The power of spices

The power of spices

  • 17 March 2020
Spices are used in cooking to add flavours, colours, and aromas to food. But apart from their culinary uses, they also have medicinal uses and many have been used for centuries for their therapeutic properties. Stock up your spice rack with a range of different spices to to reap a whole heap of benefits. Here are just a few common spices which not only make your food more delicious, but may improve your health too.

Turmeric


it used to be confined to curries, but nowadays you’ll find it in everything from lattes to tea. It’s health properties are all thanks to a compound curcumin, a potent antioxidant. It certainly deserves its superfood status if you look at this study published in the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology Journal which says: Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, and other chronic illnesses.

Cinnamon


Cinnamon is made from the bark of the cinnamon tree. It can help with inflammation, and studies have shown that it can help lower blood sugar in diabetics. It’s a very versatile spice, as it's popular in both sweet and savoury dishes.

Pepper


The most commonly used spice is not without its own benefits. Piperine, the major active compound in pepper, has anti inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-allergic powers. And it can also help your body absorb certain nutrients better. For example, curcumin from turmeric is absorbed better when taken with piperine.

Ginger


Ginger is known to be good for reducing nausea and relieving indigestion. Add it to stir frys, smoothies, or simply make ginger tea.

Paprika


Paprika is made from dried capsicum peppers. It’s rich in several antioxidants, and some vitamins. Just one tablespoon can give you a fifth of your Vitamin A needs for the day. It can be used in soups, stews, and for seasoning meat.

Many of these spices are available in supplement form, but you can get more than enough benefits at a fraction of the price just by cooking with them. So, don’t be afraid to spice things up and get experimenting!