7. Harness Some Horseradish

Horseradish, a popular ingredient to add to spicy foods and mustard, helps boost metabolism by stimulating digestion, especially of fatty foods. Studies have also shown that it may increase the liver’s ability to process toxins and suppress the growth of cancer cells because of the glucosinolates that it contains. These compounds can also be found in lower levels within cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

8. Surrender the Salt; Go Heavy on the Black Pepper

While salt has deleterious effects on your health, studies suggest black pepper may boost your metabolism in addition to helping dissolve fats and relieve symptoms caused by heartburn and indigestion. The active chemical in black pepper (piperine) triggers parts of the brain and the nervous system, which, in turn, boosts your metabolism and burns calories. So, skip the salt and instead pepper your food lavishly.

9. Bring on the Mustard

England’s Oxford Polytechnic Institute discovered that eating a teaspoon of hot mustard—not the mellow yellow, but the spicy browns— with your meal will boost metabolism 20 to 25 percent for several hours after eating.

10. Sprinkle on the Cinnamon

Researchers at the U.S. Agricultural Research Service have theorized that a substance called MHCP—found in cinnamon—may help fat cells become more responsive to the insulin needed to increase glucose (sugar) metabolism. Instead of butter, try sprinkling cinnamon on your whole-grain bread or oatmeal to save fat calories and boost your metabolism. You can also sprinkle cinnamon in your coffee, tea, or yogurt.

11. Eat Thai Food

Thai food often contains many of the spices mentioned earlier—turmeric, cumin, black pepper, horseradish, and even cinnamon—as well as coriander and nutmeg. All these ingredients contain the magical fatburning molecule capsaicin that will boost your metabolism by firing up your furnace and increasing metabolic activity.

12. Make Your Own Spice Splash

Now that you know the virtues and benefits of spices, create your own super-charged, metabolism-burning combinations and find ways to add a lot of spice to your life. Here are some ideas from spice specialists, McCormick:

• Sprinkle store-bought or homemade hummus or guacamole with paprika. Or, add a kick by stirring in ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper or crushed red pepper.

• Serve bread with olive oil as it’s done in an Italian restaurant. Mix ¼ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1.8 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and sea salt to taste in small shallow dish.

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