Health Benefits of Spices

Last week I wrote about using a variety of herbs and spices to create ethnic flavors. Many of those herbs and spices not only provide great flavor and taste but also health benefits.

Turmeric, black pepper and ginger all have anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric and black pepper especially work better when ingested together. They are common in many east asian cuisines. Ginger also has anti-nausea capacity and you can find ginger lozenges in the grocery store check out aisles. Ginger adds a wonderful flavor and taste to our smoothies, try it.

Herbs and SpicesBasil, cilantro, oregano, cayenne pepper are all have antioxidant power and help with digestion. Although they lend the best flavor and color when used fresh, dried basil and oregano are just as effective. Cilantro seeds also known as coriander seeds are one of the main ingredients in any Indian Masala. While the cilantro leaves are cooling, the coriander seeds have a warming effect. Combine coriander seeds, cumin seeds and cayenne pepper to make an aromatic and antioxidant spice rub.

Cinnamon is well known and used around the world in almost all cuisines. It has been shown to help regulate blood glucose levels. Fenugreek seeds (commonly used in Indian cooking) also have similar effect. Sprinkle some cinnamon on your cereal, fruits or coffee. Add fenugreek seeds to your spice mixture, grind together and use as rub or marinade.

Let’s not forget the most common and versatile lemons. Lemons are high in vitamin C. Their anti-bacterial property makes them a great for cleaning surfaces. Lemon slices or juice add a fresh taste and a dose of vitamin C to help prevent common colds. The astringent quality of lemons also makes it a great additive for a facial mask.

Go ahead and experiment. Make your meals flavorful and healthy! Enjoy the color, flavor and taste. Love your food.