You’ve probably had cumin plenty of times in your life. It’s a very common ingredient in many Mexican food dishes, and it adds a kick to sweet potatoes, barbecue and everything in between.
But cumin has a lot more to offer than just a great taste.
It can actually help you lose weight, too. It may be hard to believe, but it’s totally true. This unique spice has powerful weight loss-boosting properties that can improve your results and make your journey to health just a little bit easier.
How does it do it? And what can you do to enjoy these benefits? Let’s look into that now.
How Cumin Helps with Weight Loss
A recent study was done regarding cumin and weight loss. In it, 88 women were put on a reduced-calorie diet. A portion of them were told to eat three grams of cumin twice daily. After the study concluded, the women who ate cumin lost 4.5 pounds (on average) more than those who did not. They also saw more drastic changes in their BMIs, waist size, cholesterol and total fat mass.
But how does this one little spice make such a big difference? Well first of all, cumin is very low in calories. There are only a mere 16 calories in two full teaspoons! This makes it a great way to amp up the flavor of your meals, without adding to your daily caloric intake too much. This in itself can make weight loss easier.
Cumin can also speed up your metabolism, both due to its spiciness and because it has a lot of iron in it. Iron is vital to your metabolism, so adding more to your diet can actually help you burn more calories. And the more calories you burn, the more weight you lose!
Additionally, the antioxidants and phytosterols in cumin can help lower your cholesterol and reduce blood sugar, and both of these can make weight loss easier and faster on the whole. In fact, in the cumin-weight loss study, the women who consumed cumin saw a drop in LDLs (the bad cholesterols) by a whopping 23 points!
Other Benefits of Cumin
Cumin is also full of important minerals and vitamins that are vital for your health. Just one little seed boasts iron, manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B1 and phosphorus. Two teaspoons of cumin can actually account for 16 percent of your recommended daily value!
Thanks to its high iron content, cumin can benefit your body in a number of other ways, too. It can improve your circulation and heart health, as iron plays a crucial role in your blood. It can also boost your energy and improve your immune system, making it easier to ward off disease and infection.
Cumin also promotes good digestion. Studies even show that it stimulates the secretion of enzymes in your pancreas, which helps your body break down the foods you consume and ensure you get all the nutrients out of that food as possible.
Here are just a few other benefits of cumin:
- It can protect from cataracts and eye problems
- It can reduce inflammation – particularly in the liver and pancreas
- It can prevent osteoporosis and improve bone health
It sounds crazy, but cumin has anti-cancer effects too. Research has shown that it can ward off free radicals and toxins, and it can improve your body’s liver function. These are both crucial to preventing the development of cancer cells.
Getting More Cumin in Your Diet
Cumin is pretty easy to work into your diet. You can use it to flavor meat and seafood, you can add it to veggies, or it can even go into a homemade hummus or guacamole tip. You can also turn it into a tea by boiling whole cumin seeds in water, then letting them steep for about 1 minutes.
It also makes a great addition to soups, stews, chilis and even egg-based dishes. It can give a nice kick to nuts, rice or trail mix, and it’s also a key part of taco seasoning; just add it to some chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and red pepper, and you’re good to go. My favorite way to eat cumin? I sprinkle it only some chopped up sweet potatoes, wrap it in tin foil, and stick it on the grill. After about 10 minutes, you have a delicious, zesty side dish for your lunch.
In the cumin-weight loss study, the women who consumed cumin mixed it into a cup of plain yogurt, so that’s an option, too. Just make sure to get about 6 grams daily if you really want to see results.
Do you like cumin? What’s your favorite way to incorporate it into your food? Share your ideas and recipes with me in the comments!