Spices play a vital role in Indian cuisine since a long time. It not just only add amazing flavors to the Indian cuisine but is also significant for its various healthy properties. The use of herbs and spices has been incredibly important throughout the history. In this article we will cover 5 Spices with Healthy Benefits.
“There are more than 100 common spices used in cooking around the world. Spices are concentrated source of antioxidants,” says Diane Vizthum, M.S. R.D. research nutritionist for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Now let’s take a look at 5 amazing spices with healthy benefits
What is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree spices from the genus Cinnamomum. The bark is peeled and laid in the sun to dry where it curls up into the rolls known as cinnamon sticks. It is also available in powdered form. It is used mainly as an aromatic condiment and flavoring agent in various cuisines, sweet dishes, baking, savory dishes, tea, and much more. It contains a compound called Cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for its medicinal properties.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
• Cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels and has a powerful anti-diabetic effect. It can lower the fasting diabetic level by 10-29% which is a great amount.
• Cinnamon has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.
• Cinnamon has prebiotic properties that may improve your gut health. It promotes the growth of healthy bacteria and thus helps in suppressing the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
• Cinnamon has the power to reduce blood pressure.
• Cinnamon have antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effect. It is often consumed by various people who are in their weight loss journey that helps them in burning extra fat. Thus it is a good source to be used as a fat cutter drink.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that is very famous in Indian kitchens. It comes from the root of Curcuma longa. It is the spice that gives curry its yellow color. Turmeric has many properties, it is used in India for thousands of years both as a spice and medicinal herb. Researchers have found that turmeric contains a powerful compound called curcuminoids which give turmeric its medicinal properties. The most important one is curcumin. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, which gives turmeric its medicinal properties.
Health benefits of Turmeric
• The most important health benefit of Turmeric is to fight inflammation which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease and depression. This is due to the presence of an active ingredient in it called curcumin which has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
• Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Turmeric is also useful for people suffering from arthritis as it helps in reducing pain and swelling in people.
• Curcumin may lower the risk of heart disease
• Curcumin also helps in delaying aging and fight age-related chronic disease
• Turmeric may also help to prevent cancer
What is Garlic?
Garlic (Allium sativum) belongs to the genus Allium is a herb that is grown around the world. It is often related to the onion, rakkyo (an onion found in Asia), scallion, chive, shallots, leek. It is used widely as a flavoring in cooking, it is used for thousands of years as a medicine for both ancient and modern history.
Garlic produces a chemical called allicin which gives garlic its smell.
Health benefits of Garlic
• Taking garlic by mouth, empty stomach every morning reduces systolic blood pressure by about 7-9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by about 4-6 mmHg in people with high blood pressure.
• One clove (3 grams) of raw garlic contains
⁃ Manganese: 2% of the Daily Value (DV)
⁃ Vitamin B6: 2% of the DV
⁃ Vitamin C: 1% of the DV
⁃ Selenium: 1% of the DV
⁃ Fiber: 0.06 grams
⁃ Decent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1
• Garlic supplements are known to boost the function of the immune system. It helps to combat sickness including the common cold. However, there is no significant evidence that it could be used to cure covid-19.
• Garlic is rich in antioxidants hence slows down the aging process. Its antioxidants may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
• Garlic improves cholesterol and triglycerides levels, which reduces the risk to heart disease. Researches say that garlic intake helps to keep the blood vessels flexible especially in women.
4. Holy Basil
What is Holy Basil?
Ocimum tenuiflorum commonly known as holy basil or tulsi is an aromatic plant in the family Lamiaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. It is originally from India but now grows in Australia, West Africa, and some middle eastern countries. It is cultivated for religious and traditional medicine purposes and also for its essential oil.
Researches suggest that the oil from holy basil seed helps in preventing cancer, as it helps in slowing the progression and improve survival rate in animals with certain types of cancer.
Health benefits of Holy Basil
• Researches suggest that mouthwash or toothpaste with contain at least 4% of basil helps in reducing tooth plaque.
• Early studies show that taking holy basil extract by mouth in the morning and at night decreases the symptoms of stress and depression.
• Holy basil is rich in antioxidants and helps your body to detox. Studies show that holy basil can protect your body from toxins and even prevent cancer by reducing the growth of cancerous cells.
• The nutritional value of holy basil is also high, as it contains:
⁃ vitamin A and C
• Consumption of holy basil helps in reducing pre-diabetes or type-2 diabetes.
• It also helps in keeping our cholesterol in check, ease inflammation and joint pains
• One study also found out that consuming holy basil helps to boost your immune system by increasing certain immune cells in the blood.
What is Garlic?
Ginger or Zingiber officinale is a flowering plant whose rhizome, a ginger root is widely used as a spice and folk medicine. It is a popular spice used in several forms.
Health benefits of Ginger
• Researches have found that ginger is effective at calming pregnancy-related nausea and reduces tummy upset after surgery.
• Studies found that ginger contains certain chemicals compounds that help in halting the growth of germs like E.Coli and shigella.
• Ginger also helps in reducing sore muscles pain. Some study also suggests that people who took ginger had less pain the next day than those who didn’t.
• Ginger is rich in anti-inflammatory properties which means it reduces swelling. If you consume ginger it helps to get relief from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
• Ginger also reduces cancer cells. Studies show that the bioactive molecules in ginger may slow down the growth of some cancer.