Many people worry that they are missing out on trace elements and minerals and make up for it by buying expensive and sometimes ineffective supplements. Many spices contain vital nutrients that aid our health, improving circulation and boosting digestive transit. WebMD agrees that many spices and herbs have great health benefits.
Spices also make food taste great! It can be hard to change from sugar- and salt-laden processed foods, which have been designed to appeal to our pleasure centres and taste buds, to real food in which flavours are sometimes more subtle. The judicious addition of the right spice can enhance the flavour of foods, and correspondingly, our pleasure in eating well.
What Are the Ten Best Spices to Eat?
Chilli And Peppers
From cayenne to chilli, peppers are a great way to boost your health and your weight loss journey. The active part of the plant, capsaicin, is the part that makes the food feel hot. It is also the part of the plant that works to boost digestive processes – rather too well, sometimes!
Dr Stephen Sinatra recommends eating cayenne for digestive relief and even advocates topical applications to relieve the symptoms of arthritic pain and muscle aches.
Chillies will increase your body’s fat burners as well as adding some great flavour to bland healthy food.
Ginger has long been known to boost energy and general health. It is also useful for calming upset stomachs and has been found to be effective against some arthritic pain. Add this versatile root to savoury and sweet dishes alike, or infuse it with lemon and honey to make a warming and energising drink to kickstart your day and your digestion.
Cinnamon can be added to loads of different recipes like smoothies, soups and juices. Cinnamon has a light, sweetly spiced smell when added to food. The raw spice is pungent and can cause a burning sensation on the tongue if eaten by itself. It is great added to deserts, but can also be added to savoury stews and curries.
The consumption of cinnamon can help to lower and stabilise blood sugars. In a diabetes-prone world, this is very useful indeed.
The bright yellow powdered spice – in its natural form it looks something like a ginger root, except for the bright yellow colouration inside – is enjoying something of a popularity surge at the moment.
This fab, however, is worth going along with as the health benefits are many and proven. Among the benefits are included: great mental acuity in old age, improved heart health, and there are even suggestions that using the spice can prevent the onset of some cancers.
You can add it to your scrambled eggs, rice, soups and vegetables. Turmeric smoothies are a great way of adding this super spice to your diet. If you need a blender to start making these healthy smoothies you can find a guide on buying the best quiet blender here.
Long treasured for its bright and cheerful colour, saffron has, of late, been discovered to be good for our insides too. It has anti-depressant properties and contains a host of beneficial trace elements that might be otherwise lacking from modern diets.
Saffron is a great spice to use in your rice dishes, risotto, bread, jams and paella.
Parsley is a well-known spice and used by many. The great thing about parsley is the versatility. It can be used in so many different recipes. It is an excellent source of vitamins C and K and it is also bursting with folate – making it the ideal addition when you are pregnant.
If you’re looking for a spice to help with joint pain, bone health and reduce the chances of getting diabetes, parsley should be a spice you try to add to every dish.
Sage is one of nature’s little medical miracles. The fuzzy leaves are pleasantly aromatic and go very well with savoury dishes, but the plant’s benefits go far beyond taste. Sage is excellent at treating digestive and gastric upsets, easing painful digestive transit and soothing inflamed tummies.
Rosemary adds a unique flavour to lamb and mutton, but also boasts anti-fungal, anti-sceptic, anti-bacterial and even anti-inflammatory properties – all of which help to maintain good health and a great sense of well-being.
Rosemary can also be used topically. Make the leaves into a tea with boiling water and leave to infuse overnight. Strain out the leaves and any twigs that might have been included and save the rather murky water. Apply this water to acne-prone faces twice a day for the next week or so, by which time an improvement would have been noticed. NB: Keep cool, but do not keep this next to milk as it can cause it to sour prematurely.
Cumin has a curious smell – not unpleasant but rather earthy. It will be a familiar scent to anyone who is fond of curries, especially those made from scratch, rather than from pre-made sauces.
Cumin does not only add a great kick to your food though, it is good for breastfeeding mothers, useful against skin complaints like boils and has also proven efficacious against respiratory diseases such as asthma, iron deficiencies like anaemia, and even helps with insomnia.
Basil is a great addition to any tomato-based dish, but it is also known to have anti-microbial properties which fend off viruses and infections – excellent to use when all your classmates or colleagues are coughing and sneezing all over your workspace!
Basil has been shown to fight cancer, combat stress and promote cardiovascular health.
Wrapping It Up
With all the health benefits spices provide can you really afford to not have them in your diet? We have shown you the best spices to use in your diet now it is up to you to use them.
The different ways of adding them to your diet are endless and the best part about them is the fact that they make eating healthy enjoyable!