Spices are very useful and work wonders to any dish. They make food tastes better or give a different twist to a somewhat familiar dish.
In addition to its use in cooking, though, spices have also been found to help prevent certain illnesses. In fact, research has shown a low incidence of heart disease and cancer cases in India where spices are used by the handful in any dish.
Scientists have also found that when these Indians move to a new place and adopt the Western foods, the rates of diseases went up. This is attributed to the lack of or less spices in the new foods they eat unlike when they were used to eating dishes with lots of spices.
The best part about using spices is that people will use less ingredients that are otherwise not food for the heart such as salt, MSG, sugar and saturated fat.
So to start your new year right, learn about the healthiest spices here that you need to add to your dishes moving forward. You can even grow them at home.
Rosemary is best used together with potatoes, garlic, honey, onions, citrus and chile peppers. It can also be used when making marinades for meat and poultry.
Healthwise, this herb can help improve mental concentration and alertness.
There’s also evidence that it can keep cooked meat healthier owing to its antioxidant properties. A recent study done by the Kansas State University showed that adding rosemary to ground beef helped in preventing the formation of cancer-causing compounds in grilled, fried and broiled meat.
This is popular herb used around the world. It’s a famous ingredient in curry powder and goes well with garlic and citrus.
India is one country that uses turmeric in most of its dishes. But other than using it in cooking food, the Indians also use the paste form on wounds to hasten the healing process and drink its hot tea to relieve colds and other respiratory related issues.
Turmeric’s healing power comes from curcumin, a compound with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve pain caused by arthritis, injuries and other dental problems.
This hot herb is often used together with ginger, paprika, beef, beans and even chocolate. It contains capsaicin, a compound that increases metabolism and help in burning body fat.
Other health benefits of the chile are it decreases a person’s risk of ulcers and helps the heart ward off the bad cholesterol.
Cinnamon is well known for the aroma it gives to breads, drinks and other dishes. It is best paired with cloves, nutmeg, allspice, fruits, nuts and chocolate.
For the health, this herb can help control blood sugar among people with type 2 diabetes. Studies have found that one teaspoon a day of cinnamon or a capsule can greatly benefit diabetics.
Ginger provides a unique kick to dishes. It can be used in marinades or in the main dish and is often used together with soy sauce, garlic and chile peppers.
This herb contains gingerols, an anti-inflammatory compound that can help fight cancer and lower pain caused by arthritis. Ginger has also been found to help relieve stomach upset and pain and reduce the incidence of nausea.