Spice Up Your Life! 8 Delicious Spices With Most Powerful Health Benefits You Should Be Eating

Are you bored with your usual cooking?
Or have your taste buds been craving for something new?

Let’s spice it up!

We are here to talk about making food better and tastier with some common spices.

A sprinkle of cinnamon in your morning coffee. A handful of freshly chopped basil over pasta. You know how herbs and spices can wake up just about any food. But they can also do a lot to keep you well.

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.

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.

Did you know that in Indian cooking more than 36 types of spices are used?

Or that there can be many health benefits of just sprinkling a few herbs in your dishes?

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?

This dynamic duo of herbs and spices are found in almost every Indian kitchen.

Well basically, herbs are the green leafy portion of plants while spices are the portions of plants other than the leaves. They are barks, stems, roots, flowers, fruit and seeds. Spices are usually dried up before using for cooking.

Why You Should Add Spices to Every Meal

Here are the health benefits of some of our favourite spices-plus delicious ways to use them.

1. Turmeric to Fight Inflammation

Pictured Recipe: Turmeric latte

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. This golden spice delivers some solid-gold benefits. That’s thanks to its high amounts of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, “has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illnesses,”

Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, curcumin is also effective at reducing pain and swelling in people with arthritis. A Johns Hopkins study found that a combination of curcumin and a chemotherapy drug was more effective at shrinking drug-resistant tumours than using chemotherapy alone.

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 give your weight-loss efforts a tiny boost, especially if you’re not used to spicy stuff. Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, the compound that gives fresh chiles-and spices like cayenne and paprika-their kick. Studies show capsaicin bumps up the body’s metabolic rate, helping you burn slightly more calories.

Capsaicin may also stimulate brain chemicals and reduces the number of pain signals sent to your brain. The result? You don’t register as much discomfort. It works on pain caused by arthritis and diabetes-related nerve damage. You can apply creams with capsaicin directly on joints and muscles. Although people often associate spicy foods with stomach upset, capsaicin aids in helping reduce ulcers by restricting the growth of an ulcer-causing bacteria (Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori), reducing excess stomach acid and increasing blood flow.

Related: Understanding & Treating Diabetes

4. Cinnamon to Lower Blood Sugar

This popular spice comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree and is used in everything from pumpkin spice lattes to Cincinnati chilli. Cinnamon is popular in Chinese medicine for its antioxidant properties. It’s also been shown to enhance glucose sensitivity, 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 of developing heart disease.

Cinnamon is not a replacement for diabetes medication or a carbohydrate-controlled diet, but it can be a helpful addition to a healthy lifestyle.

Related: Reasons to Consider Using Stevia for Diabetes Instead

5.Cardomom to control bad breath

Also known as elaichi, cardamom hails from India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Indonesia. It is the world’s third most expensive spice. A rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C, calcium, iron, and zinc, this spice promotes heart health, helps in digestion, enhances oral health, helps in diabetes, helps fight depression, fights asthma, prevents blood clots and treats skin infections.

Cardamom is used in alternative medicine to remove toxins. It has also been linked to anti-tumour activity.

6. Cumin to aids digestion

Also known as Jeera, this is one of the most common spices in the home. It is used to prepare a wide variety of dishes and will work in almost anything. Traditionally, cumin was added to foods to aid in digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Recently, cumin has been shown to have antibacterial qualities, especially associated with the digestive tract.

The health benefits of cumin seeds include a boost in the immune system, pain relief, relieving nausea, stomach pains and cramps, indigestion, treat skin disorders, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis and diarrhoea. It is also used as an iron supplement making it a good 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.

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

Sip On These 5 Calming Lattes that Help Your Body to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Mostly, our first reaction when we are overcome with stress is to look for an easy solution such as alcohol or medications.

Instead of reaching for that third cup of coffee for an energy boost or a nightcap to de-stress, we rounded up best natural herbal filled lattes with everyday ingredients that are known as powerful remedies for fighting fatigue, anxiety, and stress.

An easy way to calm the body, though, is through nutrition. Specific drinks are known for their superfood powers to alleviate anxiety and stress quickly. Some simple options include: water, tart cherry juice, warm milk, and a variety of herbal teas.

But if you’re looking for something that feels just a little more gourmet, here are five drink recipes that are sure to help you destress and relieve anxiety – all while tasting totally delicious.

Now, these soothing drinks will have a calming effect on your body, that will lead you to absolute peace of mind!

My dear friends, we have a lot of yummy soothing drinks to relieve stress in our pantry! Bring your senses and stay focused as we have also shared recipes of drinks that relieve stress.

1. Turmeric Latte

Curcumin, the bioactive compound found in turmeric, has been linked to boosts serotonin levels, can help relieve anxiety and depression and maybe just as effective as antidepressants.

Ingredients

1 cup milk of choice

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch black pepper

Pinch sea salt

1 heaping teaspoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon natural sweetener of choice (I especially love stevia )

Instructions

In a small saucepan, heat milk, turmeric, vanilla, pepper, salt and sweetener, until very warm but not yet boiling. Transfer to a blender and blend with coconut oil until frothy. Pour into a mug and drink immediately.

2. Ashwagandha Latte

Adaptogens are naturally occurring substances that help our bodies deal with and adapt to stress, found in Ashwagandha which in particular is a stress-fighting superstar. It benefits to reduce the body’s stress hormone, relieves anxiety and prevents stress-related fatigue.

Ingredients

1 cup of milk ( try with non-dairy milk)

1 teaspoon ashwagandha powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon powder

½ teaspoon stevia or organic honey

Instructions

Warm the milk, then add the powdered spices and sweetener

Stir well, using the whisk to blend, adjusting for sweetness if necessary

Pour into a nice cup and enjoy.

3.Matcha Latte

Matcha contains flavonoids and L-theanine, which is historically known for its relaxing effects. L-theanine increases the brain’s alpha frequency band, relaxing the band without causing drowsiness. Considering matcha is also packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients, it can be a powerful tonic for beating fatigue and boosting your overall health and providing sustained energy.

Ingredients

1 tsp matcha green tea powder

1 tsp stevia powder

3 tbsp warm water

300ml hot milk

Instructions

Spoon the matcha green tea powder and the stevia powder into a mug or cup.

Add the warm water and mix with a spoon or with a whisk until it is a smooth dark green paste to ensure no lumps form.

Warm the milk in a small saucepan and pour into the mug until nearly full. Use a whisk to mix the paste and milk together until smooth and light green in colour.

4. Ginger Tea Latte

Super spice ginger is the key player in this healthy latte. This spice is a favourite in India and praised for its ability to relieve digestive issues, nausea, and aches in your muscles and joints. After sipping this drink, you can be sure that you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the day.

Ingredients

1 cup milk(250 ml)

½ tsp ginger powder

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp organic honey or stevia

1 teabag, I prefer Chai tea

Instructions

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan (except the teabag) and stir. I used a milk frother to get a better texture, but it’s optional. You can also blend the mixture in a blender if you want.

Cook over high heat until it’s hot, but don’t bring it to a boil.

Remove from the heat, pour the mixture into a mug, add the tea bag and let it infuse according to package directions.

Remove the teabag and your ginger tea latte is ready to drink.

5. Lavender Vanilla Latte

The lavender helps the brain to halt production of the chemicals that cause negative or stressed emotions, helping you restore a sense of calm, while the adaptogenic mushroom Reishi has a normalizing effect on the body. This means if the immune system is depressed, adaptogens enhance the immune response.

If the immune system is overactive—for instance with inflammation—adaptogens help re-regulate the immune response, decreasing overactivity, thus majorly restoring balance in your body. Finished off with a touch of sweetness from stevia and vanilla bean it’s the ultimate dreamy, creamy concoction when you’re in need of some serious zen vibes.

Ingredients

½ cup hot water

1 cup of heated milk

1 tsp culinary-grade lavender (or one lavender tea bag)

1 tsp coconut oil

½ tsp vanilla

Stevia for sweetness

Instructions

Steep the lavender or lavender tea bag in hot water for 3-5 minutes. (If using loose lavender, strain before adding to blend.) Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender. Blend, mix together, and enjoy!

Health Tip:

Feel free to use any milk or natural sweetener, but I used Stevia because of its immense amount of health benefits.

And if you want to why I choose that in all my recipes then find out here :

https://detoxpri.in/2020/07/09/the-truth-about-stevia-and-is-it-helpful-for-people-with-diabetes/

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar