Amazing Health Benefits Of 5 Common Spices

Spices have been used in age-old traditions for decades to improve not just the taste of dishes but also health. While spices are now popular as great flavoring agents, they were originally celebrated for their wide array of medicinal properties. Whether you consider traditional medicine or culinary habits, spices have been one of the most in-demand products that were ever traded.1

Spices are nothing but plant derivatives. They originate from different parts of a plant – right from the seeds to the bark. Besides enhancing the flavor of a dish, spices can help with food preservation, too. Most importantly, spices possess antibacterial and antiviral properties and are rich in B vitamins and trace minerals. You would be surprised to know that spices also contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than fruits and vegetables.2

Not sure about which spices to use? Let’s give you a detailed look at some amazing benefits of these 5 popular spices.

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id="ginger">1. Ginger

health benefits of ginger

Ginger is an important part of several forms of alternative medicine. To begin with, about 1 gram of ginger can be used to treat nausea caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy, and seasickness.3 It is also known to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which reduces muscle soreness and manages pain. If you’re having problems with exercise-induced muscle pain, ginger can be used as a remedy to reduce its progression.4 Still not convinced? Here are some more benefits of ginger:5

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  • Treats osteoarthritis
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Treats chronic indigestion
  • Reduces menstrual pain
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Prevents cancer

2. Cinnamon

health benefits of ginger

Made from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees, cinnamon is a popular spice that contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which imparts its powerful effects on your health and metabolism. Cinnamon is loaded with potent polyphenol antioxidants that protect your body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.6

Cinnamon possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help fight infections and repair tissue damage. It can also improve your sensitivity to insulin and lower your blood sugar levels. You can reduce the risk of heart disease, too… all you need is some cinnamon.7

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id="garlic">3. Garlic

health benefits of garlic

A plant in the Allium or onion family, garlic is a popular culinary ingredient owing to its strong smell and delicious flavor. Garlic is rich in allicin, a compound that’s responsible for its distinct smell. So, whether you chop, crush, or chew garlic cloves, this compound enters your body through your digestive tract and imparts its benefits.

To begin with, garlic is rich in calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B1, B6, C, fibers, and manganese.8 But what garlic is famous for is its ability to fight the common cold by boosting your immune system.9 Here are some more of its benefits:10

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  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Improves cholesterol levels
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Prevents Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Improves bone health
  • Detoxifies heavy metals in the body

4. Cayenne Pepper

health benefits of cayenne pepper

Cayenne peppers belong to the nightshade family of flowering plants. Originally grown in Central and South America, this popular spice is a type of chili pepper that’s closely related to bell peppers and jalapeños. Cayenne peppers are rich in antioxidants and contain an active ingredient called capsaicin, which is responsible for the hot taste and the health benefits.

For starters, capsaicin has metabolism-boosting properties. It increases the amount of heat your body produces and makes you burn more calories in a day by a process called diet-induced thermogenesis. This spice also improves your digestive health by boosting your stomach’s defense against infections. It does so by increasing digestive fluid production and delivering enzymes to your stomach.

When you talk about pain relief, capsaicin comes to the fore. This hot spice can help relieve joint pain, muscle pain, lower back pain, pain after surgery, and pain from nerve conditions like shingles. What’s more? Capsaicin can also reduce the risk of cancer.11

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id="turmeric">5. Turmeric

health benefits of turmeric

Arguably the most effective nutritional supplement in existence, turmeric contains a high amount of bio-active compounds called curcuminoids with powerful medicinal properties. Of these compounds, curcumin is the most important active ingredient in turmeric. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. It’s also extremely effective in fighting chronic inflammation.12

As a powerful antioxidant, curcumin uses a two-pronged approach to fight the oxidative effect of free radicals in your body. First, it neutralizes free radicals due to its chemical structure. Second, it boosts the activity of your body’s own antioxidant enzymes. Curcumin can also be linked to improving your brain function. One of the main drivers of this process is called the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a type of growth hormone in your brain.13

Other

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important health benefits of turmeric are as follows:14

  • Lowers the risk of brain disease
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease
  • Helps to prevent or treat cancer
  • Helps to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease
  • Treats arthritis
  • Treats depression
  • Fights age-related chronic diseases

Note: Moderation is the key. Excess consumption of these spices may have negative effects on your health.

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