If there’s one thing we can guarantee will happen this Christmas, it is that we will eat too much. It’s the one time of year when we feel it is perfectly acceptable to start eating chocolates first thing in the morning and not stop until last thing at night. It doesn’t matter how full you feel after your Christmas lunch – there is always room for one more mince pie or one final slice of Christmas pud.
Of course, this orgy of over-eating feels great at the time, but you’d be surprised by how quickly your waistband can suddenly feel somewhat tighter in January than it did in November. Luckily, all is not lost. There are a number of spices that are known for their fat-burning properties. Make it your New Year’s resolution to incorporate them into your diet and you will be back down a notch on your belt by February. Here’s a rundown of the best spicy delights:
A spice that is ever-popular in Indian cuisine, turmeric can help inflammation – which can be a problem for those carrying too much weight. It also contains the antioxidant beta-carotene which helps decrease the amount of fat stored in liver cells.
Another Indian cuisine staple, coriander appears in multiple recipes and Indian masalas. Its benefits to the body are thought to include increasing metabolism and aiding weight loss. Studies have also shown that it can help alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Black peppercorns contain a substance called piperine which can help your body make use of nutrients in a more effective and efficient way. It has long been used in Ayurveda and other eastern medicines to help treat inflammation and stomach issues. It may also be able to help your body burn more calories, as piperine is known to slow down the development of fat cells.
It is thought that ginger in its fresh and powdered form could help reduce your appetite and food cravings. As well as being great for your immune system and helping cure tummy troubles, it is as easy to add to hot drinks as it is to add to food.
Yet another spice that can help increase your metabolism so you burn calories faster and lose weight at a greater rate as a result.
Mustard seeds are believed to help boost the body’s metabolism, burn more calories and improve fooddigestion.
Studies have shown that a small amount of cinnamon added to a dish can increase the body’s metabolism by up to 20 times. It is great for sufferers of diabetes and as well as controlling your appetite and stabilising your levels of energy.
All of the above is great news for anyone who is resigned to the fact that they will over-indulge this Yuletide (so that’s most of us). Why not up your spice quota right now by visiting one of London’s popular Indian brasseries? The food is just the right balance of naughty, nice and potentially great for your figure.