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NOURISH: 12 Spices That Will Give You a Power Boost

Ever feel like you need a little extra spice in your life? A little more zing to your day? Not just about adding a little flavour to your plate, these humble everyday spices bring with them a STACK of health benefits, with NO extra effort required.

Chili peppers

Adding a little spice to your plate, chili peppers contain capsaicin, a substance that has many medical benefits including heart health, pain relief, stopping ulcers and fighting prostate cancer.

Cinnamon

Half a teaspoon of cinnamon every day can reduce factors for heart disease and diabetes, keeping arteries healthy, managing blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol. Sprinkle on oatmeal or into coffee, or a dash on sweet potatoes or carrots.

Cumin

Earthy, and with flavours that instantly whisk you off to the Mediterranean, one tablespoon can provide 22 percent of your daily iron needs – something essential for energy and keeping your immune system in tip-top shape.

Oregano

One teaspoon contains 6 micrograms of vitamin K and the same amount of antioxidants as three (yes three!) cups of spinach. Add to grains such as rice and quinoa, or sprinkle on veggies and scrambled eggs.

Garlic

Garlic is well known throughout history for its medicinal properties, combatting sickness, reducing the risk and severity of colds, supporting heart health and reducing cholesterol. Incredibly versatile, it can be added to many meals, stews and soups, particularly Italian and Mediterranean dishes.

Ginger

Very popular in several forms of alternative medicine, ginger can successfully treat nausea, morning sickness. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce pain. Have as a tea, or add to Asian dishes.

Nutmeg

Despite its sweetness, nutmeg can actually help prevent cavities by fighting germs with its antibacterial compound. Nutmeg is also rich in anti-inflammatory elements, slowing tumour growth and helping with pain. stir through veggies, add to stews, or sprinkle into your daily cuppa.

Parsley

This humble little leaf is thought to help prevent build up in the arteries, help pass kidney stones and fight bad breath. Add a pinch to stews, veggies, salads and eggs.

Peppermint

Relieving IBS pain and reducing nausea, peppermint has been known for many years as an alternative medicine and aromatherapy. Have as a tea, or use as an aromatherapy oil (check usage if you are pregnant).

Rosemary

Marinating meat in a mixture that contains rosemary can prevent the formation of heterocyclic amines – the harmful free radicals that may cause cancer that are produced when grilling meat with little or no added fat. Sprinkle in a marinade.

Sage

From the Latin word “to save” Sage was well known in the middle ages for its healing properties, even being used to help prevent the plague. Today, it is thought to improve brain function and memory, particularly in Alzheimer’s sufferers. Sprinkle in stews, or on eggs.

Turmeric

Definitely the spice of the moment, turmeric contains curcumin, a substance packed with anti-inflammatory effects and a powerful antioxidant. It has also been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, relieving arthritis and improving brain function. Turmeric is available in every shape and form – in your morning lattes, or add to soup and curries. Check out the gorgeous peeps at Golden Grind who specialise in teas containing turmeric.

You may also like NOURISH: The Low-down on Kombucha and NOURISH: 5 Healthy Snacks to Boost Your Happiness.

MD®