There are many health benefits of different spices that can help to take the flavor of your food to the next level. I have always loved spices but especially now since I am trying to reduce the amount of salt I consume.
You might as well use spices to give your food more flavor plus get the benefits. I have barely noticed the difference with cutting out salt when cooking because of all of these amazing spices!
Health Benefits of Different spices
Turmeric and its ability to help reduce inflammation have become very popular over the last few years. This is because turmeric contains curcumin which is the main active ingredient. Curcumin gives turmeric the orange color and contains anti-inflammatory properties. The issue with curcumin is that your bloodstream cannot properly absorb it. So in order to receive the full benefits, you must consume turmeric with black pepper. Black pepper contains piperine which allows the curcumin to be absorbed properly. People typically use turmeric when they are trying to prevent or fight off a cold.
It is important to help your body fight chronic inflammation in order to prevent health conditions like heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin is a substance that is proven to help fight inflammation which lowers inflammation in the body.
Another great benefit of turmeric is the number of antioxidants it contains. Antioxidants help to protect your body from free radicals that lead to oxidative damage. Oxidative damage is known for being one of the top reasons for aging and certain diseases.
You have probably heard of turmeric in Indian dishes like coconut curry. I like to add turmeric to my coconut chicken curry, turmeric rice, and I will even sip on turmeric tea at night to relax. There are so many health benefits of different spices but turmeric is definitely one of my favorites!
People use ginger all around the world as a natural remedy for diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomach. Ginger contains gingerol which is a bioactive compound that gives ginger most of its properties. It is very effective when it comes to nausea and morning sickness related to pregnancy, motion/seasickness, and chemotherapy. Ginger can help with pain due to its potent anti-inflammatory properties.
I personally love ginger in the winter or when I feel like I am getting sick. When I feel myself getting sick I will make ginger shots, ginger tea, or green juice that is loaded with ginger. Ginger is potent in anti-inflammatory components and antioxidants which help to strengthen your immune system.
Ginger helps to stimulate your digestive system and suppress your appetite which helps to promote weight loss. It contains a compound called gingerols that help biological activities in the body by helping food digest food faster. However, it is important to remember that you need to be physically active and have a healthy diet for weight loss.
I am absolutely obsessed with garlic!! I literally add it to almost everything I make so it is good to know that it has many health benefits. Like a few other spices, garlic is known for boosting the immune system as well. If you are feeling like you are starting to get sick try taking a supplement or adding some garlic to your food. I love making lemon chicken soup and adding tons of fresh garlic whenever I am feeling sick!
My favorite thing about garlic does not only do it makes everything taste better but it can also help to lower blood pressure. People who add more garlic to their diet or take a garlic supplement may see a decrease in their blood pressure. High blood pressure runs in my family so I am always trying to make sure I eat proper foods to help lower it. I have noticed that garlic has helped a lot as well as fresh beet juice.
Cinnamon is known for helping to lower blood sugar but still adds sweetness to food without the sugar. It does this by slowly breaking down carbs in the digestive tract which helps to improve insulin sensitivity.
There are two types of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon, and Cassia cinnamon. I use Ceylon cinnamon because it is known as “real” cinnamon. Most people use Cassia cinnamon because it is cheaper and more common in grocery stores. Cassia contains a compound called coumarin which can be toxic if you consume too much of it. However, you would have to have a lot of it in order for it to affect you or have preexisting health issues. I just like to stick to Ceylon to be on the safe side.
Like most of these spices, cinnamon is high in antioxidants and also high in polyphenols. One study showed that out of all the spices that are considered superfoods like garlic, cinnamon contained the highest amount of antioxidants.
I love adding cinnamon, oat milk, and a little bit of vanilla creamer to my coffee and matcha.
Black pepper contains a plant compound called piperine which is very high in antioxidants. Research shows that having a lot of antioxidants in your diet can help to prevent or delay the effects of free radicals. Black pepper also helps the body to absorb and use nutrients in a more beneficial way.
Piperine has also been proven to help improve brain function in studies that were done on animals. This can have many benefits for people suffering from diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s’.
You have probably heard that it is important to have black pepper when you are consuming turmeric. This is because the pepper helps the body to absorb the curcumin that is found in turmeric and contains most of the health benefits.
Cayenne is another spice that I am obsessed with because I love spice! My family says I don’t have any taste buds anymore since I can literally eat the hottest of the hot. But, hey at least there are some benefits in it for me. My favorite thing about cayenne pepper is that it’s known for helping to boost your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories. Cayenne also helps you to feel full for longer meaning you are less likely to overeat or snack.
Cayenne contains antioxidants and compounds like flavonoids and carotenoids. These compounds are found naturally in plants and help to protect our cells. One thing that I recently found out was that people who eat spicy food are at a lower risk for heart issues than people who do not like spice.
Cayenne pepper can also help with digestion because it increases enzyme production which helps to break down food. Some research shows that cayenne helps to feed good bacteria to your gut. A healthy gut is important because it makes your immune system stronger.
If you are sick you might want to add some cayenne to your food to help with congestion. You can add it to soup, tea, chicken, basically anything that you are in the mood for.
Cumin is widely known for its potent seed that is typically grounded and sprinkled onto foods for an earthy flavor. Like a lot of the other spices listed Cumin is high in antioxidants that help to kill free radicals. Cumin helps to promote digestion as well as improve symptoms of IBS by increasing the release of bile that helps to digest fats and nutrients found in the gut.
People who suffer from iron deficiencies should try adding cumin into their diet because cumin seeds are naturally high in iron. Iron is important for children to help them grow and women during menstruation to help replace the blood that is lost.
Cumin may help to treat diabetes due to the fact that it contains components that help to reverse/end some of the long-term effects of diabetes. You can start adding cumin into your diet by simply adding it to any meat that you are cooking like chicken and ground turkey.
Peppermint tea has been my best friend throughout pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. It helped to soothe my stomach whenever nausea kicked in which was almost every day. Peppermint oil is also very popular and is known to help with pain management and IBS due to the oily component. It helps to reduce discomfort when going to the bathroom by relaxing the muscles found in the colon. If you have some bloating try having a cup of peppermint tea before you go to bed.
I used peppermint essential oils during the first trimester to help with nausea and headaches. Sometimes I would even put it on my neck so the smell was more potent. Peppermint oils were one of the only things that helped with my headaches since I did not feel comfortable taking any medications. If you are pregnant, suffering from headaches, or have had surgery, try adding peppermint tea and essential oils into your daily routine to help combat nausea.