Cumin Really Helps You Lose Weight?
---What Does Science Say
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September 28, 2016

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist










There are some people who are spice nerds. They have their
spice rack, and order things alphabetically, while whistling a
happy cooking tune.

There are others who put some salt and oregano on
whatever they are eating and call it a day. I'm not saying the
world falls into these two categories, because I'm a bit of
both.

The difference is that sometimes my salt and oregano is
simply one thing: cumin. I go through phases, and lately I've
been putting it on everything.


Needless to say, when I learned that it had potential for
helping me lose weight, I was thrilled.


For those of us in the audience who are more the salt and
oregano types, going, “Is this spicy as in hot? I won't eat it
if it's spicy as in hot”, let's clear things up. Cumin does have
a strong taste, but it won't burn your tongue.

You can use it on its own or in spice mixes. The cumin seeds
are actually fruit, but typically the cumin spice itself is the
seeds/fruit ground up. They are more commonly an amber
color, but can also be black or white. Although native to the
Mediterranean, Cumin is used all around the world.


Cumin is a spice that should be used sparingly because of its
strong flavor, but even if you pile it on, you've got little to
worry about healthwise. One tablespoon contains only 22
calories, 12 of those from fat. It even has some potassium
and protein in it.


In combination with a healthy diet, cumin could help you
lose weight. Read on to find out its potential. If you haven't
tried it, go for it. If you have, well, here's just one more
reason to keep dusting it on dinner.


Cumin Deliciously Supports Your Weight Loss Goals




























Cumin could be that part of a healthy diet that really helps
you shed pounds.

According to a 2014 study from R. Zare and researchers at
the Iran Shahid Sadoughi University, just a pinch of the
spice could make a big difference.

The scientists took 88 overweight or obese women and split
them into two groups. Both groups received nutrition
counseling and decreased their calorie intake by 500.

The first test group mixed 3 grams (a little less than 1
teaspoon) of cumin powder with 5 ounces of yogurt, and
consumed it daily.

The second group, which was the control group, ate spice-
free yogurt.

At the end of the three month trial, people in the cumin
group had lost three more pounds than those in the non-
cumin group, a 13 pound average. In other words, the
cumin had accelerated their weight loss by 30%.

Additionally, the cumin group had decreased their body fat
by 14.64%, almost three times as much as the control
group, at 4.91%.


Not only did adding this delicious spice to yogurt affect the
women externally and aesthetically; it also gave a boost to
their health. Triglycerides (harmful fats in the blood)
dropped by 23 points, in contrast with the control group,
where they dropped by 5. A nearly 10 point drop occurred in
LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, whereas in the control group, just
a half point.


This is good news. Although more studies are required, if
you're a woman and you're eating just a bit of cumin a day,
odds are that you're healthier and maybe a little thinner than
your non-cumin-eating self in a parallel universe.


Maybe, though, just maybe, you're a guy and/or a person
who likes to take your alphabetically-ordered spices and mix
them up. (Anarchy!) If so, these next studies could be
pleasing to you.




Mix It Up


In 2015, Dr. O. Said from the Antaki Center for Herbal
Medicine in Israel wanted to know what effect a mix of four
plants used in traditional Arabic and European medicine
would have on weight loss.

Taking Alchemilla Vulgaris, Olea Europaea, Menthe Longifolia
L. and cuminum cyminum (our protagonist in this article)
and mixing it together, a product called Weighlevel was
manufactured.

Dr. Said and colleagues then took 80 volunteers with an
average body mass index of 30.67 to see how they would
interact with the spice mix.

Subjects were asked to continue their usual diet, but only
eat three main meals daily, and take one Weighlevel tablet 30
minutes before each meal. 66 people in total remained in the
experiment, because 14 of them didn't follow the guidelines.


There were no side effects, and significant progressive
weight loss was seen in subjects during the whole study
period. More weight loss was seen in people with a BMI of
25-30 kg m(-2) (overweight people) than people with a BMI
of more than 30 kg m(-2) (obese people).


So, if you like to mix together various spices for flavor, and
cumin isn't enough, you may consider asking an herbalist
which ones you can use, or shopping around for tablets. The
likelihood is that there are many.


However, if you're like me, and just the cumin will do, you're
also in luck.


Cumin is Just as Effective as Meds In Causing Weight Loss


Another study, with a mix of male and female subjects,
affirms that cumin helps both weight loss and metabolic
profiles.

In 2015, Dr. M. Taghizadeh and colleagues from the Kashan
University of Medical Sciences were curious as to how cumin
affected the weight loss and metabolic profiles of overweight
subjects.

A total of 78 people (18 male, 60 female) were tested. They
were divided into three groups: 26 took a cumin cyminum L.
capsule, 26 took a weight loss medication ( Orlistat 120
capsule), and 26 took a placebo, three times a day, for eight
weeks.


The cumin and the medication caused a similar significant
decrease in weight and BMI compared with the placebo.
Cumin consumption compared with both Orlistat 120 and
placebo led to a notable reduction in fat serum levels.


While there are few documented negative side effects of
cumin, Orlistat 120 has a pretty long potential list, including
digestive issues, nausea, and fever, amongst others.

Cumin usually doesn't do you any harm, and it does do you a
heap of good most of the time.


Other Benefits of Cumin


This is a pretty magical spice. In addition to helping you with
weight loss goals and managing
diabetes and metabolic
irregularities, it can also support immune function, aid in
digestion,
decrease insomnia, and even reverse cancer. Since
it is a rich source of iron, it's great for the ladies (we need
looooots), and will help out with those who already have
anemia. For every 100 grams of cumin, there are 66
milligrams of iron.



What You Should Watch Out For


The only concern with this versatile spice is what to mix it
with. Since cumin lowers your blood sugar, which is an
advantage for most, it shouldn't be taken with diabetes
medications, which do the same. If your blood sugar drops
too much, it isn't safe. For the same reason, before you get a
surgery, you should stop consuming cumin two weeks
beforehand.



What Can I Use Cumin In?

I'm a cumin junkie, so I use it in just about everything
savory ---meats, eggs, stews, chili , shrimp and even yogurt.
However, the
Huffington Post has compiled a good list of
recipes for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans.







































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Cumin can be added to almost any
recipe to give it a rich, earthy taste.