Sometimes, adding just a few herbs or spices to a meal can really be the factor that makes or breaks the taste of the dish. In addition to adding a savory quality to your food, most herbs and spices are loaded with surprising health benefits as well, so feel free to add them liberally to your favorite dishes. Here are four herbs and spices that are renowned and celebrated for their health benefits and medicinal qualities.
Cinnamon is one of the most common spices found in dishes across a variety of cultures. You probably have a container of cinnamon sitting in the back of your pantry right now. Whether you use it to sweeten a cake or to sprinkle on a latte, cinnamon is helpful in aiding your body’s healthy functioning. Cinnamon is packed with healthy antioxidants, making it a great resource for fighting inflammation in the body and lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. However, cinnamon is best known for its ability to lower blood sugar and therefore lower the risk of developing diabetes. Cinnamon works to slow the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract, which improves insulin sensitivity.
If you like spicy food, you like cayenne peppers, which are often used in the preparation of spicy dishes across cultures. Cayenne peppers contain the active ingredient capsaicin, which is known as a great factor weight loss, as it reduces the appetite while increasing your body’s natural fat burning process. This is the reason why capsaicin is more often than not found as a key ingredient in weight loss supplements. Capsaicin has also been shown to help the body fight againstcertain types of cancer, such as lung, liver, and prostate cancer.
Ginger is probably one of the most popular spices in the world. It can be prepared in a variety of ways. It can be snacked on in candied form; sliced, pickled, and placed next to a plate of sushi; or made into tea and steeped in hot water for a soothing and relaxing drink. Ginger is probably best well-known for its ability to reduce nausea, which is why it is commonly taken aboard planes and packed for long car rides, in addition to being used during chemotherapy treatments, where nausea may occur. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties, which often helps reduce instances of pain in the joints or due to arthritis. In an interesting study, ginger was shown to decrease markers for colon inflammation in a similar manner to taking aspirin.
This brightly colored spice contains curcumin, an incredibly potent and powerful antioxidant that works to boost the body’s antioxidant enzymes while also fighting oxidation in the bloodstream. Oxidative damage is known to be a key contributing factor behind ageing, in addition to many chronic diseases. Curcumin is also a great anti-inflammatory nutrient, which serves to improve brain function and therefore lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric can also relieve pain caused by arthritis, making this spice a great tool in helping the body ease into the aging process.
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