Blog Nutrition The Science Behind Using Cumin For Weight Loss

The Science Behind Using Cumin For Weight Loss

Cumin, known for its warm and earthy flavor, has long been a staple in many culinary traditions. However, its benefits extend far beyond the kitchen. Multiple studies have shown that cumin can aid in weight loss, making it a popular choice for those looking for a natural and effective solution (4). The secret to cumin’s weight loss properties lies in its chemical makeup. Cumin is rich in a compound called thymoquinone, which has been shown to help break down fat cells and regulate metabolism (10). It can help your body burn calories efficiently and speed up the process of weight loss. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind using cumin for weight loss, as well as how to incorporate it into your diet. We’ll also look at potential side effects and how to make sure you get the most out of this powerful spice. Let’s dive in!


How Does Cumin Work For Weight Loss?

Cumin is thought to work for weight loss through multiple mechanisms:

Thymoquinone’s Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Cumin contains a compound called thymoquinone, which has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory properties (10). This means it helps reduce inflammation in the body that is linked with obesity and weight gain.

Regulating Blood Sugar Levels

Cumin has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels, which is helpful in preventing spikes and dips in blood sugar. Keeping your blood sugar levels in check can help to prevent cravings, overeating, and weight gain (3).

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Thymoquinone’s Antioxidant Properties

The potent antioxidant property of thymoquinone present in cumin helps to reduce oxidative stress, which is linked to weight gain (10).

Reducing Fat Absorption

Cumin is thought to help reduce the absorption of fat in the digestive tract. This means that fewer calories are absorbed, which can ultimately lead to weight loss (3).

Metabolism Booster

Cumin is thought to help boost metabolism, which means that more calories are burned throughout the day. It does so by increasing thermogenesis, which is the process of generating heat in the body (4).

Read More: Cumin vs Coriander: How Do These Two PowerHouse Spices Differ?

cumin for weight loss

Are There Studies Backing Up Cumin For Weight Loss?

The research on cumin and its ability to help with weight loss is still preliminary. However, some studies have shown promising effects.

A study involving 72 overweight subjects found that those who took cumin and lime for three months lost significantly more weight than the control group (9). Another study showed that cumin supplementation resulted in an increase in fat burning and a decrease in body weight (5).

It should be noted that while cumin may have some potential benefits for weight loss, more research is needed to confirm these effects.

Additionally, trying to lose weight should involve eating a healthy balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity. Cumin can be a helpful supplement, but it should not be relied upon as the sole source of weight loss.

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Lastly, cumin can’t spot reduce fat. That means if you are looking to lose weight in specific areas, say belly fat, arm fat, or thigh fat, cumin is not the answer. It may reduce bloating and inflammation, which may result in a slimmer physique, but it won’t specifically target fat cells. 

Are There Side Effects Of Using Cumin For Weight Loss?

Overall, cumin is a generally safe and well-tolerated spice. However, you may experience the following cumin for weight loss side effects:

Carminative Effects

Cumin may result in carminative effects, which are the production of gas, belching and bloating (1). This can be uncomfortable but is usually mild and will pass with time.

Potential Narcotic Effects

Cumin contains a compound called piperine, which may have a mild narcotic effect. This can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion (8).

cumin for weight loss

Hypoglycemic Effects

Cumin may result in hypoglycemic effects, which means a decrease in blood sugar levels (7).  For people with diabetes, this can be dangerous. It’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels if you are taking cumin supplements. 

Allergic Reactions

Some people may experience allergic reactions to cumin, such as rashes, hives, and itching. If you develop any of these symptoms after taking cumin, stop taking the supplement and speak to your healthcare provider.

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How To Take Cumin For Weight Loss

Cumin can be taken in a variety of ways for weight loss. Below, we list and explain the best ways to take cumin for weight loss. 

Cumin Tea/Jeera Water

Cumin tea is an easy way to get your cumin fix. To make a cup of cumin tea, add two teaspoons of whole cumin seeds into boiling water and let it steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain the cumin seeds out of the tea and enjoy!

Avoid buying pre-made cumin tea as it may contain additional ingredients and added sugars, both of which can be detrimental to weight loss.  

Cumin Capsules Or Tablets

If you don’t like the taste of cumin, then capsules and tablets are a good option. You can find these supplements at your local health food store or online. Look for supplements that are free from additives and artificial ingredients. 

Cumin Powder Or Ground Cumin

Ground cumin is an easy way to get your cumin fix. You can sprinkle it on a variety of dishes including salads, pasta, rice, curries, smoothies, and soups. It’s best to buy organic ground cumin as it is free from additives and artificial ingredients. 

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Cumin Extract

Cumin extract is a concentrated form of cumin that is usually found in liquid form. It may be more potent than cumin powder or ground cumin, so it’s important to follow the dosing instructions carefully.

Read More: Cumin Vs Turmeric: What’s The Difference?

cumin for weight loss

What Are Other Health Benefits Of Cumin?

In addition to weight loss, cumin offers the following health benefits:

Improves Digestion

Cumin helps stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, which can assist in breaking down food and helping the body absorb nutrients more effectively (1).

High In Nutrients

Cumin is a good source of iron and manganese, and it is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin B6.

Iron, magnesium, and vitamin B6 are all important for healthy metabolism. Furthermore, dietary fiber helps keep the digestive tract healthy while providing a feeling of fullness (4).

Supports Immune System

Cumin contains antioxidants that can help protect the body from oxidative damage and maintain a healthy immune system (10).

Over time, this can help the body fight off illnesses and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Many of the antioxidants found in cumin have also been linked to anti-cancer properties (10).

See also
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May Improve The Ratio Of Good To Bad Cholesterol

Studies have suggested that cumin may help reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing levels of good cholesterol (HDL). As a result, cumin may help reduce the risk of heart disease (2).

Potential Antimicrobial Properties

Cumin has been studied for its potential antimicrobial properties, which could help the body fight off microbial infections.

Food poisoning, for example, is often caused by bacteria or other microorganisms. Other potential antimicrobial uses include treating skin infections and wound healing (6). 

Could Help Regulate Blood Sugar

Some research has suggested that cumin may help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. This is due to the presence of compounds like thymoquinone, which have been linked to improved insulin sensitivity (3).


Cumin may have potential benefits for weight loss, but more research is needed to confirm its effects. Cumin is generally safe for most people, but side effects such as carminative effects, potential narcotic effects, and allergic reactions may occur.

If you are considering taking cumin for weight loss, speak to your healthcare provider first. Additionally, keep in mind that weight loss is a cumulative process that should involve eating a healthy balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity.

Cumin can be a helpful supplement, but it should not be relied upon as the sole source of weight loss.



This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.): A review of its ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry (2020, 
  2. Cumin Health Benefits Include Lowering Cholesterol and Triglycerides (2020, 
  3. Cumin Potential Health Benefits (n.d., 
  4. Curcumin and Weight Loss: Does It Work? (2022, 
  5. Effect of cumin powder on body composition and lipid profile in overweight and obese women (2014, 
  6. Evidence of curcumin and curcumin analogue effects in skin diseases: A narrative review (2018, 
  7. Hypoglycemic potential of combined methanolic extract of Nigela sativa (black cumin) and Cicer arietinum (chickpea) (2022, 
  8. Molecular and pharmacological aspects of piperine as a potential molecule for disease prevention and management: evidence from clinical trials (2022, 
  9. The Effect of Cumin cyminum L. Plus Lime Administration on Weight Loss and Metabolic Status in Overweight Subjects: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial (2016, 
  10. Therapeutic perspectives of the black cumin component thymoquinone: A review (2021,
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