Did you know that the spices in your rack can do much more than just add flavor to your dish? In ancient times, spices were used as active ingredients in herbal medicines for various health benefits. Later on, people started using them to add flavor to food as each spice has a distinct smell, color, and flavor.
According to Ayurvedic medicine,
An ancient belief system in India, were spices are known to be warming or cooling and are often used to affect the correct balance of the digestive system.
Many studies have proved that some spices work wonders in healing the body and protecting it from ailments. Here are the eleven spices that will enrich your health.
1. Cayenne Pepper
If you are a spicy food junkie, you will love this. Cayenne pepper, otherwise known as red hot chili pepper, is widely used to prepare spicy dishes. You will be surprised to know that cayenne pepper contains an active ingredient capsaicin, which aids weight loss. It is said that capsaicin reduces appetite and increases the rate at which the body burns fat. A study found that cayenne pepper is also useful in fighting certain types of cancer in animals.
Ginger is recognized for its mildly spicy taste and distinct fragrance. It has been an active ingredient in herbal medicines since ages. It not only improves digestion but also has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce muscle and joint pain and menstrual cramps. It aids the proper functioning of the digestive tract and protects the body against gastric ulcers.
The health benefits of turmeric are countless. This golden powder is useful for beauty, skin care, and health. Apart from being an active ingredient in curries, it is also used in the preparation of herbal medicines in South Asian countries. Turmeric has remarkable medicinal properties and is rich in antioxidants. It helps regulate the immune system and improve heart health. It also fights against many diseases and protects the body.
Cinnamon is a powerhouse of nutrition. It is one of the most popular spices that is a part of many recipes. It lowers blood sugar levels and also has a powerful anti-diabetic effect. The medicinal properties of cinnamon can be attributed to its high antioxidant levels. Not only does it spice up your dishes with a delicious flavor but, based on a study, it may also prevent Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
You will be surprised to learn that sage is known to sharpen the brain’s functions. It is also a great supplement for digestion. It maintains hormonal balance and provides the body and mind with the required nutrition. It was widely known for its healing properties during the middle ages.
Thanks to its pungent smell, garlic is easily recognizable. Even though the debate is ongoing on whether garlic is a spice or a herb, it is a key ingredient in many dishes. Its distinct flavor has many medicinal properties. Garlic is said to improve heart health and combats many other common ailments. It effectively reduces blood pressure and monitors cholesterol levels. By adding garlic to your diet, you could significantly improve your overall health.
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7. Holy Basil
This particular variety of basil is said to have numerous health benefits. It is traditionally used to treat ailments such as asthma, anxiety, and diabetes.
According to a study, holy basil can improve immunity by increasing the immune cells in the blood. It is another herb that can help lower the blood sugar levels. Basil is also a great source of beta-carotene and is good for anyone with arthritis or any other inflammatory issues.
Another spice that is the main component in many curry powders. Its strong flavor is enough to infuse the entire dish, but this flavor enhancer can offer much more. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. It aids digestion and effectively improves the functioning of the immune system. This flavor-rich spice also helps cure respiratory disorders, such as asthma.
It is a well-known fact that cloves are used to enhance the flavor and aroma of a dish. This aromatic spice has been used since ages for various health benefits. It is a powerful antioxidant that aids digestion and reduces inflammation. It also has effective wound healing properties. Not only do cloves make a great addition to your hot beverage every morning, they can also relieve respiratory issues.
Rosemary is a herb belonging to the mint family, and it has a very distinct flavor. Its aroma and flavor are preserved very well when the herb is left to dry. It is one of the most commonly found herbs in the spice rack. Apart from being a part of many dishes, it is also used to treat many ailments. It suppresses allergic reactions and relieves nasal congestion. Rosmarinic acid, its active ingredient, acts as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.
Fenugreek is commonly used in Ayurveda, particularly to enhance the libido. It is also a powerhouse of health benefits. It is known to improve the functions of the hormone insulin. Studies have proven that consuming fenugreek extract can effectively reduce the blood sugar levels, particularly in diabetic patients. Fenugreek seeds are known to be rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, etc. that are important for the body.
These are some of the healthiest spices and herbs that have incredibly helped to improve human health. As much as we love to season our dishes with these delicious herbs, knowing about their medicinal properties can make the experience better.
Research has proved that all these spices have a positive impact on the body if taken in right proportions. Experts even say that they act as a stimulus to the digestive system, hence relieve any digestive disorders and some spices even are of antiseptic value. So, if you are not already adding these spices to your dishes, you might want to rethink. Make a delicious dish topped with these spices to reap their benefits.