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 Cumin Helps with Weight Loss
Researchers at Iran’s Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences randomly split 88 overweight or obese women into 2 groups. For 3 months, both groups received nutrition counseling and decreased their daily intake of calories by 500. But one group was also eating 3 grams (a little less than 1 teaspoon) of cumin powder daily, swirled into 5 ounces of yogurt (the same amount of yogurt, minus the cumin, was also prescribed to the control group).
At the end of the 3-month trial, members in the cumin group had lost 3 more pounds than those in the non-cumin group for a total of 13 pounds weight loss. More impressively, the cumin group members decreased body fat percentage by 14.64%—almost triple the 4.91% loss posted by the control group—apparently due to the addition of the fat-burning spice.
But how does this one little spice make such a big difference? 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.