Do you have a fancy spice rack that’s barely used? Maybe it will help to know that spices and herbs are not just for cooking. Many of the condiments used in cooking have medicinal benefits, which might motivate you to use them more and familiarize yourself with these ingredients better.
Spices and Herbs
Spices and herbs are not just for enhancing the flavor of the food you cook; many of these ingredients have specific health benefits that can help with various conditions.
While most of us like a dash of cinnamon on our oatmeal or as a flavoring in cookies, did you know that cinnamon has the ability to regulate blood sugar levels? Cinnamaldehyde, one of the components of cinnamon, provides the spice with its medicinal properties. Apart from regulating blood sugar, it may also provide antioxidants to reduce inflammation.
An integral part of Indian cuisine, turmeric is considered a wonder ingredient. From its antiseptic properties to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, turmeric has the potential of becoming a staple in many kitchens. Studies have shown that curcumin, a major component in turmeric, may also be beneficial in the prevention of certain types of cancers.
Apart from imparting a distinct heat to foods, chilis can boost your metabolism, thanks to a component called capsaicin. It may also help produce chemicals that reduce the feeling of hunger.
Black peppercorns are a rich source of many minerals and vitamins including manganese, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C, and B6. It may be able to help with proper digestion, soothing a cough, promoting weight loss, and even prevention of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer.
Sage has medicinal properties that can help destroy bacteria or viruses that cause canker sores. It is also known to help with maintaining cognitive health. Studies have shown that sage can help reduce symptoms related to early stages of Alzheimer’s and also help improve memory and mood.
Did you know that your favorite garnish may actually be very beneficial for you? Studies show that parsley could regulate the growth of breast cancer-causing cells. It may also help boost immunity, support cardiovascular health, promote healthy bones, and detoxify the body for a better-performing internal system.
Chewing on a few fennel seeds after a meal can be beneficial as the oils released from the seeds are known to work as a digestive aid and mouth freshener.
Known for imparting a spicy kick to foods, ginger also has medicinal benefits including its ability to reduce the feeling of nausea brought on by morning sickness or even chemotherapy. It could also impart anti-inflammatory properties and support digestion.
This fragrant spice, when mixed with honey, could work as a remedy for pimples. Nutmeg is known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is also known to benefit digestion, help with insomnia, and provide antioxidant benefits to the body.
Now that you have the lowdown on the medicinal benefits of various herbs and spices, get back to that lonely spice rack in your kitchen and start using these ingredients more to experience all the benefits they offer.
Gelman, L. (2017, February 08). 14 Healthy Home Remedies In Your Spice Rack | Reader’s Digest. Retrieved from https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/home-remedies-spice-rack/
10 Delicious Herbs and Spices With Powerful Health Benefits. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-healthy-herbs-and-spices#section7
Jennings, K. (2011, November 23). 8 of the world’s healthiest spices & herbs you should be eating. Retrieved from http://www.eatingwell.com/article/32764/8-of-the-worlds-healthiest-spices-herbs-you-should-be-eating/