, start only with a small pinch of cayenne pepper and increase the dose gradually. The same goes with garlic. It can be quite hard on your digestive system, so you should always start with smaller doses. The same goes with green tea and guarana. Depending on the sort of cinnamon, it may have a higher Coumarin content – a toxic substance that can damage liver in large doses. The recommended daily intake of cinnamon is no more than 5g.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you shouldn’t use any supplements for weight loss, but if you wish to use any of the listed foods and supplements for other health benefits, please consult with your doctor. You should also consult with your doctor before adding any of these foods to your diet if you suffer from any medical conditions. I am not a doctor and cannot tell you what to take and what not.