Spices are an integral part of our everyday cooking. More than just adding to the flavour of the food, these spices also are a good source of vitamin and minerals that help in enhancing your overall wellness. Every spice has its own flavoring and essence, and its addition or omission can literally make or break a dish. There are many spices we use in our day to day cooking, these include popular ones like cumin, black pepper, turmeric and coriander seeds. Spices are known to have several health benefits; in fact it’s the addition of a bouquet of spices, that make traditional indian home-cooked food one of the healthiest meals eaten around the world. Spices come with notable nutritional values and provide some major health benefits. Check out the 6 spices that are sure to enhance your overall wellness!
This popular spice comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree and is used in everything from pumpkin spice lattes to Cincinnati chili. Cinnamon is especially great for people who have high blood sugar. It lends a sweet taste to food without adding sugar, and studies indicate it can lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon may also provide heart-healthy benefits, such as reducing high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. That’s especially important for people with diabetes who are at greater risk for developing heart disease.
Turmeric is best known for its use in Indian curry dishes and has become a trendy superfood for its ability to reduce inflammation — a common cause of discomfort and illness. One of the components of turmeric is a substance called curcumin. Research suggests it may reduce inflammation in the brain, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and depression. In a small study of adults over 50, those who consumed curcumin supplements over the course of 18 months had improvement in memory test scores. They also reported being in better spirits. Most impressive? Scans of their brain indicated significantly fewer markers associated with cognitive decline. Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, curcumin is also effective at reducing pain and swelling in people with arthritis. And animal studies indicate that curcumin could have powerful anti-cancer properties.
Ginger is a tropical plant that’s been used in our kitchens for thousands of years to treat stomach issues, diarrhea and nausea. Research has found that ginger is effective at calming pregnancy-related nausea and reducing stomach and gut issues after surgery. Some studies have also found that ginger cuts the severity of motion sickness or prevents the symptoms altogether.
Cumin is a spice native to the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia. It’s made from the seeds of the Cuminum cyminum plant, which are known for their distinctive earthy, nutty, and spicy flavor.Research shows that cumin may boost the activity of digestive enzymes and facilitate the release of bile from the liver, speeding digestion and easing the digestion of fats. Studies have also linked this Ayurvedic spice to reduced symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as abdominal pain and bloating. Plus, cumin may protect against type 2 diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity. It may also protect against heart disease by increasing HDL (good) cholesterol while reducing triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Cumin likewise appears to possess antimicrobial properties that may reduce the risk of certain foodborne infections.
Cardamom, which is sometimes referred to as the “queen of spices,” has been part of Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times. Research suggests that cardamom powder may help reduce blood pressure in people with elevated levels. There’s also evidence that inhaling cardamom essential oil may increase the uptake of oxygen into the lungs during exercise. Moreover, test-tube and animal research suggests that cardamom may help protect against Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which is a common cause of stomach ulcers, and may reduce the size of gastric ulcers by at least 50% or even eradicate them.
Cloves are antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic. They’re a powerhouse of antioxidants and are rich sources of minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and vitamins and minerals. Clove oil is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. In aromatherapy, it is used as an antiseptic and pain reliever especially for toothaches and stomach pain. It is often mixed with other oils to treat various disorders. For instance, those who have troubled sleep can apply some warm clove oil along with sesame oil on the forehead to feel calm and relaxed.