Spices. Everyone loves them, well, most of them.
They’ve been adding flavor and excitement to our food for thousands of years.
The spice trade drove global empires for hundreds of years. Spices at certain points throughout history were as valuable as gold to traders.
Luckily today we’re not beholden to a handful of monopolistic corporations to get our beloved spices, and we don’t have to worry about pirates stealing our shipment of cinnamon or chili powder!
For the longest time, many people just assumed that spices were a great way to add unique and enjoyable flavors to their foods. However, a lot of work has gone into studying the health impacts of consuming spices.
Spices, despite being seemingly minimal in your diet, are a great source of numerous vitamins and minerals, as well as other health benefits. As WebMD explains, even “relatively small amounts of dried and fresh herbs and spices may have health benefits.”
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If you’re curious as to which spices are known to boost your health, we’ve got a list right here of 7 you can pick up the next time you are shopping for food.
Sage, as the name implies, is not a magic spice for gaining wisdom. But studies with the spice show promise that it can help your memory and your mood. It may even be successful at helping people suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementia problems.
Rosemary is a popular herb used with many potato dishes as well as with breads and meats. In addition to its great taste the herb has antioxidants and other compounds that fight bacteria and add value to cooked meat.
Turmeric is a somewhat lesser used spice than something like cinnamon or nutmeg. It’s easily added to yogurt and goes well with chicken and seafood. Another trick is to add it to the water you boil rice or other grains with. Why add more turmeric to your diet? Because Turmeric is loaded with healthy attributes. Turmeric is made up of a strong antioxidant called curcumin which has been shown to fight off cancer and other long-term diseases. It can act as an anti-inflammatory, boosts the cardiovascular system, and has been shown to help the immune system in studies.
Cinnamon is a popular spice in America and much of the world. It is used in and on a plethora of foods and treats we love. It’s also full of antioxidants and has been shown to help the body regulate insulin better. It has even been shown to fight Alzheimer’s by reducing amyloid plaques in the body.
5. Chili Pepper
Chili pepper as well as chili powder is used in many dishes. Capsaicin – the well known compound in hot chillies – boost metabolism and can help the body burn fat. It is also known to reduce the chances of stomach ulcers and helping the body handle bad LDL cholesterol better.
Thyme is a healthy spice prized for its antimicrobial properties. It can also help in digestion by reducing gas and other pains. It’s great on just about anything from chicken to vegetables.
This strongly flavored spice has been used for many years to fight colds and calm the stomach. But recent research has shown that it can reduce pain, inflammation, and help people suffering from arthritis. Fresh ginger is best, but powdered still provides benefits.