Spices and herbs have been in use from ancient times for both for culinary and medicinal purposes. Spices not only intensify the flavour, aroma, and colour of meals and refreshment, but they also protect from acute and chronic ailments. The benefits of spices and herbs for medicinal and therapeutic use, largely for various chronic conditions, is coming into focus. There is abundant evidence available now that spices and herbs possess various active compounds that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumorigenic, anticarcinogenic, and glucose- and cholesterol-lowering activities as well as properties that affect cognition and mood. Research over the past decade has reported on the multiple range of health properties that they possess because of their active compounds, including sulphur-containing compounds, tannins, alkaloids, phenolic diterpenes, and vitamins, especially flavonoids and polyphenols. Spices and herbs like clove, rosemary, sage, oregano, and cinnamon are excellent sources of antioxidants containing high amounts of phenolic compounds. It is noticeable that frequent consumption of spicy foods is also linked to a lower risk of death from certain cancer and ischemic heart and respiratory system diseases because the tangy taste inhibits the growth of certain micro- organism. However, the actual role of spices and herbs in the maintenance of health, specifically with regards to protecting against the development of chronic, noncommunicable diseases, is currently being studied.
Spices with Healthy Benefits
Seasoning a plain-but-healthy meal makes it more acceptable for your taste buds and your health. Outreach not only for exercise but also for your spice shelf and you will not only elevate the flavor of your food, but you’ll also get maximum antioxidant effect. There’s no need to go on a massive hunt for exotic ingredients for cooking and taste — some of the ingredients can be found at your kitchen shelf and some in the local market.
Cinnamon lower blood sugar
Researchers say yes. This well-known spice is derived from the bark of the cinnamon tree and can be used in every food and beverage because of its sweet taste and aroma. Cinnamon is great for people particularly who have high blood sugar. It adds a sweet taste to food without adding sugar, and this tricks our brain into having sweet but actually one is not having and this lowers blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon is also heart-healthy, it helps in reducing high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Cinnamon is not a substitute for diabetes medication, lipid lowering medication, but it can be a helpful addition to a healthy lifestyle.
Turmeric reduce inflammation
Turmeric, also known as Indian saffron because of its colour, imparts on food making the food more palatable, and has become a contemporary superfood for its ability to reduce inflammation, a common cause of discomfort and illness.
One of the active compounds of turmeric is called curcumin. Research suggests it reduces inflammation in the brain, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Curcumin is well known for its effectiveness at reducing pain and swelling in people with arthritis.
Ginger gets rid of nausea
Ginger has always remained constant in Asian cultures for thousands of years, and mainly used in teas, kadhas, and also in gravies. It is well known from ancient times that it is effective in treating stomach upset, diarrhoea and nausea. Research has found that ginger is effective at calming pregnancy-related nausea and reducing tummy upset after surgery, cuts the seriousness of motion sickness or prevents the symptoms altogether. It may even help with nausea and vomiting induced because of chemotherapy when taken along with anti-nausea medications. Consult your doctor before taking ginger while on chemotherapy drugs, as it can have a negative interaction with certain medications.
Garlic good for your heart
Most of us are familiar with the strong-smelling bulb frequently used in cooking called garlic. But what you might not know is that strong smelling may protect your heart from changes that lead to heart disease.
With aging, some hardening of the arteries is normal and there occurs some fatty deposits made up of cholesterol and other substances build up on the inside of your artery walls, leading to atherosclerosis. Factors like smoking, alcohol intake and other comorbid conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol can make it adverse. As the build-up increases over time, the lumen of arteries narrows. This can make you susceptible to heart attacks and stroke, because it blocks the flow of blood.
Researchers have connected the dots that prove that garlic intake keeps blood vessels flexible, especially in women, and may reduce cholesterol and triglycerides.
Garlic is a key ingredient in our diet that goes well with every cuisine.
Cayenne relieve pain
Bioactive compound of cayenne peppers is called capsaicin. Which imparts the spicy and tangy flavour but is also well known to provide pain relief.
Capsaicin lowers the number of pain messages sent to your brain, so you don’t get as much discomfort as you would. It also works on pain originated by arthritis and diabetes-related nerve damage. There are creams containing capsaicin available that you can apply directly on joints and muscles.
Although people often equate spicy foods with stomach upset, but the very unknow fact is capsaicin aids in reducing ulcers by restricting the growth of an ulcer-causing bacteria, reducing excess stomach acid and increasing blood flow.
Healthiest Ways to Use Spices
Even if you use spices fresh or dried, you’ll still get beneficial compounds. Experts specify that frying or grilling can decrease spices’ antioxidants while simmering or stewing foods with spices can actually heighten their antioxidant levels.
If you’re allured to take supplements to increase your dose of these beneficial compounds, to get maximum benefits, it’s important to note that commercial supplements aren’t closely regulated, which means you can’t be sure what the pills actually contain. Certain third-party organizations do test to verify the quality and contents of supplements.
They are also fortified with multivitamins to increase their activity and benefit, and are completely safe.
How to shop for it?
Before buying any supplement, always look for the verification of the product quality, buy from trusted brands.
The label should mention the active ingredient, and also the strength of each and every ingredient.
Where to find it?
Your only one stop for a health and wellness journey, OSOAA.
It mentions % of active ingredients in the herbal extract, that means giving you the name of medicine that will help you.
It also specifies the strength so that you don’t go overboard with the supplement.
It also ensures the purity and quality of the product.
If you’re thinking about taking a supplement, consult your doctor or dietitian about what form and amount is right for you.
Anyways considering health benefits, spices add flavor to food and can make healthy meals delicious and are a healthy way to get you out of an eating rut. Enjoying your food is the solution to all the problems, and it helps to maintain healthy habits for the long term. Be sure to talk to your doctor or a dietitian before changing your diet.