There are spices you enjoy in your food that are also good for your health. Many people also choose to take these spices in supplement form to be sure to get all the benefits they offer. Your taste buds and your health will appreciate the flavors and benefits these spices provide.
In India, curry has been an important spice for thousands of years and is recognized as valuable for flavor enhancement and for its medicinal qualities. Curcumin is a powerful substance found in turmeric and contains both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The many benefits of turmeric include the following:
- The curcumin content of turmeric fights a number of degenerative brain processes by boosting the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNE) which contributes to an increase in new neuron growth.
- Many diseases are caused by oxidative damage. The powerful antioxidant effects of curcumin work in two ways to fight against free-radicals. In addition to directly blocking them, it also stimulates the antioxidant defenses of your body.
- Most arthritis involves joint inflammation. Studies have shown the potent anti-inflammatory properties in curcumin help with arthritis, and in a rheumatoid arthritis study, this spice was determined to be more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug.
Cinnamon brings to mind apple pie, toast, waffles, hot cider, and many other delicious treats, but for thousands of years it has been used for its medicinal benefits. There are numerous benefits to using cinnamon on a daily basis either in food or in a supplemental form. A few of the benefits include the following:
- The body needs antioxidants to protect it from free radicals which cause oxidative damage. Cinnamon contains powerful antioxidants including polyphenols. This delicious spice is more powerful in the antioxidant family than garlic and oregano.
- Individuals with diabetes or those on the borderline of developing it will benefit from cinnamon's ability to control blood sugar levels.
- Cinnamon provides strong anti-fungal properties, and in some studies has shown to perform stronger at killing yeast than some prescription drugs.
Clove is a delicious and versatile spice that comes from the flower buds of the clove tree. You can purchase whole cloves, ground powder, and oil. This spice is used to season meats as well as cookies and cakes, gingerbread being an old-time favorite. Did you know that clove offers the following health benefits?
- Cloves are full of important antioxidants that reduce the oxidative stress contributing to the development of chronic disease. Eugenol is a compound found in cloves that is five times more effective at stopping free radical damage than vitamin E.
- Clove can be used for numbing toothaches and sore gums, and some dentists recommend its use for this purpose. Studies are underway to determine if clove protects the mouth from oral cancers.
- Clove also contains strong anti-fungal properties and kills yeast both topically and internally. The antimicrobial properties of cloves allow them to inhibit the growth of bacteria, including E. coli.
When people see ginger root in the store, they often think of delicious Asian dishes made with this wonderful spice. Ground ginger is used in the favorite ginger snap cookie, and ginger candy is very popular. Ginger has many healthful uses, including the following:
- The bioactive compound in ginger is gingerol and provides powerful anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant effects.
- Pregnant women have used ginger as a treatment for morning sickness for decades, and it has proven to be very effective.
- Ginger may also be helpful in relieving nausea and vomiting following surgery and during chemotherapy for cancer patients.
This favorite spice is a big hit in Italian sauces, pizza, tomato dishes, and is the perfect companion to basil in many recipes. What you may not realize is that oregano has many health benefits including the following:
Oregano oil is one of the strongest natural antifungals you can obtain. It's a forceful yeast-killer and should be in every cabinet.
- Oregano oil has anti-bacterial properties, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and is highly beneficial for people dealing with upper-respiratory issues.
- In studies of oregano's health benefits, two of it's components (carvacrol and thymol) have been found to have the potential to fight some viruses.
These common spices are used in many favorite recipes. You can also take advantage of their healthful benefits. Stock up on these five spices, and use them to enhance your meals and your health at the same time.