Does cinnamon lower blood sugar? Can turmeric reduce inflammation? Can ginger get rid of nausea? Is garlic good for your heart?
Spices play a significant role in the way we cook and consume food around the world. Every spice has its own flavoring and essence, and its addition or omission can literally make or break a dish.
While we don’t often consume spices in large quantities, even small doses can be powerful providers of nutrients, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, cancer-fighting constituents, vitamins, minerals, and more.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked sources of amazing nutrients is healthy spices which come with powerful health benefits while injecting flavour into our main dishes.
Did you know that in Indian cooking more than 36 types of spices are used?
Yes, herbs and spices are not only some sources of seasoning the food but are also packed with solid healthy reasons to be included in your kitchen.
What is the difference between herbs and spices?
Almost every Indian kitchen contains this dynamic duo of herbs and spices.
Herbs are the green leafy parts of plants, whereas spices are the parts of plants other than the leaves. They are the barks, stems, roots, flowers, fruits, and seeds of plants. Spices are typically dried before being used in cooking.
Why Should You Use Spices in Every Meal?
Here are some of our favourite spices’ health benefits, as well as delicious ways to use them.
1. Turmeric to Fight Inflammation
Turmeric is best known for its use in Indian curry dishes, but it has also become a popular superfood due to its ability to reduce inflammation, which is a common cause of discomfort and illness. This golden spice provides some solid-gold advantages.
Pictured Recipe: Turmeric latte
That’s because turmeric contains a lot of curcumin, which has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer properties, and thus has the potential to fight cancer, diabetes, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic illnesses. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties make it useful for reducing pain and swelling in people with arthritis.
Also Read: Foods that fight inflammation
2. Ginger to Relieve Nausea
Ginger is well-known for easing a queasy stomach. Research has found that ginger is effective at calming pregnancy-related nausea, reducing tummy upset after surgery as well as nausea from chemotherapy. Some studies have also found that ginger cuts the severity of motion sickness or prevents the symptoms altogether.
Ginger is also packed with gingerols, inflammation-fighting compounds which some experts believe may help fight some cancers, reduce osteoarthritis pain and soothe sore muscles. One study found that ginger-extract injections helped relieve osteoarthritis-related knee pain.
3. Cayenne to Tame appetite
A dash of cayenne pepper with your dinner may help your weight-loss efforts, especially if you’re not used to spicy foods. Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which is the compound that gives fresh chiles and spices like cayenne and paprika their spiciness. According to research, capsaicin increases the body’s metabolic rate, allowing you to burn a few more calories.
Capsaicin may also stimulate brain chemicals while decreasing the number of pain signals sent to the brain. The end result? You experience less discomfort. It relieves arthritis and diabetes-related nerve damage pain. Although spicy foods are often associated with stomach upset, capsaicin can help reduce ulcers by limiting the growth of an ulcer-causing bacteria.
Related: Understanding & Treating Diabetes
4. Cinnamon to Lower Blood Sugar
This popular spice is derived from the bark of the cinnamon tree and is used in a variety of dishes ranging from pumpkin spice lattes to Cincinnati chilli. Cinnamon is widely used in Chinese medicine due to its antioxidant properties.
It has also been shown to improve glucose sensitivity, which is beneficial for people with diabetes. It gives food a sweet flavour without adding sugar, and studies show that it can lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon may also have heart-healthy properties, such as lowering high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This is especially important for diabetics, who are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Here are 8 Fruits Good for Diabetes Patients.
5.Cardomom to control bad breath
The sweet scent of cardamom is enough to stimulate the digestive juices. It aids digestion, controls cholesterol and cancer, improves blood circulation, and protects the heart, and is a staple of Indian cuisine. It is also anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and anti-microbial.
Cardamom, also known as elaichi, is native to India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Indonesia. It is the third most expensive spice in the world. This spice promotes heart health, aids digestion, improves oral health, aids in diabetes, aids in the fight against depression, aids in the fight against asthma, prevents blood clots, and treats skin infections. Toxins are removed using cardamom in alternative medicine. It has also been associated with anti-tumor activity.
6. Cumin to aids digestion
This spice, also known as Jeera, is one of the most commonly used in the kitchen. It is used to prepare a wide range of dishes and can be used in almost any situation. Cumin was traditionally added to foods to aid digestion and nutrient absorption.
Cumin has recently been shown to have antibacterial properties, particularly in the digestive tract.
Cumin seeds have been shown to improve the immune system, relieve nausea, stomach pains and cramps, indigestion, treat skin disorders, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis, and diarrhoea. It is also used as an iron supplement, so it is a useful supplement
Related: Natural Drinks To Improve Gut Health
7.Black pepper to cope up with cold
As common as we find it today, black pepper was one of the most sought-after and expensive spices during the spice trade era. It has been proved to lower blood lipids and inhibit cholesterol absorption.
A pinch of black pepper, when added to any recipe, enhances the flavour manifold. Black pepper, also known as the king of spices, promotes weight loss, helps relieve cold and cough, improves digestion, boosts metabolism and treats many skin problems. In fact, a glass of haldi doodh becomes much more therapeutic with a pinch of black pepper.
Related: Foods To Eat That Fight the Common Cold
8.Garlic to Boost Heart Health
Most of us are familiar with garlic, the strong-smelling bulb frequently used in cooking. But what you might not know is that eating garlic may protect your heart from changes that lead to heart disease. As you age, some hardening of the arteries is normal. This is called atherosclerosis and occurs as fatty deposits made up of cholesterol and other substances build up on the inside of your artery walls.
Factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can make it worse. As the build-up increases over time, the arteries narrow. This can make you susceptible to heart attacks and strokes. Researchers have linked garlic intake with keeping blood vessels flexible, especially in women. In addition, studies suggest that eating garlic may reduce cholesterol and triglycerides.
So, on your next grocery store trip, be sure to make a stop in the spice aisle—your health and taste buds will thank you.
Leave a Reply