Today we will see a new chapter dedicated to that foods that, with different mechanisms, may help us fight obesity and abdominal fat. These conditions indeed can be really dangerous because they feed chronic inflammations in the body thus creating the ideal environment for several illnesses. In this first part we are focusing our attention to all that spices that, if added to our dishes, are able not just to give taste but also to reduce fat accumulation and increase energy expenditure. However, although the spices are very powerful, be careful and don’t exceed with their consumption in order to avoid irritations of the mucosa, in addition to this the spices should be inserted in a healthy and active lifestyle.
Mustard is really tasty and, thanks to its strong flavor, may be served together with meat, vegetables or piadina flatbread. However, its role on metabolism is still debated. According to a research of 1986 and published in the journal Human Nutrition, Clinical nutrition by a team of England's Oxford Polytechnic Institute (Henry et al, Effect of spiced food on metabolic rate, 1986), with only a teaspoon of mustard it is possible to increase metabolism by 25% for several hours after the meal. This action would be determined by allyl isothiocyanate, the substance that gives the spicy taste. This result has been recently contested by another study (Langeveld et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2017) that, on the contrary, didn’t observed any benefit from the metabolic point of view and for what concerns the prevention to fat accumulation after mustard consumption. We report this last research for the record, but we can observe that it was performed on a very limited number of people, not even ten persons, for this reason the results cannot be considered reliable. However, beyond the fact the mustard may, or may not, accelerate the metabolism, it has a well demonstrated anti cancer effect (Bhattacharya et al, Carcinogenesis, 2010), for this reason adding mustard to our plates is a good choice, waiting for science to clarify also the anti obesity role of mustard.
Ginseng, scientific name Panax ginseng, is a spice that helps counteract obesity. Although other studies are needed in order to definitely demonstrate this effect, it seems that ginseng, and its active substances, the ginsenosides, may be able to increase the energy’s consumption and to reduce the fat accumulation (Zhipeng et al, J Ginseng Res, Jan 2018). Moreover, ginseng has proved to be useful in case of diabetes type 2 by reducing fasting blood sugar, by improving the sugars utilization and by balancing the production of insulin (Jae Joon Wee et al, Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspect, Chapter 8). Finally, this root acts also on the fatty liver and the excess of cholesterol, in particular it helps reduce the total cholesterol and the triglycerides (Cui et al, J Int Med Res, Aug-Sep 1998). You can use this spice to prepare herbal teas or to give to your dishes more taste, for example you can use a pinch of grated spice on soups.