When it comes to spices, they don’t just make your food tastier. Research shows there is a multitude of benefits to your health. In countries where people consume a lot of different spices, the incidences of diet-related illnesses such as heart disease and cancers are relatively low.
Here are the top spices to include in your spice cabinet:
This spice is a root that is part of the ginger family and most often sold in ground powdered form. The root can be found in many health food stores.
It is orange/yellow in color and often found in curries, and tossed into smoothies.
From aiding wound healing and digestion, relieving colds and respiratory problems, to enhancing immune function, turmeric is a powerhouse spice to have in your cupboard.
Perhaps the most pressing reason for taking turmeric is its’ anti-cancer benefits. Preliminary studies have found that curcumin, the active ingredient, can inhibit tumor cell growth and suppress enzymes that activate carcinogens. It also shows promise in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease.
Also a root. Can be purchased ground or whole. Ginger can soothe nausea and an upset stomach, aids in digestion, and relieves sore muscles and osteoarthritis pain. Easily make a ginger tea with hot water added to a cup with a few slices of ginger. Ginger can be used in many sauces and stir-fry cooking, as well as being the essential ingredient in gingerbread and gingersnap cookies, used in its’ powdered form.
One of the oldest known spices, this rolled brown bark can be purchased whole in sticks, in ground form, or as an oil.
Consuming as little as a ¼ tsp a day has been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels in those with diabetes. Cinnamon is sweet without adding calories, and is often found in gum and candies and used widely in baking. Apparently just smelling the spice improves attention and memory.
Cinnamon is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium. It is also known to reduce inflammation.
The dried stamens of the Crocus sativus plant, saffron has always been prized for its flavor and its medicinal properties. It contains several chemical compounds that are known to be antioxidant, disease preventing and health promoting. It has been used as an antidepressant since the antioxidants help protect the body from oxidant-induced stress.
Chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which has an anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetic properties. What this means is they boost metabolism causing one to burn more calories, and stimulate brain chemicals to make us feel full longer.
They add heat to your dishes and a strong spicy flavor while providing high levels of your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals.