Why it’s good for you; Turmeric can help reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. One study in healthy middle-aged volunteers showed that taking 80mg of curcumin, a component of turmeric, a day for four weeks reduced markers of inflammation and oxidative stress.
How to eat it; Turmeric highlights teas, juices and smoothies, it is great in a healing nut milk latte, as a dip that you can put on practically anything, and how about in scrambled eggs!
Why it’s good for you; Cumin is a delicious spice that can help you lose weight and increase your metabolism. It also aids in relieving congestion and indigestion.
How to take it; You can purchase cumin as a powder, but it's nice to buy cumin seeds whole and grind them in a mortar and pestle. There’s something wonderful about smelling freshly ground cumin and knowing how much good it will do for your body when you consume it. Cumin is a staple in most curries and Indian dishes, but is also great in scrambled eggs and healing teas.
Why it’s good for you; Cayenne is yet another powerful spice that has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Made from the cayenne pepper, the key ingredient in this spice, capsaicin, boasts many health benefits. Capsaicin is known to help boost the metabolism, lower blood pressure by relaxing the vessels, and even helps with osteoarthritis.
How to eat it; Though you can purchase capsaicin creams, it’s much easier to add a sprinkle of cayenne to your food to receive the benefits, and because this is such a powerful spice, it doesn’t take much! Just give this Metabolism-Igniting Pumpkin Juice a try - it only takes ¼ tsp of cayenne to make a world of difference.
Why it’s good for you; Paprika is a pepper-based spice full of antioxidants that helps fight a range of diseases due largely to its ability to fight oxidative stress.
Paprika helps reduce inflammation and may be able to prevent and fight autoimmune conditions and some cancers.
How to eat it; Paprika is most popularly known as a key ingredient in Hungary’s signature dish, the goulash. It's also nice to eat paprika in healthy snacks, and this recipe for Smoked Paprika Rosemary Almonds is not only delicious but makes for a great gift!
Why it’s good for you; Garlic is an antioxidant, antibiotic, and an aphrodisiac… despite the garlic breath, it can create! Garlic boosts the immune system, helps destroy free radicals and helps prevent heart disease by reducing atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, lowering cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.
How to eat it; For the greatest health benefits, after you chop or crush it, leave your garlic to sit for 5 minutes before cooking or eating to allow the health-promoting allicin to form. Garlic can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of ways including pan-fried in a stir fry, included in your mash potato (or low carb vegetable swap), or roasted and eaten whole.
6. Black Pepper
Why it’s good for you; Not just a great addition to any meal, black pepper has great antidepressant properties as well as being an antioxidant with antimicrobial potential and gastro-protective modules. Additionally, black pepper activates free-radical scavenging and is also thought to be helpful in chemoprevention and controlling the progression of tumour growth. As if that wasn’t enough for this humble table seasoning, black pepper is also attributed to improving cognitive brain function, boosting nutrient absorption, and improving gastrointestinal functionality.
How to eat it; Black pepper is complementary to most savoury dishes, with most recipes suggesting a pinch of this healing spice to finish a dish. It can be incorporated into dips, dressings, salads, snacks, and dinners, preferring freshly ground black peppercorns.
Why it’s good for you; Sweet, delicious cinnamon is a spice you can enjoy guilt-free as it is a powerful antioxidant and can have a positive effect on your blood sugar levels, digestion, and immune system, as well as reducing blood cholesterol. When taken in strong doses, cinnamon has been known to reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.
How to eat it; Cinnamon can be enjoyed with sweet and savoury dishes as well as in hot and cold beverages.
Why it’s good for you; Cloves are great for curing cold-natured problems that affect the central nervous system as well as aiding digestion through increasing heat in the stomach and liver. Consuming cloves can aid in functions of the throat and speech, and strangely enough, cloves can help reduce hiccups!
How to eat it; For the hiccup cure, warm up a few cloves in a spoonful of butter or ghee and drink it. For other ailments, or to enjoy the strong flavour notes, try adding cloves to smoothies and hot chocolates.
Why it’s good for you; Nutmeg has been used for centuries to alleviate pain, gastrointestinal disorders, heal skin wounds and infections, and it has a great calming effect. It’s also been reported as an aphrodisiac. Caution must be taken when consuming nutmeg, as too much can lead to unpleasant hallucinogenic effects.
Do you have any go-to spices for health remedies?
Dear reader, we bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.
All the best Jan