Many of the spices that can add some flavor to your food do more than simply give you more to savor with each bite. There’s no definitive evidence that spices will cure any ailment. However, there is plenty of credible research to support some of the long-heralded health benefits of certain spices, some of which have been in use in one form or another since the days of ancient Egypt and China.
These spices are key to a healthy diet and, combined with conventional medications, they can help sort out a long list of problems.
Cinnamon to protect your heart and immune system
High in fiber and magnesium, cinnamon is widely considered one of the healthiest spices you can add to your diet. Not only does cinnamon naturally reduce your risk of developing heart disease, but it can also help maintain blood sugar levels, boost your immune system’s abilities, aid in digestion, and minimize some of the effects of aging thanks to its abundance of antioxidants.
Turmeric as anti-inflammatory
Curcumin, the compound that makes this popular Indian spice yellow and provides most its health benefits, has natural anti-inflammatory properties that may ease occasional aches and reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Curcumin has also been shown to boost the production of a brain hormone called the brain-derived neurotrophic factor that’s been linked to cognitive functioning.
Peppermint for your stomach
A folk remedy with a long history of medicinal use, peppermint also possesses an assortment of benefits backed by reliable research. In oil form, peppermint may reduce symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in children. It may also ease hay fever symptoms and discomfort related to indigestion, gas, and irritated nipples in breastfeeding mothers.
Nutmeg for your skin and to relieve pain
In addition to being a tasty sleep aid when coupled with a glass of milk, nutmeg may also rejuvenate your skin when mixed into a paste with some honey and water. This slightly sweet spice also has natural pain relieving properties that may promote wound healing and ease discomfort from chronic inflammation. It also works on the muscles of the intestine to facilitate digestion.
Ginger to fight nausea
Created from a flowering plant native to China, ginger has potent anti-inflammatory qualities. It may also ease nausea symptoms linked to pregnancy and the after-effects of chemotherapy. There’s also some evidence that ginger may help relieve muscle soreness, although this is likely related to the spice’s anti-inflammatory properties, which may also help manage pain related to degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis.
An all-round healthy diet
Any of these spices can easily be enjoyed in a variety of appetizing ways. Incidentally, you can get even more benefits from these spices by incorporating some other healthy choices into your diet, including green, leafy veggies like lettuce and spinach, fruits that include antioxidant-rich blueberries and fresh, red grapefruit, and lean proteins that include lean meats like ground sirloin and chicken tenderloins and beans and eggs.