Following our post about Healthy Herbs, we thought we’d do the same for our favourite spices! These special spices also have wonderful health benefits.
Saffron is a reddish-golden coloured spice used primarily as a seasoning agent for cooking and a colouring agent. Saffron contains a number of carotenoids which are believed to be the reason for this spice’s health benefits. It is used to relieve stomach aches and kidney stones, improve blood circulation, inhibit skin tumours, improve arthritis, improve eye and vision health, promote learning and memory retention, and assist with the treatment of asthma and depression. If this isn’t enough, it also helps to lower the levels of bad cholesterol, and when applied topically as a paste, it helps relieve dryness and other skin conditions too.
Cinnamon isn’t just a crucial topping on pancakes, it is also a very special spice that has great health benefits. It can help to lower blood sugar in people suffering from Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. A research study suggests that cinnamon may help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. It also assists in lowering the negative effects of high fat meals, and treating conditions like coughing, arthritis, sore throats, infections and loss of appetite.
Ginger is an aromatic and pungent spice and adds a zest to stir-fries and other dishes. Did you know that by eating fresh ginger just before lunch, you’ll stoke a dull appetite and fire up the digestive juices? Or that chewing on some ginger will reduce symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea and vomiting? It’s no wonder that ginger has been used for years to alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. It also improves the absorption of essential nutrients in the body, aids in treating aching muscles and joints, and clears up your sinuses during “hay-fever season”.
Like most spices, cloves are available throughout the year. They have a warm, sweet, aromatic taste and are often used in ginger bread. Their health benefits include temporary treatment of toothache, relief from upper respiratory infections, anti-inflammatory properties, treatment of scrapes and bruises, and improving digestion.
Turmeric is a very common spice used in cooking and has a pepper-like aroma, sharp taste and golden colour. This spice is loaded with many healthy nutrients (Vitamin C, Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, etc) and properties (antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, etc) which is why it is used to treat a wide variety of health problems. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it has also been discovered that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial as a disinfectant for cuts and burns, a natural liver detoxifier, a painkiller, aiding in fat metabolism and weight management, and treating depression.