Often as a personal trainer and fitness bootcamp coach in Singapore, I am asked about herbs and spices and how they can improve health, weight loss and fat loss results. I recommend adding tons of herbs and spices to everyone’s daily diet.Why? Here are three awesome reasons to include herbs and spices in your foods.1. They improve the flavor and taste of food without adding hidden or unhealthy excess calories. No matter what kind of diet you might be on, most, if not all, herbs will fit right into your diet plan. No matter what kind of diet you are on (low carb, high protein, etc) herbs can help you boost your results and make your taste buds happy as well.2. Herbs and spices teem overflow with stuff that are good for you – vitamins, minerals, all sorts of health-giving phytochemicals etc. These are best found in their natural form rather than in their chemically produced and often ineffective artificial forms found in many multi-vitamins or mineral supplements.3. In general, they make everything taste so much better without adding evil stuff to what you put into your mouth – artificial colors, chemical preservatives, trans fats, whatever. Well, that is assuming your herbs were not grown close enough to the freeway to absorb tonnes of toxic metals and the like, or on a commercial farm that uses pesticides and fertilizers the way some bodybuilders use steroids. Consider going organic for herbs because there is a large variance in the quality of herbs and the amount of active ingredients they contain, so herbs are one of those things where cheaper is not better. Here are some very brief examples of certain benefits that recent research has been suggesting:Cardamom – stimulate bile flow for liver health and fat metabolism, reduces flatulence, contains limonene that boosts the body’s production of an enzyme with antioxidant properties.Cinnamon – helps reduce blood sugar and “bad” cholesterolCloves – 1 tablespoonful contains the RDA of manganese for women. Also contains potassium, calcium and phytosterols in significant proportions.Cumin – has antimicrobial properties, good source of iron, helps reduce heartburn and improves digestionGarlic – lowers cholesterol and prevents blood clots, current research suggest strongly that garlic has anti-cancer properties, helps in weight controlGinger – anti-inflammatory, research suggests it lowers cholesterolMustard seeds – contains isothicyanates which are believed to play important roles in cancer suppressionOregano – has even higher antioxidant properties than the famous blueberry! Oregano oil has been shown to kill parasites in the digestive system and inhibit growth of microbes. Also contains antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic compoundsParsley – freshens the breathTumeric – anti-inflammatory, possible benefits for Alzheimer’s, cancers, digestive disorders and insulin regulation.So incorporate herbs and spices into your diet, as much as you can, as often as you can, in every creative way possible! You’ll not just get all those health benefits, but you’ll also enjoy your diet more, so it’ll be easy to stay with your healthy lifestyle. That means you’ll surely get those fat burning, fat loss results that you want!
There are a million and one trendy diets out there offering to change how you look and feel in a matter of days. The consumer is flooded with products that will make their skin “appear” healthier and softer to touch. In a world with too much focus on looking good and “appearing” healthier, there is one diet that WILL make you healthier and potentially live a longer life in your anti-aged body.The anti-inflammatory diet has so many uses today it is surprising every one of the health, fitness and beauty gurus have not jumped on the simplest of diet changes and marketed them as the next big trend in weight loss, beauty and anti-aging. The fact is the anti-inflammatory diet can do everything other diets claim they can do and increase lifespan in the process.So how do I jump start the anti-inflammatory diet?Get a journal and write down all the foods you eat in a given week. Think of this first week as a natural eating time, so don’t make any changes or eat anything you would not normally eat. Once the list is complete, head off to the Internet for a little research and education on the power of food over inflammation. Many people are surprised by the effects seemingly healthy foods can have on overall body health and the prevention of illness. Sure, the market screams at the consumer about drinking more vitamin C and reducing calories, but what about the foods that seem healthy but really aren’t? These foods will be found after a week of journaling before starting your anti-inflammatory diet.Are there any baked foods on the list? Chances are, if these foods were purchased prepackaged; they will contain at least a small amount of trans fats. Even the small, 100 calorie bites of cupcake marketed as healthy alternatives can contain up to 0.5 grams of trans fats. Eating just two of these little cakes a day for a week contributes a whopping 7 grams of trans fats – the only healthy level is 0 grams.Did you eat a salad this week? Many people think eating a salad is a healthy alternative and it can be, without that fat laden dressing covering the healthy greens. One tablespoon of regular dressing can contain 100 calories and about 10 grams of fat. The typical true serving is about ¼ cup per salad. That equates to 400 calories, 40 grams of fat and a -76 rating on the inflammation factor scale which measures the total inflammatory effect of foods on the body. The goal is to reach +50 or more.But, I didn’t know…Few people look at the foods they eat in an inflammatory way. But, the fact is that many common illnesses that can be life threatening is linked to inflammation. Choosing foods that contain no trans fats and low total fat is a healthy choice toward building your anti-inflammatory response. These changes are simple and anyone can jump onto the diet at any time.