Summer is almost over and most likely that means an end to seasonal vacations and trips. So most of us find ourselves back indoors most of the time in resumption of our more sedentary lifestyles. That probably means more trips to the fridge, fewer forays into the great outdoors for fun and exercise, and more belt loosening the deeper we get into autumn followed by the arrival of the holidays and winter in no time.
In other words, it's time to consider what sort of weight-loss or weight-maintenance aids might be out there, available over the counter for you to use in trying to stay slim or get slimmer. Here are eight herbs or supplements you might want to consider stocking up on sooner than later. And be sure to discuss using any of these with your personal healthcare provider just to make sure you are playing it safe and keeping things healthy.
Five Weight-Loss Supplements or Herbs to Consider
In alphabetical order:
Fenugreek. Like many other herbs that have a healthy nutritional component, fenugreek has long been used as a spice that adds a sweet, nutty flavor to meals suitable for any dinner table, most often those associated with Indian food. It is fenugreek's richness of fiber content that helps in weight loss. Fiber tends to control your appetite and reduce hunger, thus helping you limit your intake of more food than you need. Fenugreek can also help diminish systemic inflammation, which otherwise would hinder your body's capacity to convert food into energy.
Gymnema Sylvestre. Here's one herb that you probably haven't heard of before, and now you can be happy you have. It's most popular as a natural remedy often used to reduce blood sugar to healthy levels. In terms of weight loss, there's also a connection with gymnema sylvestre. One of its compounds is gymnemic acid, which has been shown to be effective in warding off cravings for sweets, and you know what that means. Reduced sugar intake probably means weight loss.
Oregano. This powerful, fragrant herb, often used in Italian cooking, is packed with various compounds and antioxidants such as terpenes and phenols that can pitch in to provide a boost to your weight-loss efforts. One of those other compounds is carvacrol, which can bolster shedding of pounds by influencing proteins and genes in your body tasked with minimizing fat synthesis. But wait, there's more to oregano and its weight-loss benefits: by chipping in to reduce systemic inflammation and pain, it frees you to exercise more, which we all know pays dividends in weight control/reduction.
Spirulina. It has been described as a "super food," and it's hard to argue with that assessment, especially when it comes to weight loss. Known in scientific terms as "Arthrospira Platensis," spirulina is a blue-green algae that can be found in both freshwater and saltwater bodies of water. It's a natural fat burner loaded with the right kind of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including antioxidants, to make stepping on your scales a ritual of optimistic anticipation, not dread. Studies have shown that spirula can decrease appetite, inflammation and body fat as well as control the levels of oxidative stress generated by excess body fat.
Turmeric/Curcumin. This is an herb that has been discussed many times in these blogs, a testament to its effectiveness in a wide variety of health areas. And, of course, that includes weight loss, or otherwise we wouldn't be discussing it here and now. Turmeric is, like other herbs listed here, known far and wide as a tasty spice worthy of being sprinkled on an assortment delightful dinner servings, maybe lunch, too, depending on where you eat. Turmeric's key ingredient is curcumin, a chemical that is effective in battling inflammation and unwanted fat. Among studies regarding curcumin and weight loss is one with 44 people, who each were given one dose daily for a month with participants showing a loss in belly fat and increased weight loss up to 5%.