Posted on Jul 04, 2023, 4 p.m.
Eating healthy does not have to be bland or boring when there are so many herbs and spices available to enhance flavor. Spices play an important role in the way we cook and eat food around the world. Every spice has its own flavoring and essence, and its addition/omission or over/underuse can make or break any meal.
Day to day we use many popular spices like black pepper, cumin, cloves, chili pepper, cinnamon, cayenne, dill, garlic, ginger, paprika, and turmeric. Many of the spices we use carry several health benefits and notable nutritional values. This article will take a look at some of our favorites as well as some that are not as commonly used.
Allspice aids digestion, helps to fight inflammation, improves circulation, promotes dental health, boosts immunity, and promotes heart health.
Carom seeds (Ajwain) are rich in calcium and fiber, they are often chewed to promote digestion, soothe stomach aches, and help to relieve tooth pain.
Black pepper is known as the king of spices, it helps to promote weight loss, improve digestion, boost metabolism, boost skin health, and helps to soothe a cough.
Black cumin seed oil may help to prevent asthma, allergies, and certain respiratory issues. It is a rich source of antioxidants and B vitamins that help to boost the immune system.
Cumin aids in digestion, boosts immunity, improves skin health, and in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to help treat insomnia, anemia, and respiratory disorders such as asthma, and bronchitis.
Cloves contain antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. It contains a powerhouse of antioxidants, minerals, fatty acids, fiber, and vitamins. It has been used as an antiseptic and pain reliever to help soothe tummy and tooth pain.
Cilantro/coriander can be used fresh or as seeds to obtain its antioxidant and dietary fiber which can support liver health as well as digestion and regularity.
Chili pepper carries various health benefits along with that spicy kick. It is also a great source of vitamin C and it can help with weight loss, blood pressure, and congestion.
Celery seeds may help with menstrual issues, anxiety, joint issues, inflammation, and uric acid levels, and celery has been used to help with high blood pressure.
Cinnamon is among the most popular spices for many reasons, it contains potent antioxidants that help to protect the body from free radical damage, disease-promoting inflammation, reducing tummy bloat, and easing congestion.
Cayenne is another popular spice with various health benefits such as aiding in digestion, stimulating blood circulation, helping with weight loss, and anti-bacterial properties.
Cassia helps the entire body run properly, boosts the immune system, aids in digestion, and is known to help promote a calm body and mind.
Caraway seeds are a rich source of dietary fiber as well as vitamins A, E, and C as well as B-complex vitamins that combat harmful free radicals and help to relieve coughs.
Cardamom/elaichi is fairly expensive making its use sparse. But this pricey spice is a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as iron, calcium, and zinc. It helps to promote heart health, aids with digestion, boosts oral health, helps to prevent blood clots, and may treat certain skin infections.
Dill contains an assortment of vitamins and minerals that are good for the body which help with digestion, managing insomnia, curing hiccups, boosting oral health, and helping to regulate menstruation.
Frankincense has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine for its healing properties and in aromatherapy to help treat chronic stress, reduce pain and boost immunity.
Fennel is a rich source of dietary fiber and powerful antioxidants that combat degenerative neurological diseases, inflammation, and oxidation to promote healthy aging.
Fenugreek helps to promote healthy digestion, increases libido in men, promotes milk flow in lactating women, and reduces inflammation.
Garlic is arguably one of the most popular culinary choices, it carries various health benefits and antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that help to lower cholesterol, as well as regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Ginger has been used for centuries in many traditional medicines to help treat nausea, assist in digestion, and ease symptoms of the flu and the common cold.
Horseradish contains anti-aging antioxidant properties that help to reduce skin damage and is a rich source of protein and fiber that helps to stimulate feelings of satiety to assist with weight management.
Juniper berries help to detoxify the body and promote healthy digestion while boosting skin health. Natural antiseptic and antioxidant properties help to prevent certain diseases, fight stress, and combat free radical damage to support healthy aging.
Licorice carries various health benefits such as helping with digestive issues like stomach ulcers, heartburn, colic, and chronic stomach inflammation.
Mace can assist with appetite, managing stress, and boosting circulation while its anti-inflammatory properties help to protect your kidneys.
Mustard can help to stimulate appetite, lower cholesterol, boost circulation, reduce pain, and relieve some of the symptoms of arthritis.
Nutmeg is famous for health benefits and remedies to improve health such as improving bad breath, detoxing the liver, boosting skin health, and promoting sleep.
Paprika is a rich source of anti-inflammatory properties that help with blood pressure, boost eye health, and promote healthy digestion.
Peppercorns are perhaps the most commonly used spice around the globe. It is a great source of vitamin K, iron, and manganese which may assist with weight loss and blood pressure.
Saffron is another pricey spice, it may help with managing asthma, soothing dry skin, and easing some symptoms of menstrual problems.
Savory has antiseptic properties that can help to ease a sore throat, reduce stress, and promote healthy digestion.
Sumac contains some of the most potent anti-aging antioxidants that help to neutralize the effects of free radical damage that could lead to disease and illnesses.
Star Anise is a rich source of linalool and vitamin C which are antioxidants that help to protect our bodies from cellular damage caused by environmental toxins. It is rich in fiber which helps to promote digestion.
Sesame seeds are rich in iron and vitamin B, it helps to manage cholesterol levels, balance hormones, and boost nutrient absorption. It may help to fight some of the signs of aging that are associated with deficiencies of iron and vitamin B like hearing loss, memory loss, and gray hair.
Tabasco pepper has almost zero calories, helps to regulate metabolism, treats arthritis, soothes a sore throat, and fulfills your vitamin C needs to promote a healthy metabolic system.
Turmeric contains a powerhouse of antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic, and anti-inflammatory properties that work to promote overall health and well-being. This popular anti-aging spice is good for your brain, arthritis pain, protecting against cancer, and destroying damaging free radicals.
Jalapeno pepper is loaded with antioxidants and essential nutrients such as vitamin C that can help with muscle aches and stimulating the creation of collagen which is the main structural protein of the body.
Galangal can help with tummy issues such as relieving pain in the stomach and abdomen caused by inflammation or other illness or diseases.
This list of spices does not contain every spice out there, but it does contain several that can help you to enhance the flavor of your meals or switch things up by trying something new to broaden the flavors of your palate. Certain spices work better with certain foods than others, but a quick search can help you to determine that. Meals should be enjoyed fully, so don’t be afraid to add spices to your culinary arsenal, variety is the spice of life.
This article was written by Edward Fox Reading at WHN.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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