Herbs and spices, surprisingly, do not only simply add flavor to the dishes but also packs quite a nutritional punch. They help you prevent using less healthy ingredients like salt, added sugars and saturated fat. However, more than that, these herbs and spices actually have inherent health benefits.
Studies have started to reveal and discover the abilities of spices and herbs as being part of the arsenal against illnesses, from the common colds to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
It is to be noted that in India, where the uses of spices are fairly high, the numbr of diet related diseases like heart disease and cancer have always been low. But when some of them adopt a more Western diet and eating patterns, they became increasingly prone to developing those diseases.
People usually say that western food is too meaty and fatty which is why the incidences of heat diseases are very high in western countries. But researchers also believe that the decrease of spice and herb intake are also relevant.
Though it hasn’t been shown that spices and herbs fully cure diseases, many studies have shown their preventive capabilities and the ablility to keep some diseases in control.
Here are some of the healthiest herbs and spices around the world:
The ginger. It has long been known that ginger can help relieve a ‘troubled’ stomach. Not only that, when feeling nauseated, ginger can also help. Furthermore, gingerol, which is obviously found in ginger, is an inflammation fighting compound. They can reduce the aches caused by osteoarthritis and sor muscles.
Turmeric. It is commonly used in India as a paste to apply to wounds to help them heal.But, it can also be made into tea for colds and respiratory problems. A compound found in turmeric, called curcumin, has potent anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and antioxidant properties. Moreover, it is capable of managing heart diseases and diabetes and can inhibit tumor cell growth and suppress enzymes that activate carcinogens.
Sage tea. It is recommended by herbalists for stomach problems and sore throats. A research also suggests the herb’s potential to improve some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease because it can prevent a specific enzyme from destroying the brain chemical, involved in memory and learning, called acetylcholine.
Last, but not the least, hot peppers, like jalapenos. Hot peppers contain the active alkaloid compound called capsaicin, which is the culprit for the burning sensation. It can increase the body’s metabolic rate, meaning one burns more calories. It can also lower the bad cholesterol or LDL-C levels. Capsaicin can also help prevent ulcers by increasing the stomach’s resistance to H. pylori, the ulcer-causing bacteria.
Start making delicious but healthy food now!