7 Spices that Make You Slimmer, Smarter, Happier

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7 Spices that Make You Slimmer, Smarter, Happier

Self_2013_vectorRaid your spice rack and start using these! Science finds mixing them into meals adds a health boost.

Curb appetite with fenugreek This spice packs fiber—each nutty-tasting teaspoon of the seed has a gram. Study participants who took a fenugreek supplement in the a.m. ate less at lunch. Sprinkle it generously onto chicken before roasting.

Stronger bones from cinnamon Yes, it can help regulate blood sugar, but it also provides manganese, a mineral that helps maintain bone density; 1 tablespoon provides nearly a day’s worth. Spread it out: Shake it into coffee and onto apples and oatmeal.

Stay sharp with cumin A lab study shows cumin’s anti-inflammatory properties may improve memory and lower stress. Blend it with hummus or toss it with pumpkin seeds before roasting.

Calm your belly with cloves A compound in ground cloves, eugenol, may soothe your stomach, says Michelle Dudash, R.D. Try a pinch in applesauce or tea.

Soothe muscle pain with ginger Blend this spice into your post-workout shake. It contains gingerol, a natural anti-inflammatory that research finds may reduce next-day muscle pain. Bonus: It may even ease period cramps.

Beat the blues with turmeric Research shows that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent in turmeric called curcumin can help reduce depression. Stir it into rice and couscous.

Slim down with crushed red pepper Its metabolism-boosting properties (and heat) come from the capsaicin in the chilies. Plus, a study found women who added 2 tsp. of the spice to their food took in fewer caloriess and fat in later meals. Stir into guacamole or pasta.

Planning to sprinkle one of these on your plate today? Share your thoughts in the comments!


SELF is the magazine that makes living healthy easy and fun. SELF’s motto: Being fit, strong and active means feeling great, being happy and looking your most beautiful. With trademark authority, SELF speaks to women about three key areas of her being: her body, her looks and her life. SELF makes it fun and fulfilling to be your happiest, healthiest, best self. Reaching a total audience of 12 million each month, SELF is the founder of the Pink Ribbon for breast cancer awareness and an ASME National Magazine Award winner for excellence in journalistic achievement in print and digital. SELF is published by Condé Nast, publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair, Bon Appétit, GQ, Glamour, The New Yorker, Wired and other celebrated media brands. Visit Self.com and follow @SELFmagazine on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foodily and Google+.

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  • Erica Rose

    2 tsp of chili flakes! I’d lose some weight in the bathroom for sure!!!

  • Amie-Brent Priegnitz

    This is great and all but I would like to know WHY the spices work like they do.

  • Cedura

    I would imagine you would have to eat an awful lot of some of these for them to work. Like the Fenugreek. wow one gram. Supplement I see working. But you would have to eat it with more than just roasted chicken everyday for it to work otherwise.

  • Evgeni

    What an awful post – no references and truly unrealistic info.

  • Dallymomma

    What a great post! Herbs can work wonders. Google each for your proof (or try it out).

    @cedura:disqus Yes a gram is a lot of spice, but even if you added to your cupboard and used it once a week, it would be an improvement on not using it at all.

  • Great news!There are many products for weight loss and many other things but spices can also reduce weight. Sounds good but how many times in a day it should be taken and what proportion?

  • cookie_ninja2010

    Cloves are also good for soothing toothaches too, whenever I have a toothache I’ll reach for the chai tea before even considering pain killers

  • E

    I have been taking Turmeric (Source Natural 1000mg) for a year and my arthiritis has been in check (asympthomatic). I tried Cayenne (Now, 500mg) as a friend lost a bunch of weight with it but the heartburn killed me.
    I use Cinnamon in my coffee, and drink iced ginger (100%) tea at least once a day. I have not yet tried it, but been told you can keep ginger in the freezer and just grate it as you go when cooking. It seems to help with my digestion as I have gluten sensitivity as its hard to weed out all traces.

  • geebus

    As others have suggested, without figures, this article is a waste of time.

  • KarenBoehlke

    I recently discovered (a few days before reading this) that cinnamon and vanilla in my coffee will keep me from adding sugar and milk (fewer calories). Never could stand black coffee before.

  • Holly Brashear

    I know I will get the comments that blast what I say, but really…just TRY a few of them. Don’t discount it and complain, either do it, or don’t!

    • Nurse

      They do work. I have done research on these before. All people have to do is do some research before dismissing these spices. Their loss.

  • I don’t know. Can spicer help me to slimmer my body.

  • I don’t know. Can spicer help me to slimmer my body.

  • I don’t know. Can spicer help me to slimmer my body.