Ever felt that everyone you know seems to be losing weight, but when you try their dieting tricks, you don’t have the same success? You may not be doing anything wrong. It could be that those strategies just aren’t a good match for you. Everyone knows it takes a combination of diet and exercise to lose body fat, but researchers now believe cumin powder can help jumpstart weight loss, decrease body fat and improve unhealthy cholesterol levels naturally.
Researchers at Iran’s Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Science randomly split 88 overweight women into two 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 time experiment finished members in the cumin group has 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.
Cumin also significantly reduced blood lipid levels. Triglycerides dropped 23 points compared to only five points in the control group. And LDL cholesterol dropped an average of 10 points compared to less than one point for the controls.
This suggest that cumin might help prevent atherosclerosis, heart disease and diabetes, conditions associated to high triglycerides levels.
The researchers believe the cholesterol lowering effect of the spice can be partly attributed to its glycoside saponins. These compounds prevent cholesterol absorption and increase its excretion.
The compounds, also found in black cumin, have anti-coagulant, anticarcinogenic, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, immunomodulatory, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
If you’re not too keen on eating cumin with yogurt, you can easily add it to roasted vegetables, use it to season chicken or even add a pinch to vegetable soup. You can also mix it with your eggs in the morning!