10 Amazing Spices And Their Benefits And Uses
Spices light up our dishes. But which are the best? In this article, Beauty and Tips takes a look at 10 amazing spices and their benefits and uses.
Spices are nothing new. If you’ve never cooked with them before or are experimenting with them for the first time, know this: The Korean and Chinese have been using them since at least 500 BC. Indeed, spices are a key part of many cultures and traditions, especially in the East. The Indian’s have been trading them for centuries, with some nations building up some highly profitable empires simply on the back of spices. But as well as adding flavour, depth and nuance to a dish, spices also bring with them numerous health benefits. They can soothe pain, heal wounds, and reduce the risk of us developing debilitating diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and stroke. So let’s take a look at how you can spice up your life with 10 amazing spices and their benefits and uses.
Ginger has been grown by the Indians and Chinese for centuries. It was the main spice that first established the famous spice and herb trade roads around the world. Today, it’s used extensively in cooking, and you can add it to a variety of dishes. It’s also used in alternative medicine, where it has a long and fruitful history. It brings with it many health benefits. Ginger can soothe nausea (particularly morning sickness), reduce muscle soreness and pain, and it can also improve the symptoms of an unsettled tummy. Ginger can also lower cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar levels, and it can also combat infections. In short, it’s a bit of a miracle spice that you should probably add to more dishes!
As a child, you probably preferred salt over pepper. Indeed, instead of adding pepper to your food, you instead preferred to make your sibling sneeze with it! But as adults who are super serious about our health, black pepper has lots of amazing benefits. It can treat indigestion and diarrhoea, and it can also prevent heart disease. It can also treat gangrene. You know, just in case you develop it.
The chances are very high that you already consume peppermint at least twice a day, because it’s a key ingredient in many toothpastes. But you should aim to consume more of it because it’s an excellent spice that can relieve nausea and soothe the symptoms associated with IBS. It works by calming down your colon’s muscles, which in turn stops the pain you might experience during a bowel movement. It also helps to tackle indigestion in general.
One of the most powerful spices on planet earth, turmeric originates from Indonesia and China. It’s rich in a number of compounds that come with medicinal properties, most notably Curcumin, a super duper effective antioxidant. Turmeric is most commonly added to curries, where its anti-inflammatory properties can soothe a restless stomach. It has other benefits, and study has been carried out into its effectiveness as an anti-depressant. Indeed, according to research, turmeric has been found to be just as potent as Prozac when it comes to treating depression. Turmeric can also reduce the pain associated with arthritis, and there are even reports that it can treat cancer naturally. And because it lowers blood sugar, turmeric is recommended to diabetics.
Native to India, mustard seeds have been used for centuries upon centuries in Indian cooking, both for their flavoursome profile and their medicinal benefits. Mustard seeds are stuffed with otherwise hard-to-get B-complex vitamins, and the help to soothe muscle pain and arthritis.
Cinnamon is perhaps the loveliest spice of all. Who doesn’t love to see cinnamon sprinkled like freckles on their morning coffee? Yummy!
Super tasty and less zingy than most of the other spices on this list, cinnamon derives from tree bark, and has a history as an edible spice enjoyed by humans that dates all the way back to Ancient Egypt. So, the next time you enjoy cinnamon, remember that you’re enjoying the same spice as the Pharaoh’s! You really should, too, because it has plenty of health benefits. Cinnamon can reduce blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and it can help to fight fungal and bacterial infections. Cinnamon is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Doctors, health experts, nutritionists, dieticians and vampire slayers all around the world agree on a few things, and one of them is that we should consume garlic each day. That might sound like a lot, so you could aim for every other day. Why? BECAUSE GARLIC KILLS VAMPIRES. Oh, and it also battles infections, viruses (and usually wins), and it also boosts your immune system. (But it’s really the vampire thing that we love the most about it)
Cumin seeds are one of the most popular spices in India. They can be added to a wide variety of Indian dishes, though they’re commonly found in Odiya, a traditional dish. The health benefits of cumin seeds include their ability to relieve stomach cramps, bloating, nausea, and pain in general.
Ever had a bowl of soup and noticed a powerful taste that stops you in your tracks? You take a look down into the bowl. The truth is, it could be any number of things. But if you see some green in there, the chances are that it’s sage.
Sage basically translates into “to save.” Which tells you all you need to know! Sage saves. End of story. It’s amazing! In fact, it’s so amazing that it was used to treat the Plague back in the Middle Ages. So, the next time you get the Plague, YOU KNOW WHERE TO TURN. Aside from warding off The Black Death, sage also boosts brain power and sharpens your memory. Lovely.
Lastly, Ireland’s most powerful spice – coriander. Coriander is popular the world over, and has been used to treat illnesses for over 7,000 years. Incredible! It can prevent diabetes, and it is a potent antioxidant. Start using it in your cooking!
What are your favourite spices?
Stay happy and healthy!