The body’s metabolism converts nutrients from the food we eat into energy the body needs to function. Every bodily function right down to the cellular level requires energy. Energy ensures that our body repairs and heals itself, fights disease and eliminates toxins. Our metabolic rate, changes on a daily basis based on the rate at which our body uses calories, genetics, diet, hydration, body composition and physical activity. A higher metabolic rate means the faster the body will burn calories which can maintain body weight or even lead to weight loss.
The food you put in your mouth plays an important role in how fast or slow your metabolism works. If your looking to boost your metabolism, to lose weight or increase your energy, try using spices with your food. Some spices have a thermogenic effect (increases the bodies temperature generates heat energy), on the body as well as enhancing digestion and nutrient absorption. Spices are any dried plant product normally obtained from roots, flowers, fruits, seeds or bark. Although normally used as seasoning or flavoring, spices have additional health benefits that have lead to their use in some medicinal areas.

Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper, much like many other spicy peppers increases the body’s temperature. This increases the body’s thermogenic effects for several hours after ingestion. By increasing the bodies heat, the body burns calories to bring its temperature back down to a normal level. Therefore the metabolism speeds up burning fat and calories. While the metabolism increases so does the bodies circulation, clearing out arteries of excess fat, plaque and triglycerides, which helps to regulate the blood glucose and insulin, levels in the body. Increased circulation in the body also helps to deliver oxygen to every part of the body. Cayenne peppers have a total body effect however moderation is key when using cayenne pepper to be effective at boosting your metabolism for weight loss.

Cumin, like cayenne pepper, has a thermogenic effect on the body, increasing the body’s temperature. By increasing the heat energy in the body and speeding up the metabolism, the body burns more calories rapidly. In addition to increasing the body’s temperature to lose weight, cumin also aids in digestion and boosts the immune system. Cumin has a rich source of iron, which is essential for digestive and metabolic enzymes. It regulates acidity levels and increases hemoglobin production also enhancing circulation in the body and increased metabolism. By improving the digestive process in the body cumin makes it easier for the body to assimilate and absorb nutrients and excrete waste materials, decreasing the likelihood of fat absorption and increasing the ability for the body to lose weight.

Although, not a spicy like cayenne or chile peppers, cinnamon has its own ability to make your bodies temperature rise. It too has a thermogenic effect on the body to increase the metabolism and burn calories. In addition to its ability to heat up the body cinnamon also aids in digestion and stimulates respiratory and circulatory systems. By increasing the circulation of blood, oxygen and nutrients, you are actively increasing your metabolism. Cinnamon also is know to lower blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides which helps to control insulin spikes after meals. When you control your insulin levels the body stops storing fat and starts burning stored fat.

Ginger is warm and spicy giving it the ability to raise the metabolism through its thermogenic properties. Its high enzyme content has been used as a digestive aid and stimulates the circulatory system, which promotes cleansing through sweating. Ginger dilates the blood vessels allowing more blood, nutrients and oxygen to flow throughout the body and boost the body’s metabolism. It also limits the fat accumulation from the absorption in the stomach. Therefore giving you feelings of satiety and boosting the calorie burn.

Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It is a key spice to boost the metabolism because it contains powerful antioxidants and aids in the digestive process. Turmeric increases metabolism in two ways. First it cleanses the body of waste substances that can damage cells. Second curcumin the active substance in turmeric produces bile, which stimulates the gallbladder and in turn improves proper digestion. It also plays a role in lowering blood sugar, and blood cholesterol which helps regulate metabolism.

Curry is actually a combination of spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, and cumin, most of which have been previously mentioned here. This is how curry boosts metabolism through the combination of these thermogenic spices altogether. In combination these spices increase the heart rate and body temperature, which increases the amount of calories the body burns.

Author's Bio: 

Sarah Labdar graduated with a BA in exercise science and has worked in the medical field since. Her focus is alternative medicine and how it interacts and works in conjunction with traditional medicine.
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