Home remedies for weight loss
Home remedies involving herbs and spices have been used for thousands of years for a variety of ailments. But did you know that home remedies can also be used for losing weight?
I am not suggesting that you can achieve weight loss with these remedies alone. Eating a wholefood diet and taking regular high intensity exercise remains my prescription for weight loss and getting a flat stomach. However there are a number of home remedies for weight loss that have been shown to work.
The following home remedies are 100% natural and have been used for thousands of years. Nevertheless we advise that you consult a healthcare professional before you start taking them.
Green tea has been drunk in China for 4,000 both as a beverage and as a medicine.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea increased the subjects’ metabolic rate over a 24 hour period.
Your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories. The higher your metabolic rate, the more fat you will lose.
A study published in the Nutrition Journal also found that green tea acted as an appetite suppressant when drunk with a meal, helping subjects feel full sooner.
Green tea is also high in a category of antioxidant compounds called catechins which help protect your body from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson disease.
I recommend you have 2-3 cups of green tea every day to reap the full benefits.
Ginseng is a plant which is found in East Asia. The root of the ginseng plant has been a key component of Chinese medicine for 5000 years. It is used to improve health and general wellbeing and improves mental and physical performance.
Recent research has found that ginseng can be effective in assisting weight loss.
The findings published in the Phytotherapy Research Journal were that ginseng inhibited the body from storing excess energy as fat. Ginseng has also been found to increase energy and endurance. If you exercise regularly ginseng can help you work harder and burn more fat.
You can steep three slices of ginseng root in hot water for 5 minutes to make ginseng tea. Slices of ginseng root can also be added to soups and stir fry dishes before cooking.
Cayenne peppers have been grown in South America for seven thousand years. The native Indians used the peppers for food and medicine. Today Cayenne peppers are used in Mexican cuisine, Indian curries and Asian food.
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin which gives it the spicy hot flavour. Studies by the University of Michigan Health System have found that cayenne peppers can assist in weight loss in two ways:
Firstly the capsaicin helps to suppress hunger, thus reducing food intake and assisting weight loss. Secondly the capsaicin promotes heat production in your body which is fuelled by burning calories.
Cayenne pepper can be added to any dish to add a little spice. You can add it to dips, sauces and marinades.
However beware that eating large quantities of cayenne pepper, can cause stomach pain and aggravate gastritis, ulcers and heartburn.
Ginger has been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine for over 2,500 years. Ginger has been prescribed for conditions including cold, flu, diarrhoea and nausea.
Studies have shown that ginger increases heat production and thus calorie burning as well as reducing appetite.
Ginger can be taken as a tea. Grate about ¼ an inch of ginger root and immerse in hot water for 10 minutes before drinking. If you like you can spice it up by adding cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves. You can also add grated ginger to marinades, toss it in your stir fries, or sprinkle it in your salads.
Cinnamon is made from the bark of small tree that originates from Sri Lanka. Records show that cinnamon was used as a food spice in ancient Egypt in 2000 BC.
Cinnamon helps your body to regulate your blood sugar levels and keep them low. By doing so it reduces the levels of excess sugar in your blood. Your body coverts excess sugar into fat. It has also been suggested that cinnamon’s blood sugar regulatory powers are especially effecting for preventing the storage of fat in the belly area.
Cinnamon also slows the passage of food through your stomach, which helps keep you full for longer.
Cinnamon can be purchased in powder form and can be added to teas or to sauces and marinades for a spicy flavour.
Flaxseed [also known as linseed] comes from the flax plant. Flaxseed was used by the ancient Egyptians for food and medicine. They also made clothes and fish nets out of the fibres of the flax plant.
Flaxseed is very high in fibre. High fibre foods are a great aid to weight loss as they are very low in calories, yet they fill your stomach making you feel full.
The fibre in flaxseeds also slows sugar absorption into your body, which helps keep your blood sugar levels stable. Unstable blood sugar levels lead to cravings for sugary foods and refined carbohydrates causing weight gain.
Flaxseeds are also rich in omega 3, which is an essential fatty acid. Studies have suggested that omega 3s reduce the risk of heart disease high blood pressure. It has been found that eating these good fats will boost your metabolic rate thus ensuring that you will burn off more body fat. In addition to these benefits, by eating good fats, you are reducing your body’s cravings for unhealthy saturated fats which are bad for your heart.
Flaxseeds can be bought whole or ground. Raw flaxseeds are very hard to chew and digest. I recommend that you buy your flaxseeds ground, unless you are prepared to grind them yourself.
Ground flaxseeds can be sprinkled on any food. Ground flax seeds taste great with yoghurt or salads.
Adding home remedies for weight loss to your daily diet is an easy and fun way of helping your body burn fat. In fact these ‘home remedies’ are actually totally delicious!