The following spices will keep the body slimmer, smarter, happier.
Trim Down With Crushed Red Pepper
Its metabolism-boosting properties (and heat) come from the capsaicin in the chiles. Plus, a study found women who added 2 tsp of the spice to their food took in fewer cals and fat in later meals. Stir into guac and pasta.
Calm Your Belly With Cloves
A compound in ground cloves, eugenol, may soothe your stomach, says Michelle Dudash, R.D. Try a pinch in applesauce or tea.
Quell Muscle Pain With Ginger
Blend this spice into your postworkout shake. It contains gingerol, a natural anti-inflammatory that research finds may reduce next-day muscle pain. Bonus: It may even ease period cramps.
Curb Appetite With Fenugreek
This spice packs fiber—each nutty-tasting teaspoon of the seed has a gram. Study participants who took a fenugreek supplement in the a.m. ate less at lunch. Sprinkle it generously onto chicken before roasting.
Stronger Bones from Cinnamon
Yes, it can help regulate blood sugar, but it also provides manganese, a mineral that helps maintain bone density; 1 tablespoon provides nearly a day's worth. Spread it out: Shake it into coffee and onto apples and oatmeal.
Stay Sharp With Cumin
A lab study shows cumin's anti-inflammatory properties may improve memory and lower stress. Blend it with hummus or toss it with pumpkin seeds before roasting.
Beat the Blues With Turmeric
Research shows that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent in turmeric called curcumin can help reduce depression. Stir it into rice and couscous.