I bet you didn’t know that there are numerous health benefits in everyday spices? Regrettably, many of us take for granted the many spices that are in our own cupboards. Now I’m not talking about exotic herbs and spices from far way lands. There are many healing spices right at your fingertips.
Spices for Health
There is no better time than to today to take advantage of the many health benefits of spices. Just reach for your cupboard and add favorite spices to your next meal. If your cupboards are a bit bare of the ol’ spice, then why not stock up for later? Remember to always buy organic healing spices. It doesn’t do the body much good if you use spices that are grown with chemicals or laced with preservatives. You can even find healing spices online at a very reasonable cost.
Allspice: The health benefits of spices makes this plant a winner. Allspice is nothing but fantastic. It is empowered with folates, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin A and C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. This amazing spice for health had been used in dentistry for centuries as a local anesthetic and antiseptic for teeth and gums. It is also been used for indigestion, flatulence, increases the flow of blood making the skin feel warmer which in turn helps with sore muscles and arthritis.
Allspice is best bought whole and then ground into a powder. Once ground it should be refrigerated to keep its freshness and essential oils. The healing spices are great in savory dishes, creamy soups like squash, sweet baked goods and even homemade chai tea.
Anise or Star Anise: This beautiful medicinal spice is loaded with iron, high in potassium, fiber, vitamin C, calcium, protein and magnesium. It has been widely used as an anti-viral, antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial. It is also known to treat of a variety of gastrointestinal disturbances such as bloating, heartburn, indigestion and flatulence.
Anise is used in a wide variety of cooking. Although it has a sweet flavor, anise is traditionally used in savory dishes, added to soups and broths. Of course it is fantastic in cookies, cakes, breads, cheese and even pickles.
Cinnamon: Contains, calcium, iron, manganese and even fiber. It is has one of the highest health benefits of spices. Cinnamon works as an antioxidant to help protect cells against free radicals that can damage the cells. It has also been known to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure.
Do you need help dieting? Just a dash of cinnamon is said to curb the sweet tooth. Add it to teas, fruit or even baked goods.
Clove: Cloves are one of the top health benefits of spices. It is high in potassium, fiber, calcium, iron and magnesium. Ancient records show that cloves have been used for more than 2,000 years. Some of the health benefits of this amazing spice are used as an anti-bacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory; helps with respiratory ailments like bronchitis and asthma; eases the pain of arthritis and rheumatism; eliminates intestinal parasites, fungi and bacteria; and increase mental focus and creativity.
Cloves are one of the great medicinal spices that can be added to many foods such as cookies, sweet breads, African stews, Indian style rice, apple cider, fruit compote and various other dishes.
Ginger: A versatile medicinal spice that has innumerable health benefits. Traditionally used for relieving symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. It is also known as a carminative (ease intestinal gas), intestinal spasmolytic (relax and soothe the intestinal tract), prevent the symptoms of motion sickness (particularly seasickness), effective relief for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, anti-inflammatory especially for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, protect against colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer and boost immune system.
Ginger is a fantastic addition to lemonade, in orange juice, great for stir frying, in salad dressing, in tamari sauce, baked goods and baked fruit like apples.
Find Allspice, Star Anise, Cinnamon, Clove & Ginger
Hot Chili Peppers (Capsicum): High in vitamin C. Good for suppressing appetite, burns calories, suppress fat accumulation, helps maintain body weight, has antioxidant properties, believed to assist in preventing cancer, strengthens the immune system and aids in asthma.
Add capsicum to a variety of meals like tostados, chili, burritos, a dash on pizza, in Spanish rice and stews.
Cumin: A high source of iron. It also contains manganese, calcium and magnesium. Iron transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells. It is part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism. Cumin has been traditionally known to aid in digestion and to help prevent cancer. Black cumin (nigella sativa) is said to help reduce inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Cumin is great in legume dishes, with lentils, rice, and sautéed with vegetables and over fresh popcorn.
Oregano: This versatile medicinal spice is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, manganese, iron, fiber, calcium, vitamin E and tryptophan. It is a very effective anti-bacterial, a strong anti-oxidant, is high in fiber which helps break down cholesterol and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Oregano is perfect for many Italian dishes like spaghetti, pizza, frittatas, salad dressings, homemade garlic bread, sautéed mushrooms and omelets.
Rosemary: Blocks gene mutations that may lead to cancer. Also may reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing damage to certain heart blood vessels. Rosemary is also a great antioxidant, aids digestion assists with healthy cholesterol levels.
It is fabulous with steamed or fried potatoes, used in soups, vegetable dishes and in meat dishes such as lamb. Note: Water boiled with rosemary can be utilized as a natural antiseptic. Rosemary is also used in soaps because of its anti-aging and rejuvenating qualities.
Find Capsicum, Cumin, Oregano & Rosemary
Sage: This healing spice is high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, calcium, iron and magnesium. Today’s herbalist recommends sage tea for sore throats and upset stomach. It has also said to be used to preserve memory such as in Alzheimer’s, improve mood and soothe a sore throat.
Sage is an excellent spice for Christmas stuffing, potatoes, legumes, and tomato sauces, various meats like lamb or goose and in vegetables for shish kabobs.
Saffron: This medicinal spice contains vitamin C, iron, magnesium and potassium. This golden color spice has been used for centuries for stomach aches, kidney stones and improving blood circulation. Recent research suggests that it is good for arthritis, improving mood, inhibiting skin tumors, helping menstrual cramps, and improving vision. Early studies reveal that saffron may help memory, promote learning, and assist in recall capacity.
Saffron is excellent in many foods like rice, risotto, with tomatoes, soups and stews, in marinades for fish and also in breads and cakes.
Thyme: As part of the mint family, this fragrant healing spice has an abundance of vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, iron, manganese, calcium, fiber and tryptophan.
Thyme also contains a variety of flavonoids like apigenin, luteolin, naringenin and thymonin. The flavonoids increase antioxidant capacity along with its high manganese content. Thyme is also known for its antimicrobial properties and has been used for centuries as a natural preservative to prevent contamination of foods. Additionally, the health benefits of spices in thyme include anti-oxidant protection of cellular membranes by increasing DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) in the brain, heart and kidney cell membranes.
Thyme can be used in a variety of foods like soups, stews, legumes, poached fish, in eggs or omelets and pasta sauce.
Turmeric: The health benefits of spices for turmeric are phenomenal. It is high in manganese, iron, vitamin B6, fiber and potassium. It is a potent yet safe anti-inflammatory even compared to powerful commercial drugs like phenylbutazone and hydrocortisone. Turmeric is also known to help with cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease, inhibit cancer cell growth and metastases, cancer prevention, prevent colon cancer, improve liver function, protect cardiovascular system, lower cholesterol, protect against Alzheimer’s and reduce the risk of childhood leukemia.
Turmeric goes well with rice, lentils, added to curry sauces, salad dressings and sautéed with vegetables like cauliflower.
Find Sage, Saffron, Thyme & Turmeric
Under no circumstances is this articles intended for healthcare advice. Before taking any herb or spice for health issues, it is highly recommended that you seek a qualified healthcare specialist.
Featured picture: srqpix via photopin cc
Star anise: geishaboy500 via photopin cc
Clove orange: nerissa’s ring via photopin cc
Spices in a bowl: Frenkieb via photopin cc
Saffron: JimmyMac210 via photopin cc