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Cumin is a popular spice used in cooking cuisine all over the world. Made from the ground-up seeds of the Cuminum cyminum plant, cumin is in the parsley family and is grown mostly in China, India, and Mexico. It’s also a common ingredient in chili powder and curry.

Cumin may boost your metabolism, lower cholesterol level, and help decrease your blood sugar. Studies confirm that consuming ground cumin helps some people who are trying to losing weight.

While there’s no guarantee that cumin will jump-start your weight loss, its unique properties and other health benefits make it worth a try for most people.

Cumin has the potential for helping you lose weight because of a unique active ingredient — thymoquinone, a naturally occurring chemical that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Thymoquinone can target free radicals in your body, assisting your body in cleansing itself of toxins. Cumin helps your cells respond to insulin and glucose, which keeps your blood sugar stable.

Over time, the effects of cumin can work together with a healthy diet and exercise to decrease fat deposits and reduce inflammation in your body. When everything works together, you may notice that any symptoms of bloating, swelling, and fatigue are decreased when you consume cumin.

Research backs up the idea that cumin can help you lose weight, but we need more studies to come to a firm conclusion about how well it works.

One small study of 72 overweight subjects demonstrated that adding cumin and lime to a weight loss routine accelerated weight loss significantly.

In another small study of 88 overweight women, cumin alone was enough to result in faster weight loss for subjects.

While cumin may work to help you lose weight, there are realistic limits to how much weight you can expect to use. Misconceptions about the way that it works exist as well.

Cumin can’t target one area of your body, like your stomach, to blast fat. While it does improve or help lower inflammation, which can result in a leaner-looking midsection, cumin can’t actually erase fat. Only overall weight loss can target fat deposits on your body.

You can use cumin for weight loss in numerous ways.

Cumin drink

Try making your own cumin drink (also called jeera water) by steeping two teaspoons of cumin seeds in 1.5 quarts of boiling water, straining the seeds out, and drinking the water that’s been infused with cumin’s healthy oils and extracts.

Jeera water may jump-start your metabolism and help balance blood sugar, in addition to boosting your hydration.

Anecdotally, people drink jeera water twice per day on an empty stomach for best results.

Cumin supplements

You can purchase oral cumin supplements that contain ground cumin seeds or black cumin seed oil. Take these supplements with food once per day or according to package instructions.

Cumin supplements may help stabilize blood sugar.

Cumin in your diet

You can also choose simply to consume cumin in your diet. Chili powder, cumin seeds, and ground cumin all contain the antioxidant and metabolism-boosting capabilities of cumin.

Seasoning rice, lentils, and roasted vegetables with cumin is a delicious way to experience its benefits.

Cumin isn’t just good as a weight loss aid. It provides other benefits:

  • is high in iron, a mineral that many don’t get enough of in their diet
  • can improve your ratio of HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • can help keep you from getting food poisoning because of its antimicrobial and antibiotic properties
  • supports your immune system, keeping you from getting sick more often
  • has cancer-fighting properties

Cumin can be purchased in pretty much any grocery store in seed and in ground form. Specialty stores, health food stores, and farmer’s markets carry cumin as well.

You can purchase cumin supplements online from certain sellers, but be careful — cumin supplements aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and you should only buy from trusted sellers.

Check out these cumin products available on Amazon.

Cumin is a common spice with exceptional benefits for your health. Not only has it been shown to help jump-start weight loss, cumin can also reduce inflammation.

Keep in mind that cumin isn’t a miracle ingredient. You’ll still need to commit to cutting calories and exercising regularly to experience its full benefits.

Cumin is safe for most people looking to reach a healthy weight and balance their blood sugar.