Spices have been an important part of the culinary world and history. Spices have been used to flavor and preserve foods for centuries. In many cultures, spices were seen as a sign of wealth, the more spices found in a household, the more prosperous this household was. Spices were also used for medicine. (1)
Seven spices that provide life saving benefits:
If your spice cabinet is bare, consider stocking your cabinet with the following spices. The medicinal benefits of the following seven spices could save your life.
- Turmeric: The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has been found to prevent cancer, neurological diseases and inflammatory diseases. Incorporating turmeric into your diet can help prevent Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and even cancer. You can sprinkle turmeric on scrambled eggs, make tea, or enjoy homemade yellow curry! You can also take turmeric in supplement form to make sure your body is getting enough of this medicinal spice. (2)
- Ginger: Ginger is well known for it’s ability to calm upset stomachs but it does far more than this.(2) Ginger also helps prevent cancer and inflammatory diseases. A recent study found that ginger can be up to 10,000 times more effective than chemotherapy in targeting cancer stem cells.(3)
- Oregano: A study from the American Chemical Society found that oregano has the highest antioxidant rating of any herb. Oregano also contains compound that are effective in fighting diabetes. It is anti-microbial and can be taken by mouth to eliminate parasites, allergies, colds, flu’s and fatigue. (2)
- Chili peppers: Chili peppers contain capsaicin which has been found to have numerous health benefits. A recent study found that those who eat spicy foods six to seven times per week have a 14 percent lower risk of premature death for all causes when compared to those who eat spicy for less than once per week. Those who frequently eat spicy foods have a lower risk of death from cancer, ischemic heart and respiratory diseases. (4)
- Garlic: Garlic is helpful for the heart and the immune system. It is a natural antibiotic and helps kill parasites and regulates blood pressure. Studies have shown that aged garlic extract inhibits the progress of atherosclerosis in order to lower blood pressure, improves oxidative stress and enhances circulation. Studies are also showing that chopped garlic has anti-cancer effects. (2)
- Cinnamon: A 2004 study found that cinnamon improves blood sugar, glucose and lipids for those with type 2 diabetes. Drinking cinnamon tea following a meal or taking cinnamon in supplement form following a meal can help regulate postprandial glucose. Cinnamon has also been found to have anti-cancer properties. (2)
- Sage: Sage is an anti-oxidant and that also has anti-inflammatory benefits. Sage as been found to help improve glycemic control and lipid profiles for those with type 2 diabetes. Sage was also found to lower triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol.(2)
New recipes, teas or supplements can help increase the use of spices and improve health!
Adding more spice to your life may help persevere your health, excite your tastebuds and renew your energy. Branch out and try new recipes, teas, or even supplements in order to incorporate spice into your daily living routine.