When most people sit down to drink a cup of tea – or add some fresh-cut basil or a dash of turmeric to their crock pot dinner – they are probably thinking more about the flavors of these things than any health benefits that might stem from them. However, though this is often overlooked, teas, herbs and spices are an excellent source of antioxidants and other potent phytochemicals that can bring with them significant positive benefits for human health. And if people know more about what these products can do, they can choose specifically which they would like to add to their diet to help solve a particular health problem. Read on to find out more about some of the best teas, herbs and spices for human health.
Chamomile has been used at least since Roman times for its medicinal properties. It is best known for its use as a natural sedative and relaxant (which makes it an excellent choice for a bedtime drink) but it is also great for digestive complaints, with its ability to soothe an upset stomach. It is well worth having in the pantry! (1)
Peppermint, too, has a long medicinal history and is best known for its ability to treat digestive complaints like upset stomach, heartburn and ingestion. It is also good for tension headaches and fatigue, giving the body a pick-me-up without the aid of caffeine. And it is great to add to a cup of tea or a smoothie! (2)
Cinnamon is more than just a wonderful flavoring for apple or pumpkin pies! There has been lot of recent research on this spice due to its ability to help diabetics get better control of their blood sugar levels and avoid the spikes and drops in blood sugar that can be so dangerous for those with this condition. For this same reason, it is an excellent spice for dieters. (3)
Ginger is probably best known for its ability to soothe down nausea (making it very popular with pregnant women trying to fend off morning sickness!). It has many more capabilities than that, however. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, making it a great tonic for general health and for conditions like arthritis in particular. (4)
Basil has long been valued for the wonderful flavor it can impart to virtually any dish. However, it also has some amazing (though less well-known) properties as well. Its main active ingredient in eugenol and it has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also has natural antimicrobial properties and is wonderful for helping the body to fight off pathogens. (5)
These teas, herbs and spices are uniquely different, but they do have one thing in common. They can greatly enhance overall health and make a wonderful addition to an overall healthy lifestyle of a balanced diet and regular exercise.
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