Are spices good for your health? Spices were some of the most valuable items of trade in bygone times. In ancient Egypt, spices were used in a variety of ways – from flavouring food to use in cosmetics. But did you know spices come jam-packed with health benefits too?
Black pepper sprinkled over your bowl of soup, a dash of cinnamon in your morning coffee, a pinch of ginger in your herbal tea?
We rely on spices in many ways to enhance our food and bring an element to surprise and extra pleasure to dishes.
But are spices good for your health? you bet!
We’ve compiled a list of top health benefits of spices, as well as tips on how to use them in daily life.
Health Benefits: Eases inflammation, treats depression, reduces heart disease and arthritis.
Studies have shown turmeric has been used for centuries in food preparation and traditional medicine to treat diseases and certain conditions.
This is all thanks to curcumin, a powerful antioxidant. As well as having antioxidant properties, this orange-yellow powder also packs a punch, with anti-inflammatory properties.
This combination means turmeric can help in the prevention of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, heart disease and some cancers.
Health Benefits: Soothes nausea, reduces muscle pain, eases inflammation.
Ginger is often added to food and drink for its punchy flavour. This spice has also been widely used for hundreds of years to treat many ailments including pain, inflammation and gastrointestinal disorders.
Ginger is packed with gingerols, anti-inflammation compounds that are believed to fight some cancers, reduce pain and soothe sore muscles.
A 2010 study looked at how ginger can play a part in easing aching muscles. Participants who took ginger capsules for 11 days had 25% less muscle pain when they exercised compared with those who took a placebo.
Use it in: Grated ginger is an excellent companion to lemon tea but why not branch out and try your hand at making your own ginger beer?
Health Benefits: Reduces risk of heart disease, lowers blood sugar levels, maintains healthy and glowing skin.
We all know how delicious cinnamon is – whether sprinkled over coffee, combined with apples in a pie or crumble or mixed with dough for cinnamon rolls – but this spice has many healthy benefits too.
Cinnamon is one of the most commonly used spices worldwide. It can be used in its original state as a bark or crushed into a powder.
A major health benefit is cinnamon helps to regulate blood glucose levels. A high level of blood glucose is found in those with type 2 diabetes or obesity so incorporating cinnamon into your diet may help control this.
Surprisingly, cinnamon can also do wonders for your skin. The anti-fungal, antioxidant and antibacterial properties of the spice make it useful against acne and skin blemishes. Cinnamon may also tackle acne by drying out the skin and increasing blood flow to affected areas.
Use it in: Why not try creating your own honey and cinnamon face mask?
Spice up your life
These are only a few spices with incredible health benefits. They are so easy to incorporate into your everyday life and can be a low-cost purchase.
Go ahead, spice up your life and your body will thank you for the benefits!
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