If you're battling belly fat, it may pay to spice things up just a bit. A December 2017 study in Metabolism found that cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil that gives cinnamon its distinctive taste, induces fat cells, or adipocytes, to start burning calories through thermogenesis (body heat production). While the researchers cautioned that further study is needed to determine how much is too much to avoid adverse effects, it can't hurt to sprinkle a little in your morning cup of joe. And while you're at it, you might try adding a little spice to everything you cook. "There is some evidence to suggest that certain spices, such as red and black pepper and ginger, can help with weight loss and weight maintenance," says Schuster. "These spices also have anti-inflammatory effects, which is beneficial for overall health, and especially for diseases like high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes." Still, while adding spices to food might help in a small way with weight loss and anti-inflammation, they are only one piece of a much larger picture, cautions Schuster. "It's also important to focus on lifestyle and behavior changes with weight loss, such as portion control, increasing fruits and vegetables and incorporating exercise."
Read more: 9 Herbs and Spices to Help You Lose Weight