A healthy diet encompasses a wide range of whole foods--and the same goes
for spices. Incorporating different spices into your meals not only adds
variety and flavor to your food, but it may also have some health benefits.
If you're not seasoning your food with anything beyond salt and pepper,
try some of the following spices to expand your palate--and possibly enhance
Cinnamon: This spice smells and tastes good, and is good for you, too. In a study
of people with type 2 diabetes, daily cinnamon intake reduced cholesterol,
blood sugar and triglycerides (fats in the blood that can be a marker
of heart disease and stroke risk). Other studies suggest cinnamon can
have a positive effect on various brain functions. (USE IT: Sprinkled
on fruit or oatmeal, in baked goods, savory stews, tea and smoothies)
Ginger: A spice that translates well in both sweet and savory dishes, ginger is
used to curb nausea or other stomach upset, and it can work as an anti-inflammatory.
It can also help relieve muscle soreness, according to a report published in the
Journal of Pain. (USE IT: In tea, Asian dishes such as stir-fry, baked goods, smoothies
and salad dressings)
Cardamom: A study in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention points to this
spice's tumor-prevention properties; other studies find the spice
may work as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. (USE IT: In tea,
Indian dishes and baked goods)
Cayenne: This hot spice can help curb appetite and promote weight loss (cayenne-spiked
lemon water is a popular detox drink). It also can act as an antibacterial
and has been used to relieve pain and improve circulation. (USE IT: In
any dishes where you want a little heat)
Turmeric: This spice has historically been used to treat digestion issues as well
as inflammation--it's been suggested in studies that its anti-inflammatory
component could help fight diabetes, cancer and heart attacks (USE IT:
In Indian food such as curry, rice and grain dishes and on poultry)
What are your favorite spices to cook with? Share a comment with us!
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.