For thousands of years, spices have proven to be a healthy and beneficial way to add flavor to food. And the amazing properties of spices don’t end there. They’ve also been used in Native American and Indian cultures for preservation, to treat wounds and even act as medicine in times of great need. So what makes spices so amazing and how can they help you have a long and happy life? Read on to find out why adding spices to your daily routine can add zesty flavor to your food and help you reap healthy benefits for years to come.
The Power of Spices
Spices are plant-based and contain a wide variety of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, oils and good-for-you phytonutrients. All of these benefits are packed in a low-calorie, small little package that provides a ton of benefits for your wellness. The benefits of spices come from many different parts of the plant. They can come from the leaves, the bulbs or root, from fruits and seeds or from the bark depending on whether your needs are for food or for medicinal purposes. Spices contain anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibiotic properties and they contain more antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables. And they taste so good!
10 Health Benefits of Eating Spices
We’ve already touched on a few ways that spices pack a big nutritional punch. But here’s a closer look at why spices need to be a staple of every meal you make for your family.
Spices Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Different ethnic cultures have been using spices for their anti-inflammatory properties for years. According to the National Institutes of Health, western civilizations are becoming increasingly more aware of these anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to fight cancer and other diseases.
They Come from Nature
Spices are derived solely from plants and the Earth. They are as organic as possible and you can grow them on your stoop or in your backyard. Spices are pulled and made directly from the leaves, roots, bulbs, fruits and seeds, or bark of the plant and then made into dried spices and oils that we commonly use in food products.
Lowers Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
Because spices have properties that keep blood from clotting, they can help ease the flow of your blood in your blood vessels and this can reduce the occurrence of heart attack or stroke because everything is moving easily along.
Ease the Digestive Process
The enzymes found in spices may help the digestive track function properly. Spices also contain anti-flatulent properties that reduce gas and stomach upset. Certain spices can also help your body detoxify and get rid of impurities in your system.
Have Medicinal Properties
For centuries, cultures have been using spices to treat sore throats, bronchitis and respiratory ailments, flu, colds, fever and menstrual pain. They also help to treat arthritis and aching muscles. Spices can even be used for dental care and mouthwash and to aid in child birth and menopause.
Contain Important Vitamins and Minerals
Spices are packed with essential nutrients like magnesium, iron and potassium. Magnesium and iron help your blood stores and potassium helps keep your heart healthy. Adding just a little bit to your food can help you reap big benefits.
Act as a Preservative
By rubbing meats with spices, like salt, can help your beef and chicken last longer. Spices are also used in soups, sauces and in pickled vegetables as well.
Flavors your Food and Drink
Spices are most commonly known as a way to jazz up your rice and noodle dishes. They can make bland, untasteful foods have a wonderful and zesty flavor. Herbs and Spices can also be added to drinks to give them a yummy flavor.
Provides Benefits as Aromatherapy
Essential oils have been shown to cause big benefits for your memory and concentration. Spices can also help promote relaxation and help you calm down and sleep when you’re having insomnia or other sleep conditions.
The anti-inflammatory properties of spices help to ease blood flow through the arteries. This can improve circulation throughout your whole body .
Tips and Tricks for Incorporating Spices
Spices are so easy to add to your daily routine. Spices like cumin, turmeric and saffron can help with inflammation. Gingko Biloba and ginseng help with concentration and memory. Cardamom helps with indigestion and Cinnamon can help with headaches. Cilantro, Oregano and Basil are packed with antioxidants and vitamins while lavender and chamomile can help calm and relax the body. Spices are a great way to treat what ails you without looking to a chemically-made treatment. Here are some tips and tricks for incorporating them into your meals each day:
Tip 1: Grow at Home
One of the most exciting benefits of spices is that it is cost-effective and can be grown right at home. By planting a spice and herb garden, you can run out to your porch or reach to your windowsill to gather the items needed to spice up your food.
Tip 2: Sprinkle on Everything
You can add spices to everything! Sprinkle Cinnamon on your breakfast or in your veggies. The same goes for other spices like curry and turmeric. Just adding a little bit to your food can help you reap all the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-flatulent properties of spices. Don’t be afraid to mix them in your drinks as well.
Tip 3: Use Aromatherapy
Melt lavender or chamomile candles to relax and unwind after a hard day. Or look for lotions or body soaps that have spices included. These spices may help you relax or enlighten or may help give you an energy boost. Spices can also work when you use your other senses so try not to think about it them only related to food.
Tip 4: Look to the Past
Research and learn all you can about the spices and herbs that your family uses to treat illness and ailments. There’s no better place to look than back at the people who have used these techniques for years and years.
Can I Use Spices Everyday?
Yes, and No! It’s beneficial to use common household spices every day because it can give your immune system a boost and help keep everything functioning properly. You do, however, need to make sure to limit your salt consumption as that can lead to high blood pressure. And too many hot spices can irritate the lining of your stomach and esophagus. The real problem comes when you use herbs medicinally. You just need to make sure you check the dosing on certain spices and herbs to make sure you don’t get too much of a good thing. Ginko biloba and black cohosh both require a certain amount to work efficiently. Too much of either can throw your systems out of whack and cause damage to your health. You should always clear any supplement with your healthcare provider before dosing on your own.
Spices are a fun and festive way to add flare to your dinner fare. Make sure to use household spices daily and think about incorporating spices into your medicinal and beauty regimens. The Earth has given you a great bounty to use to treat what ails you! Just remember to show the Earth a little love right back! Reaping the benefits of longevity starts with the ability to use and know about the spices in your cabinet. Using them can change up the way you cook and can help your food have a better flavor.