Health Benefits Of Spices
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.
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
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?
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?
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