THE 7 MOST UNDERRATED HERBS & SPICES WITH POWERFUL HEALTH BENEFITS
Updated: Jan 28
Chances are you sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon in your smoothie in the morning, add little Chilli in your soup without giving the spice much thought. But, are you aware that your favorite spice might do your body good? There is a saying called " A herb is a friend of physicians and the praise of cooks suggests the amazing benefits of spices and herbs".
I have always been fascinated with spices since my childhood. My mother used to prepare this incredibly delicious coriander chilli chutney which is still a summer staple food at our home. Quite relatable? My brother and I always looked forward to her chutney recipe every summer which worked amazingly to beat the heat. I still remember as a child I used to chase her around the kitchen and tried to capture the secret behind this refreshing flavorful chutney. I then realized that she used a kitchen scale back then to measure the ingredients which made it easy to get the consistent balanced taste and flavor.
This blog will explore the health benefits of 7 herbs and spices.
Turmeric, called as curcumin, is one of the most famous spices used for cooking. It is popular for being added to delicious curries, its uses are becoming increasingly more powerful. It is a powerful inflammation fighter. As an anti-inflammatory spice, it helps to improve oxidative stress and reduce the formation of free radicals which causes tissue damaging.
Curcumin can increase immunity with its anti-viral as well as antibacterial properties. It helps in improving heart health and boosts weight loss.
MEAL TIP: Add turmeric in curries, grain dishes or beverages. Add a pinch of turmeric to warm milk to get a good sleep.
Ginger is another powerful spice that is used for cooking. It is a tropical plant which is used in Asian cultures for centuries to treat nausea and gastrointestinal problems. It contains anti-inflammatory properties and a high level of total antioxidants.
Studies have demonstrated that ginger have anticancer effects due to its antioxidant properties. It can slow down cells reproduction and stop activator proteins which contributes to the development of cancer. It has anti bacterial and antiviral properties too. It helps in supporting the immune system, it improves digestion and supports cardiovascular health.
MEAL TIP: Add this spice into your diet by adding it to tea, curries, salad dressings or stir fry dishes.
Cinnamon provides many health advantages as an anti diabetic, anti-carcinogenic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory spice and boosts weight loss. It plays an important role in maintaining blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. As a spice, it is available in powdered form or pieces of bark. It is highly recommended for individuals with type 2 diabetes since it helps to lower blood sugar levels. It provides healthy heart benefits like reducing high blood triglyceride levels.
MEAL TIP: Add this spice into your diet by adding it to the smoothies, tea or curries etc.
Garlic is a key ingredient in the Indian diet which is used in different savory dishes. Consuming garlic can protect your cardiovascular health. It may help reduce the cholesterol and triglycerides levels. It helps to boosts immunity. It provides a host of antioxidants which benefits the blood vessels and reduces inflammation and helps in weight loss.
MEAL TIP: Pair fresh garlic with olive oil to flavor vegetables or use it in soups, salads or curries. Garlic can be eaten raw as it lowers cholesterol.
Cumin is used as a ground spice in different recipes. It works as a powerful seed for digestion. Its major compound called as thymol helps in production of digestive enzymes and stomach acid. This can enhance the efficacy of digestion and decrease the severity of gas. It possess antiviral, antibacterial and anti congestive properties which is remarkable to reduce infection. It is beneficial for weight loss and play a major role in maintaining insulin levels and inflammation. It is a good source of melatonin, an enzyme which induces sleeps and beats insomnia. Now probably you understood why our ancestors made use of this incredible spice in most of the recipes.
MEAL TIP: Add it in gravies, curries, soups or salads.
CHILLI PEPPERS (MIRCHI)
It is a versatile spice used in different dishes. Capsaicin is the major bioactive plant compound found in chilli peppers. It has anti inflammatory properties to support arthritis treatment and to reduce joint inflammation. It contains up to seven times the amount of vitamin c of an orange. It plays a powerful role in regulating metabolic health.
MEAL TIP: Add this spice in soups, salads, gravies etc.
This super spice has been used for both culinary flavoring and therapeutic treatment for different health conditions which includes high blood pressure, allergies etc. It helps in supporting healthy immune system and helps in weight loss. It helps to improve bone health and protect against diabetes. It is high in antioxidants which can reduce oxidative stress and improves overall body health. It has anti inflammatory properties and anti fungal properties. It acts as a natural diuretic and stimulates the kidney to shed water and helps to reduce bloating.
MEAL TIP: Throw a few sprigs of coriander into your favorite juice or buttermilk or add it to any salad dressing, different gravies etc.
Herbs and Spices create flavorful additions to meals and are also powerhouses for important nutrients which significantly benefits the body. Incorporating them into your favorite dishes is an easy way to improve your health.
Spice up your taste buds with these delicious spices in your recipes. Combining foods with the correct spice will take your meal on to other level and make it more tastier.
I hope you learnt some simple practical tips about their amazing role in cooking.
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