Top 4 Herbs and Spices that Benefit Health

Top 4 Herbs and Spices that Benefit Health

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, AMC

posted on Feb 19, 2015, at 9:48 pm

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YOUR SPICE CABINET HAS MORE POWER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK! Spices and herbs can be potent and powerful health aids for countless conditions and diseases. While they typically cannot be used as the only treatment for certain health conditions, spices and herbs pack a flavorful and health-powered punch to foods and drinks. Below, we have listed our top 4 healthy spices and herbs.

various dried spices that help with cardiovascular system• Cinnamon

While your cinnamon-sugar dusted doughnuts aren’t exactly healthy, adding cinnamon into your diet has long been known to offer various health benefits. The medical benefits of cinnamon was noted and used as far back as the third millennium in China and medieval and ancient European countries. The Ayurvedas of 1500 BC used cinnamon to stimulate circulation and prevent flues and colds. Cinnamon is derived from the bark of a cinnamon tree, and typically ground into the powder currently sitting in your spice cabinet. Much research has shown that cinnamon can potentially aid in the regulation of blood glucose levels that have caused type-2 diabetes and obesity. Some researchers even claim the spice to have the power to improve glucose tolerance in diabetics (Singletary).

While cinnamon capsules are available to purchase, enjoying the unique smell and flavor of cinnamon can be more exciting. Try sprinkling some on oatmeal, cereal, coffee or tea.

• Ginger
Those pink shavings you discard on the side of your sushi are actually pickled ginger, and possess some heath benefits. Ginger, which is an herb, has been used heavily in China as a treatment for digestion and upset stomachs. According to Tapsell, ginger extract reduces arthritis pain in the knees, and is used to help treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger can also help in the prevention and treatment of certain types of cancers, inhibiting the growth of colon and ovarian cancer cells. Ginger has also been found to aid in the treatment of cardiovascular disease and increase levels of testosterone in men.

Spice things up by grating fresh ginger into soups, stir-fries and on fish. You can also add ginger to hot teas or use it with many pumpkin recipes during the holiday season.

• Turmeric
Turmeric, a vibrant yellow spice traditionally used in India, has been praised for its ability to naturally heal. According to Krishnaswamy, turmeric quickens the healing time of wounds, aids in digestion, deworms and helps with rheumatic disorders. Turmeric has also been found to increase detoxifying enzymes, improve DNA repair and prevent damage, and decrease tumor formation in animals.

You can use turmeric in Indian and Thai foods or even add turmeric to teas for a warm and calming hot evening drink.


Clove
Clove, which is actually a bud, have also been used in Ayurverdic traditions. According
MindBodyGreen.com, clove can treat a toothache, aid in the relief of respiratory infections, improve digestion, help with the treatment of bruises and even increase libido. Cloves are anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic.

You can add the warming spice to increase flavors of pies, meats, fruits, rice, breads and curries.

We want to know: What’s your favorite ways to use spices?

References:

Tapsell, Linda C., et al. “Health benefits of herbs and spices: the past, the present, the future.” (2006).

Singletary, Keith. “Cinnamon: overview of health benefits.” Nutrition Today 43.6 (2008): 263-266.

Krishnaswamy, Kamala. “Traditional Indian spices and their health significance.” Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition 17.S1 (2008): 265-268.

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at mackenzie.thompson@advmedcert.com
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