Beyond the kitchen: spices that help build the health system
When we hear the word spices, the first thing we can quickly relate to is an ingredient used to make a meal taste better or an ingredient that adds flavour to our meals. This thought is true, but spices go beyond the kitchen and appeal to the taste buds. There are many medicinal benefits to tap from when spices are introduced to our daily regimen.
Nutrition research shows that many spices such as cinnamon, basil, cumin, ginger and many others. have rich sources of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and micronutrients such as zinc. Spices are also rich sources of powerful antioxidants (i.e. substances that neutralise free radicals and unstable molecules that can harm your cells).
The great thing about spices is that they are easily accessible in our local markets. To top this up, spices, when introduced into our meals, make them healthier for our consumption. We will touch on spices with significant nutritional values and provide some major health benefits.
Is ginger a remedy for nausea and gastrointestinal issues?
Studies say yes. Ginger is also very cleansing due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger is ideal for people big on oral hygiene as it contains active compounds called gingerols that keep oral bacteria from growing.
Ginger can be made into a fresh cup of tea or added to our soups sauce and stews for a powerful immune boost.
Can Chili peppers regulate the heart and metabolic health?
Chilli pepper goes a long way to preventing heart disease with the presence of a chemical compound called capsaicin in hot peppers that can reduce inflammation and decrease the chances of heart disease.
Those who struggle with obesity can find chilli pepper helpful in stimulating weight loss in the body. Studies show that the capsaicin in chilli peppers can reduce appetite. Other studies show that chilli peppers can boost metabolism and help you burn off the calories you eat.
Chilli pepper contains nutrients such as iron, vitamin A and Dietary Fiber. You can incorporate this spice into your meal when you use it to season meat, sprinkle it into a pasta sauce and onto vegetables to give them a spicy flair.
Can sesame seed lower cholesterol and give stronger bones?
There is a reason people have been growing sesame seeds around the world since prehistoric times. They are suitable for your health in several ways.
Sesame seeds are a good source of healthy fats, minerals, B vitamins, antioxidants, protein, fibre, and other beneficial plant compounds.
Sesame seeds have been used as a natural way to help lower cholesterol with the presence of lignans and phytosterols. Phytosterols are believed to enhance your immune response. These and other substances in sesame seeds are also known to prevent high blood pressure.
The intake of black sesame seed should increase for those who desire stronger bones. This is because black sesame seeds are abundant in calcium and zinc. The bone mass tends to decrease after the age of 35, and bone loss occurs more rapidly in women after menopause.
To optimize your nutrient intake, you can eat sesame seeds soaked, roasted, or sprouted. Sesame seeds can improve many dishes, including salads, granola, baked goods, and stir-fries.
Is turmeric a good pain reliever and healing agent?
While turmeric is a flavoursome spice that is nutritious to consume, it has also traditionally been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat inflammatory conditions, digestive ailments, skin diseases, wounds and liver conditions.
Turmeric’s active compound, curcumin, has been extensively studied for its disease-fighting potential and preventive health benefits. Curcumin is a natural antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as benefits related to slowing the ageing process in the body.
The spice can be easily added to smoothies and curries. It can also be added to spice mixtures such as curry or barbecue rub, tea and scrambled egg.
Can garlic fight inflammations and high blood pressure?
Yes, it can. Throughout history in the Middle East, East Asia, and Nepal, garlic has been used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), liver disorders, bronchitis, colic, fever, TB (tuberculosis), dysentery, diabetes and fevers.
One of the most well-documented health benefits of garlic is its natural ability to regulate high blood pressure. Garlic also has a natural ability to fight off germs. Next time you feel a cold or flu coming on, amp up your garlic intake for a natural way to keep germs at bay.
Research shows that garlic oil contains anti-inflammatory properties. If you have sore and inflamed joints or muscles, rub them with garlic oil.
Garlic gets its pungent smell from an organic sulfur compound called allicin, making garlic a healthy addition to your diet. To include garlic into your diet, mince a garlic clove, toss it into your salad or salad dressing, add it to soups or juice with other veggies, and use plain garlic powder in recipes or as seasoning.