Six Spices that Support Healthy Living

 

 

by Isabelle Huang

Over the course of history, people all over the world have been incorporating spices into their diet for their homeopathic uses. Spices are the seed, bark or root of a plant that not only provides added flavor to dishes, but also healthful perks. Here is a list of spices that we think would be great dietary additions:
1. Cayenne pepper
Although it might seem contradictory, capsaicin, the chemical compound in peppers that give them their spicy kick, also helps to lower inflammation. In addi-tion, it increases your body’s metabolism, causing you to break down food nutri-ents faster. Add a sprinkle of cayenne to jazz up your dish.

2. Ginger
Ginger is a root plant that also reduces inflammation, but works with your body’s nerve signals to act as a pain reliever as well for cold and flu symptoms. Some say it’s also great against airplane sickness, and that’s because it does yield some nausea relief. You can get this root plant in powdered form or freshly grat-ed yourself. For ginger, a little goes a long way in terms of flavor.

3. Cumin
There are a number of benefits you can get from cumin, but to touch upon a few, this seed aids digestion and helps you combat symptoms of the common cold. Cumin contains iron and moderate amounts of vitamin C, which is also said to boost cognitive performance in the long-run.

4. Turmeric
Turmeric is widely used as a natural colorant to foods due to its bright orange color, but it has nutritive uses as well. Just a teaspoon of this spice in your diet can help with pain, inflammation, and problems with decrease in appetite. Fur-thermore, some studies show that there are chemopreventative agents in turmer-ic, meaning it works against cancer-causing substances!

5. Cinnamon
Multiple studies have shown that cinnamon decreases the risks of cardiovascu-lar disease and controls glucose metabolism for diabetics. In everyday use, it contains anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that help prevent the build-up of harmful substances in the body.

6. Nutmeg
Nutmeg has an odd variety of different benefits you can get from it. While it acts as an antibacterial agent to protect oral health, it can also help detoxify your body of harmful materials, and reduce skin inflammation. However, some stud-ies show that incredibly large amounts of nutmeg may result in hallucinogenic properties. So keep the dosage to just a sprinkle to add some spice!
Using spices is a great way to liven up your palette. Whether you are a frequent home-cook or not, consider adding one or more of these spices into your meals and reap their benefits today!
Sources of information:
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/superfoods/healthy-spices/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4466762/
http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/spices/
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/health-benefits-of-cumin.html
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-662-turmeric.aspx?activeingredientid=662

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