Most of us have many spices in our kitchen and use them as flavor aids. Something I try to keep in mind are the health benefits and when appropriate I introduce them to dishes. Here are some examples:
- Garlic: Eating garlic regularly is not only good for us; it has been linked to reducing or even helping to prevent four of the major causes of death worldwide, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and infections. The National Cancer Institute does not recommend any dietary supplement for cancer prevention, but it does recognize garlic as one of several vegetables with potential anticancer properties.
- Salt: Salt helps regulate the water content throughout your body. Promote healthy pH balance in your cells (particularly your brain cells). Studies indicate that salt promotes blood sugar health and can help reduce the signs of aging.
- Black Pepper: Because of its antibacterial properties, black pepper is also used to preserve food. It is a rich source of manganese, iron, potassium, vitamin-C, vitamin K, and dietary fiber. Black pepper is also a very good anti-inflammatory agent.
- Cinnamon: If you love baked goods or cappuccinos and lattes, chances are, you consume a fair amount of cinnamon. Antioxidants contained in Cinnamon help fight inflammation and lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. It also lowers blood sugar levels.
- Sage: Some studies suggest that Sage improves some brain functions. They indicate that it is especially effective in those with Alzheimer’s Disease. While there is no absolute proof of this, if you have ever had exposure to this devastating disease, it is worth exploring.
- Cayenne Pepper: This hot spice contains Capsaicin, an appetite suppressant, and protection against cancer. Common in weight loss products, cayenne pepper has fat burning abilities as well. If the studies are correct about Capsaicin, then the same is true for Habanero, Ghost Pepper, and Carolina Reapers.
- Rosemary: Studies show that Rosemary helps the immune system, and to fight off illnesses such as a cold or the flu. Rosemary also improves circulation and helps calm the digestive system.
- Cumin: This potent spice has digestive benefits and is said to help fight diabetes. It provides minerals like phosphorus, thiamine, and potassium, which your body needs to stay healthy.
- Nutmeg: Another spice for dessert lovers, nutmeg has detoxifying properties. It also naturally promotes sleep and helps with digestive issues. Nutmeg assists the liver in expelling toxins and helps rid the kidneys of impurities.
- Ginseng: Typically consumed in supplement form, this herb protects the immune system. It has been used for hundreds of years to help with mental focus and concentration and provides an overall sense of well-being.
- Curry: Along with its potent flavor, curry provides several health benefits. Anti-inflammatory benefits and studies claim anti-cancer properties are what you will get from curry, so consider adding it to your favorite dishes.
- Anise: With a taste that is sweet like licorice, anise helps protect against upset stomach, cough, and a runny nose. I add it to pastries or cookies.
- Cilantro: This commonly used herb is high in vitamin K, making it beneficial for bone strength. I use this superfood to pesto, stir fry or guacamole for a recipe that provides good health.
I hope you found this list useful and will encourage you to explore healthy spices.