When you add spices to your meals and drinks, you probably only think about enhancing the flavor. Adding spices to your meals can go beyond flavor to actually improve your health. You can use many of the most popular spices as supplements, skin treatments or ingredients.
Cinnamon provides fiber, iron, calcium and manganese to offer many benefits beyond just enhancing flavor. It has also been shown to have a significant effect on regulating blood sugar as several studies have suggested that it can help regulate blood glucose in addition to blood pressure for those with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon extract has also been found to increase insulin sensitivity in mice, and it may help curb cravings for sweets.
Ginger offers a host of health benefits. Substances in the spice such as shogaol and zingerone provide anti-inflammatory and antitussive effects to help reduce pain from arthritis as well as relieving coughs and congestion. Studies have shown that consuming 2 grams of ginger each day can ease exercise-related pain by 25 percent.
Apply Spices to Your Skin
Turmeric is rich in the antioxidant curcumin as well as other anti-inflammatory substances. It helps to reduce hyperpigmentation, relieve acne and brighten skin. As an antioxidant-rich spice, it helps fight free radicals to soften the skin’s texture and improve wrinkles. You can add a pinch of turmeric to your daily moisturizer or serum, or you can mix it with coconut oil for an all-natural moisturizer with additional benefits.
Red clover has long been used by herbalists to soothe the symptoms of eczema such as redness, scaly texture and itchiness. It helps to eliminate toxins in the blood that are likely responsible for triggering the inflammation. You can find ointments made of 10 to 15 percent red clover.
Cinnamon is stimulating for blood circulation with the ability to bring nutrients and oxygen to the skin along with fighting bacteria. You can create a mixture of cinnamon and honey and dab it on pimples as a home remedy for breakouts. Mix it with coconut oil if it gets too sticky.
Black pepper can be used to eliminate blackheads. You can create an exfoliating mask by combining a tablespoon of black pepper powder and a teaspoon of yogurt. You then apply the mixture over the affected areas, and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
Cooking With Spices
This spice is rarely used, and it’s often only considered as an addition to holiday desserts. It has the highest antioxidant content of any spice, and its active substance is eugenol that is used as a local anesthetic and antiseptic. Clove is sweet but sharp, and it can be used to flavor hams and pork chops with a bolder taste. It also works well paired with cinnamon in oatmeal, tea or baked apples.
The bold sensation that comes from peppers is caused by capsaicin. Though the substance seems to cause pain, it actually helps relieve it. It can also be used to help with weight loss by suppressing appetite and increasing calorie burning after meals. Research has shown that it can also reduce body fat accumulation. Try whipping up a spicy chili or curry dish to experience its many benefits.
To make sure your dried spices are as potent as possible, only use bottles that are less than two years old that have been stored in a dark cabinet or cupboard. Spices can easily help flavor foods without the need for salt or sugar, and now that you’ve learned the additional benefits, you can experiment to create healthier and tastier meals.