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Looking for a way to spice up your life? Well let’s get it on, in the kitchen. Yes I said the kitchen…this is where the spices are stored. Here is a quick look at the health benefits of a few of my favorite spices. Just a few reasons to eat at home, eat fresh and healthy. Food as medicine. But remember to always consult your physician before using these spice remedies.
Popular in Chinese medicine for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It will help fight a bad stomach bug, candida yeast infections. Some researchers claim that cinnamon is effective in improving memory and cognitive development. Sprinkle cinnamon in your oatmeal, in your coffee, on sweet potatoes fries, squash…really anything that sounds good!
For me the most common benefit of turmeric is its anti-inflammatory properties. The active ingredient is curcumin, which can have antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties as well. Use turmeric on cauliflower, in salad dressings, rice, and curry dishes. Another favorite way to consume it is through a glass of tea with honey and lemon. You can find many recipes online.
An ingredient in cayenne called Capsicum is responsible for its health benefits. Capsicum has been shown to increase circulation and contribute to weight loss. You can use cayenne to flavor beans, chili, tacos, and really anything you want to spice up with some heat.
This beautiful green herb has had its claim to health fame since the early days of the Romans. Parsley’s health benefits include anti-oxidant nutrients, high folic acid content, and Vitamin C. These benefits can help fight against arthritis, keep the heart healthy, and fights against bad breathe. Parsley can be used in marinades, added to soups and sauces, meats, fish…the list can go on!
The oil of this plant has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Recent studies suggest it is effective in killing MRSA bacteria strains. My most common use for thyme is in marinades, soups and in roasted beef, chicken or turkey.
Of course these are only a few of the many herbs and spices that provide health benefits. Add some spice to your life and some real health benefits!
According to a recent article in MindBodyGreen, there is a simple way to give your immune system a boost with a few kitchen staples. Herbs and spices have been used for thousands of years to support health, and now science is starting to catch up with traditional wisdom. Cooking with fresh or dried herbs and lots of spices is one simple way to boost your defenses as the seasons begin to change. After all, the best defense is a good offense! Here are three spices to keep in your kitchen.
Turmeric is a pungent, bright yellow powder, it’s also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It’s been shown to be antimicrobial, antifungal and play a role in inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells.
Turmeric is best absorbed when paired with a fat, which makes it perfect to cook with. You can also add turmeric to your smoothie with a scoop of coconut oil.
Cayenne packs a nice kick and most of us use it to add a bit of heat to dishes. That kick also carries some great health benefits and cayenne is known to be anti-inflammatory, metabolism booster and cancer fighter.
Research suggests that the capsiates (or non-spicy substances) found in many pepper varieties target a variety of pathways involved in cancer development and inflammation.
Commonly associated with Italian dishes, oregano is a fragrant herb that’s been shown to have exceptionally high antioxidant content.
Research suggests that adding a mixture of herbs, including oregano, to meat can reduce the formation of oxidative stress markers that naturally occur with cooking. This is important because those markers are known to play a role in the formation of carcinogenic and atherogenic forming compounds.
Cooking liberally with herbs and spices will improve the taste and depth of your dishes while adding considerable health benefits to each meal.
Photo Credit: MindBodyGreen & Shutterstock