Spices are powerful. They add taste to our meals, but more than that: they add health and have healing benefits we do not always think of.
This way, here are some spices and a few of its beneficial properties for you to use whenever needed:
Anise: Star anise is usually used for culinary purposes in Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian cuisines. Star anise is a rich source of two important antioxidants namely linalool, an essential oil, and vitamin C that protects the body against cellular damage caused by environmental toxins.
Allspice: It is a kind of berry that combines flavors of pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon for a power-packed flavor dose. It helps in digestion, has anti-inflammatory properties, improves circulation, promotes dental health, enhances immunity and promotes heart health.
Black Pepper: A pinch of black pepper when added to any recipe enhances the flavor manifold. Black pepper, also known as the king of spices, promotes weight loss, helps relieve cold and cough, improves digestion, boosts metabolism and treats many skin problems. In fact, other healing spices like Turmeric become much more therapeutic with a pinch of black pepper added to it.
Black Cumin: Black cumin seed oil helps in preventing asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues. Contains antioxidants, beneficial acids and b-vitamins that balance the immune system. Black cumin seeds contain antioxidants, beneficial acids and b-vitamins that balance the immune system. Moreover, they have been found superior to almost every other natural remedy when used for autoimmune disorders.
Cumin: This seed has a bitter taste which is an essential part to Middle Eastern cuisines. It has the ability to aid digestion, improve immunity and treat skin disorders, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis and anemia. For centuries, light gravy flavored with cumin has been used as a fool-proof remedy for digestive issues.
Clove: Cloves are antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic. They're a powerhouse of antioxidants and are rich sources of minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and vitamins and minerals. Clove oil is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. In aromatherapy, it is used as an antiseptic and pain reliever especially for toothaches and stomach pain. It is often mixed with other oils to treat various disorders. For instance, those who have troubled sleep can apply some warm clove oil along with sesame oil on the forehead to feel calm and relaxed. Cloves can also be great for treating infections and oral health concerns.
Coriander: It is also known by the name cilantro or dhaniya. Coriander comes packed with essential health benefits. It is not only beneficial when consumed fresh, adding coriander seeds to your daily food can also be very healthy. Coriander seeds have antioxidant properties and dietary fiber that advance the healthy working of the liver and facilitate bowel movements. They help in the generation of digestive compounds and juices that facilitate digestion. In the event that you experience some indigestion, try and add coriander seeds in your diet. You will definitely notice a difference. Fresh leaves are powerful to bind to toxins and escort them out of the body.
Chili Pepper: Chili peppers are healthy for you and provide you with various health benefits, apart from a spicy kick to your food. When added to your diet, these can be a good source of vitamin C, aid weight loss, lower blood pressure and relieve congestion.
Celery Seeds: Native from the Mediterranean region, celery seeds are also used as tea. It treats menstrual problems, lowers anxiety, treats your joints, lowers uric acid in the body and lowers inflammation. Medicine practitioners have used celery for reducing high blood pressure for ages!
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a favorite household spice enjoyed by people of all ages. It has a large number of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which protects the body from diseases. Cinnamon forms a part of many exotic dishes and is currently trending because of its ability to reduce tummy bloat and its positive impact on blood sugar.
Cayenne: It is grown in the tropical and subtropical regions of India, Africa, United States and Mexico. It has various health benefits including aiding in digestion, stimulating blood circulation, and helping elevate the metabolism.
Cassia: Usually sold as a form of cinnamon. It is used in cooking and has many healthy benefits including boosting the immune system and maintaining healthy digestion. It is also known as an effective antidepressant which keeps your body and mind relaxed and at peace.
Caraway Seed: They are a good source of dietary fiber. They are used as tea and as a seasoning. Caraway contains various essential vitamins like A, E, C as well as a number of B-complex vitamins. It is known to remove harmful free radicals from the body. It can also be a really effective treatment for cough.
Cardamom: Also known as elaichi, cardamom hails from India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Indonesia. It is the world's third most expensive spice. A rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C, calcium, iron, and zinc, this spice promotes heart health, helps in digestion, enhances oral health, helps in diabetes, helps fight depression, fights asthma, prevents blood clots and treats skin infections.
Dill: It has many vitamins and minerals which are beneficial for the body. Its many health benefits include aiding digestion, managing insomnia and a quick cure to hiccups. Chewing a teaspoon of dill seeds is a traditional way to cure the irritating hiccups. Swallowing the dill seeds stimulates the vagus nerve and also helps to stop the hiccups. Dill is also known to regulate menstruation and helps with oral health.
Fennel: It is native to Southern Europe and grown all over Europe, Middle-East, China, India, and Turkey. This spice is a rich source of dietary fiber. Its powerful antioxidants help in removing harmful free radicals from the body and promote a healthy being. It helps fight aging and other degenerative neurological diseases.
Fenugreek: Cultivated in North Africa, the Middle East, Egypt and India, this ingredient has many medicinal uses. It improves digestion, is known to increase libido in men, promotes milk flow in mothers, can be used to stimulate appetite, and also reduces inflammation.
Garlic: It is widely used in cooking and it has been used as a medicine in ancient times because of its antimicrobial properties. Consuming garlic on a daily basis (in food or raw) helps to lower cholesterol levels because of the antioxidant properties of Allicin. It is also immensely beneficial to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels. A great way of consuming garlic is using pesto or tzatziki in your veggies, hope you like the recipes!
Ginger: is known to have originated in China and has a place in many Chinese traditional therapies. It has been used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold.
Horseradish: It is a bitter spicy root. It has antioxidant properties which help to reduce skin damage. Since it is high in fiber and rich in protein, horseradish can stimulate feelings of satiety, and it can be used freely in recipes without worrying about adding any unnecessary fats or calories while adding tons of flavor.
Licorice: It is native to the Mediterranean region, and also found in southern and central Russia. It has various benefits which include helping in digestive issues, stomach ulcers, colic, heartburn and any ongoing inflammation in the stomach.
Mustard: This seed comes from the ground and has a spicy flavor. Native to the temperate areas of Europe, mustard helps reduce pain, stimulates appetite and relieves symptoms of arthritis. Being a rich source of MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids), it lowers bad cholesterol in the body, thus keeping a check on blood fat levels and helping in circulation.
Nutmeg: It is a popular spice used in cooking across the world and it is also famous for its health benefits. In ancient times, nutmeg was used for numerous remedies to improve health. It improves bad breath, helps detox the liver, helps you to sleep well and is known to improve the texture of your skin.
Paprika: Peppers are used both in whole and powdered forms. Powdered paprika has many benefits and its flavor is quite mild. A rich source of anti-inflammatory agents, paprika helps lower blood pressure and promotes eye health. Paprika promotes healthy digestion by increasing saliva and stomach acids, which help in breaking down food and making nutrients available for energy.
Peppercorns: Peppercorn is the most widely used spice in the world. It's a rich source of vitamin K,
manganese and iron. It aids weight loss and is quite beneficial for diabetic people. Peppercorn is
also known to balance blood pressure.
Saffron: It comes from a flower and has a bright yellow color and a very distinctive aroma. It is often used in cooking to give its color and essence to the food. It helps manage asthma, aids in menstrual problems and soothes dry skin.
Sumac: High levels of antioxidants make sumac one of the healthiest spices to eat. Antioxidants help neutralize the effects of free-radical damage that could lead to many severe illnesses in the long run, including cancer. Antioxidants also help delay the signs of aging.
Star Anise: Star Anise is a small seed, which is star shaped, and comes from evergreen trees. It has licorice flavor and is packed with antioxidant properties. Star Anise is rich in vitamin C, has antifungal uses, and has been used to improve women's health. It is rich in fiber and may help in preventing constipation. Fiber bulks up in the colon along the intestinal tract and attracts water, thus preventing constipation.
Sesame: This seed has a nutty taste. It has cholesterol lowering compounds, helps balance hormones, and crucially boosts nutrition absorption. As per a study done by Harvard University in 2010, black sesame seeds are rich in vitamin B and iron, and most people who have a vitamin B or iron deficiency show symptoms like hair turning gray, hearing loss and memory loss, all of which are the indicators of ageing.
Turmeric: This spice is packed with antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is good for your brain, relieves arthritis, prevents cancer and has healing properties. Turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties have been instrumental in treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.