As we have seen in the previous posts counteracting overweight, and in particular abdominal fat, is a choice for our health. The adipose tissue indeed, especially if localized on the waistline, is an endocrine organ and is able to produce hormones and inflammatory substances, thus causing a chronic inflammation that is the basis of several illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular diseases (Coelho et al, Arch Med Sci, 2013 - Deng et al, Annu Rev Pathol, 2016). Let’s see some spices that may be really helpful to keep at bay body weight.
Turmeric has a powerful anti inflammatory action and is among the most studied spices by science. In fact, turmeric may bel helpful to counteract the excess of fat thanks to two mechanisms. The first effect of this spice is the ability to directly act on obesity by increasing weight loss, by promoting a reduction of the waistline length and of the body mass index (Di Pierro et al, Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, 2015). Turmeric limits indeed the absorption of sugars and avoids in this way the dangerous glycemic peaks. As a consequence, it decreases also the release of insulin (Dong-wei Zhang et al, Evi Based Complement Alternat Med, 2013). This is really important because insulin indicates to the body that there is in blood an excess of sugars and stimulates in this way the fat accumulation. For this reason, reducing the sugars in blood means also to reduce this mechanism of fat accumulation that, if for our ancestors, used to go hungry for long periods, could mean survival by creating supplies for bad times, for us that have at our disposal a lot of food every day may become a danger because these supplies will be hardly used. The other mechanism of turmeric is that this spice is able to act on the adipose tissue and inhibits the chronic inflammation (Bradford, Biofactors, 2013). In order to get the maximum benefit from turmeric you can mix a teaspoon of turmeric, a pinch of ground black pepper, that helps the spice overcome the stomach barrier, and extra virgin olive oil until you obtain a creamy sauce. Use it to season salads.
Black pepper increases the absorption of turmeric but it may also act directly on the excess of fat. Black pepper contains in fact an active substance, the piperine, able to reduce the fat, the body weight, the bad LDL cholesterol, the triglycerides and the blood sugar levels without modifying the appetite but increasing the metabolism of muscles at rest. (Shah et al, Idian J Pharmacol, 2011 and Nogara et al, PNAS, 2016).
Cloves are able to protect the liver and have beneficial effects on the fatty liver, help reduce the cholesterol and the triglycerides (Al-Okbi et al, J Med Food, 2014) and counteract obesity (Ding et al, Food Funct, 2017). You can use cloves to make your dishes tastier, but be careful and don’t exceed with the quantity because this spice may have an irritating effect on the gastric mucosa.