Health Benefits Of Spices

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Nothing reminds us of the holidays better than the aroma of warm spices filling the air. Spices do make food taste good, but they also have benefits that could improve our health. QUESTION: HOW DO SPICES HELP US AND WHICH ONES ARE THE BEST? Spices contain tiny amounts of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, but they also provide potent antioxidants that can help to reduce heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The spices that have been studied with known benefit include cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove. QUESTION: WHAT HEALTH BENEFITS DO WE GET FROM CINNAMON? Cinnamon is the richest in antioxidants and has the most benefit. One fourth to one half teaspoon daily reduces blood sugar and makes insulin more effective. Benefits: Reduces triglyceride, LDL and total cholesterol levels in diabetics Anti-microbial activity kills E. coli and other bacteria Anti-inflammatory compounds relieve arthritis Improves alertness, memory and concentration – just by smelling it! QUESTION: WHY SHOULD WE EAT MORE GINGER? Ginger has a potent flavor and is considered a warming spice Benefits: Reduce nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness, intestinal gas and other GI upset Anti-microbial that protects against bacteria and fungi Anti-inflammatory properties – reduces swelling associated with arthritis May help to prevent ovarian cancer QUESTION: WHAT BENEFITS DO WE GET FROM NUTMEG? Benefits: Has been shown to reduce insomnia by producing drowsiness Relieves indigestion, nausea and vomiting Lowers elevated blood pressure and cholesterol May aid male infertility and impotence QUESTION: WHY SHOULD WE EAT CLOVES? Benefits: Relieves tooth and gum pain Anti-microbial activity eliminates intestinal parasites, fungi and bacteria QUESTION: DOES IT MATTER HOW WE EAT THESE SPICES? To gain the most benefit, you have to eat spices regularly and should eat them with healthy foods – no damaged fats, limited amounts of sugar and added fruits and no preservatives. Ways to eat spices: Moroccan Chicken – warm, healing, satisfying dish with protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber Sushi with pickled ginger – very low calorie meal or snack Poached fruit – potent antioxidants and fiber from fruit Spiced nuts – delicious snack providing healthy fats and protein Spiced cranberry cider – antioxidants from cranberry Rice pudding – comfort food that is low in calories Gingerbread cookies – lower calorie cookie Pumpkin pie – one of the lowest calorie pies