Nutrition: What are the best spices for your health?

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Nutrition: What are the best spices for your health?
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Although some medicinal properties of plants and spices have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries, recent scientific studies allow us to understand their effectiveness even better.  These spices which are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and various nutrients are helpful at combating free radicals that are responsible for illnesses to develop and  cell aging.  Read on to find out more about the best spices for your health. 

1) Cinnamon, Anti-infectious

Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of a cinnamon tree which is predominantly cultivated in Southern Asia.  It is one of the oldest spices.  As well as being stimulating and an aphrodisiac, cinnamon is one of the best natural remedies to combat the flu.

All you need to do is add 2 g of cinnamon to a cup of boiling water and then leave to infuse for 10 minutes before tasting.  You can drink up to 2 to 3 cups of this mixture per day.

Cinnamon is also meant to be effective at naturally lowering blood sugar levels (glycemia).  According to a study, eating a cinnamon apple tart can lower your blood sugar levels.  If you suffer from diabetes speak to your doctor before taking cinnamon regularly as well as your medication.

2) Turmeric, Anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer spice

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Turmeric is often transformed into an orange coloured powder which is taken from the rhizome of a herbaceous plant predominantly grown in Asia (Curcuma longa).  Many scientific studies carried out in the last few years have revealed that turmeric has powerful antioxidants which have natural anti-inflammatory properties.  

Eating turmeric can supposedly help to relieve pain and inflammatory reactions in situations of chronic inflammation like arthritis, allergic reactions, ischemia, atherosclerosis and cancer.

If taken in conjunction with Boswellia serrata, a plant traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine, the results are meant to be even better.  This is particularly the case when treating bronchial asthma or irritable bowel syndrome.

According to the studies’ statistics, Indians,  who eat a lot more turmeric than westerns, are much less affected by cancer, cardiovascular illnesses and Alzheimer’s.

Turmeric also has anti-infectious properties which fight against viruses.  However it can also ease digestion and can relieve digestive difficulties.  What’s more, the spice encourages the increase of HDL cholesterol which is the “good” cholesterol.

As always, it is best to speak with your doctor when using natural remedies.  They can help to advice you on the correct doses and the duration of potential treatments using turmeric.

3) Ginger

Ginger is predominantly grown in Asia and has a significant place in the pharmacopoeia of traditional Chinese medicine.  It can be used to treat many symptoms, conditions and illnesses, including:

  • cold,
  • gastroenteritis,
  • diarrhea,
  • stomach aches,
  • arthritis,
  • motion sickness, nausea,
  • arthritis pain,
  • problems with blood circulation,
  • cancers,
  • tiredness,
  • erection problems,
  • dizziness,

Grate the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of ginger in a bowl of boiling water and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.  You can then add a little honey and lemon juice to taste and to strengthen it’s affect.

Gingerols found in the ginger prevents nauseous sensations from coming over you.

Ginger is also well known as an aphrodisiac.  Eating ginger encourages intense blood flow to the peripheral organs, which can have an effect on a male’s erection and excitation. In addition, ginger is rich in zinc which is essential for the formation of the male hormone, testosterone.

Be careful as eating large quantities of ginger can irritate the intestine.  Large and pure doses of ginger can also create burning sensations in the mouth. 


 Related articles:

Cinnamon: a medicinal spice with surprising benefits

7 reasons why turmeric is the healthiest spice

4 natural anti-cancer ingredients and a miracle spice mix eaten by Hindus