We all want to feel our best and are doing what we can with our lifestyles to make sure we do so.
The new, super simple health hack we’re all over right now is the power of spice!
Spices can be a saviour when it comes to mixing up bland dishes and packing in different tastes and colours. Even just a pinch can transform the average dish into a show stopper! Not only can spices help create flavoursome, award winning meals though, they can also help provide many healing benefits for you health. Spices are powerful antioxidants, containing many minerals, phytonutrients and vitamins that have been shown to treat and prevent over 100 different conditions! Depending on the spice and it’s particular properties, the simple spice can aid towards areas such as weight-loss, inflammation, blood pressure, bacteria and immunity.
Start thinking of your kitchen spice rack as your own little home made pharmacy and if you don’t have them already, below are our top healing spice recommendations and their benefits for you to add to your stock up on. Get experimental and try to incorporate them in as many meals as you can for both your tastebuds and healths sake!
All easy, supermarket finds that add flavour and pack a healing punch, it’s time to spice up your life!
If you’re looking to not only spice up your life, but to also turn up the heat, cayenne pepper is the seasoning to add to your next shopping list. Thanks to its active ingredient capsaicim, this spice is particularly good for our blood, heart, arteries and digestive system as well as stimulating your brain to release endorphins (our bodies feel-good chemicals). The rich red spice acts as both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, making it an especially great contributor to helping relieve congestion if you feel a winter cold coming. Not only does this spice contain these medicinal benefits, it is also a metabolism booster, meaning it works towards speeding up the calorie-burning rate at which your body runs of.
Add this spice to any dishes that can take the heat, whether that be a teaspoon of it to spice up your breakfast eggs, sprinkling it into a cold-busting soup, stew, or meat dish, or using it to punch up a hot tomato sauce or curry.
The golden powder that packs so much goodness. Turmeric is an ancient wonder spice that even if it doesn’t quite tantalise your tastebuds, should at least be tried to be consumed when and where you can!
This spice is used in Indian medicine to provide digestive aid and aid towards weight loss due to the stimulating effect is can have on our appetite and our fat-burning systems. Turmeric has more recently gained attention for being packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants making the spice a potentially powerful cancer fighter due to the chemical curcumin which is considered a top anti cancer agent. Thanks to it’s bioative compound curcmin (which gives the powder it’s golden colour), turmeric is also renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties that protect your body from free radicals and therefore help to reduce inflammation. This is obviously dependent on the amount you have though…the odd turmeric latte or tea here and there isn’t going to do much but adding it into your recipes regularly or having a turmeric beverage daily will certainly do no harm! Add the golden spice into soups, stews, curries or sprinkle onto a tray of vegetables before roasting.
If you suffer from inflammation particularly badly, why not also invest in turmeric capsules? The higher the dosage, the higher the benefits!
Similar to turmeric in terms of it being an inflammation fighting powerhouse, the most recent studies suggest that the inflammation combating abilities of ginger could work towards combating arthritis pain, migraines and even playing a role in preventing the growth of cancer.
Not only is ginger an anti-inflammation source, it is a popular digestive aider and nausea reliever, including being used as an effective short-term term treatment for morning sickness. To make it most effective at reducing nausea, the trick is to take it before you think you may start feeling sick. Adding to gingers healing abilities is the belief that it is also able to aid metabolism and help with muscle relaxation and sleep due to the high levels of magnesium it contains.
Chop it up, grate it fresh, sprinkle ground ginger and add it to your meals or sip on a warming ginger tea. Whether you’re needing inflammation, sickness, sore muscles or sleep aid, your body will certainly thank you!
Our favourite spice especially when it comes to winter, cinnamon not only helps create a festive feel and act as a go-to porridge topper and sweet baking staple, it is also a provider of several health benefits! Cinnamon is particularly known for its effect on blood sugar levels. It’s medicinal properties can lower and stabilise blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and slowing the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract.
Along with working it’s magic on our blood sugar levels and improving heart health, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon make it a spice that can help relieve inflammation and assist in anti-infection activity too!
All you need is around 1-6 grams (or 0.5- 2 teaspoons) a day to reap up the effects. Mix it into your morning coffee or tea, or start sprinkling it onto your porridge bowl or smoothie for a delicious sweet spice infused kick and to avoid those afternoon sugar crashes. On that note…more cinnamon baked goods it is!
Sure, it tastes better than it smells but garlic is a spice that contains lots of nice and a highly effective anti-bacterial ingredient! The health benefits of garlic and the cause for it’s distinct smell, are due to the bioactive compound allicin which makes it a good spice to turn to to combat sickness and colds. More recently it has been suggested that garlic may also play a beneficial role in heart health with garlic supplements being found effective at lowering blood pressure and cholesterol as well as helping to balance blood sugar.
If you are prone to the common cold, then adding more garlic into your diet could be a very helpful shout! Think garlic sauces, soups, stir fry’s, supplements or even consuming a clove whole! If you’re brave enough…
The spice that is hidden in many Indian dishes, soups and stews, coriander comes from the dried seed cilantro and has been shown to aid towards weight loss and increase metabolic function. This spice provides a good source of minerals such as iron, manganese and magnesium along with acting as a detoxifier. It can aid towards mood and hormone balance as well as containing anti-inflammatory and cell-protecting antioxidant properties.
If you commonly suffer with bloating or other forms of digestion discomfort and pain, coriander is a great spice for you to start incorporating more into your meals. The relaxing effect it has on digestive muscles means it has been known to help soothe digestion issues that cause discomfort related to disorders such as IBS.
Mix coriander seeds with peppercorns and use it as a seasoning, or add it directly to your soups, stews, or meat or fish dishes before cooking to make the most of the spices medicinal benefits!
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