Spices are much more than simple flavoring. They are great for your health as spices have vast healing and medicinal properties.
After all, who doesn’t love the comforting smell of cinnamon filling a room during winter, or the rich sensation of ginger in gingerbread cookies, or – wait for this – the delightful taste of garlic complementing a grilled chicken or a pasta platter?
Now modern research has all the evidence to back this up, so read on to discover five of the world’s best spices.
The anti-inflammatory hero spice: Turmeric
There is no excuse not to make turmeric an integral part of your spice rack. While in recent years, this golden gem from India has become a trendy super spice for its ability to fight inflammation, it has been used as a medicine for centuries to treat infections, colds, and liver disease.
Thanks to its powerful antioxidant component curcumin, turmeric has been shown to boost the immune system, lower the risk of certain cancers, aid in digestion, and help treat a wide range of medical conditions, from Alzheimer’s disease to arthritis.
New findings also paint turmeric as a potential treatment for brain disease. A recent study on people prone to cognitive impairment showed that those who added just one gram of curcumin (from turmeric) to their breakfast had a remarkably improved working memory after just six hours.
Silhouette quick tip: Enjoy cooked in stews, curries, and stir-fry dishes, or sprinkled on roasted vegetables and meats.
The tummy healer spice: Ginger
For hundreds of decades, ginger has been used to quiet stomachaches and treat digestive issues. This super spice is even cited in Chinese medical books written in the fourth century B.C.!
For millennia, ginger has been prescribed for upset stomach and vomiting and modern medicine agrees. According to many studies, it takes only a gram of ginger to help relieve nausea whether related to morning sickness, seasickness, stomach upset, or even chemotherapy.
Similar to turmeric, ginger boasts anti-inflammatory effects and hence may reduce symptoms of arthritis. This powerful spice has been shown in some research to even lower cholesterol and help treat heart disease!
Silhouette quick tip: Add to salads, smoothies, and baked goods, or sip in tea for plenty of goodness.
The blood sugar controller spice: Cinnamon
Believe it or not, this warm spice which brings out sweetness in your baked goods can simultaneously help control blood sugar and prevent diabetes.
Researchers theorize that cinnamon’s active ingredient cinnamaldehyde balances blood sugar by stimulating insulin receptors that move excess sugar off the blood. For instance, a daily dose of around a teaspoon of cinnamon (always mixed in with food or beverages) may lower fasting blood sugars by approximately fifteen percent in diabetic patients. Cinnamaldehyde also has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and is used frequently in herbal medicine. Other advantages of cinnamon include lowering cholesterol and helping to restore the balance of bacteria in the gut, which supports digestive health.
Silhouette quick tip: Sprinkle on yogurt, fruits, and hot cereal, or indulge in a low-fat pumpkin spice latte. Yum!
The heart protector spice: Garlic
Garlic lovers rejoice! This super spice may protect your heart from changes that lead to heart disease.
Garlic appears to reduce total and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels by about ten to fifteen percent, in addition to reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
All these health effects are owed to its element allicin which is responsible for garlic’s distinctive smell.
Bottom line: garlic breath is good.
Silhouette quick tip: load up the garlic in hummus, pasta, sauces, and roasted vegetables.
The fat burner spice: Cayenne
This chili pepper can do wonders from reducing blood pressure to clearing up sinus inflammation.
Yet the hottest research involving cayenne pepper is on weight loss. Capsaicin, the compound that gives cayenne its signature kick, has been shown to elevate body heat, boost metabolic rate, and curb appetite. Researchers found that just half a teaspoon of cayenne during a meal is enough to decrease appetite and burn more calories.
Remember the hotter the chili pepper, the more capsaicin it contains!
Silhouette quick tip: Include in soups, stews, and even on meat, or add a dash to hot chocolate for a fiery hot experience.
Find these super spices at your local market and add tremendous nutritional value to your life. However, keep in mind that none of these spices can be used solely to treat illness, and be aware that excessive consumption might cause side effects or interact with other medications.
Ask your doctor or specialist about the best solution and the right amount of spice for you, and whether you would benefit from the use supplements or not. At the Silhouette Clinic, we are ready to guide you and provide any support you need to achieve goals and of course… spice up your health!