Spicing up the Winter: Your Guide to Spices

Spices are colourful, flavour packed punches which are full of nutrients that can easily be added to your meals. They are quite simply vegetables, roots, seeds, fruits or bark that have been dried and ground down. This enhances their flavour and colour, making them the perfect thing to bring a dish to life. In addition, they have many nutritional benefits from helping to boost the immune system to losing weight to protecting against cancer. Here is a  quick guide to spices and how they will help you in your life:

RIMG0020Cinnamon

  • A sweet, nutty spice that is said to help manage your sugar cravings1.
  • Cinnamon may reduce risk factors of cardiovascular diseases for people with type 2 diabetes because it lowers LDL (bad cholesterol), serum glucose (which manages the sugar cravings) and triglycerides2.
  • It’s high in antioxidants3 which shields cells from free radicals to prevent cancer and aging as well as numerous other nutrients to improve cognitive function and build strong bones.

RIMG0014Cayenne Pepper

  • The hot, weight-loss spice
  • It makes you leaner by altering the proteins within fats, triggering them to break down the fat4 as well as having properties which reduce appetite5
  • Cayenne pepper has also been found to have powerful antimicrobial properties to fight bacterial and fungi infections6 so it is good for if you are feeling a little under the weather
  • The capsaicin, abstract from cayenne peppers, can act as a pain relief because it depletes substance P which is released by the sensory neurons7

RIMG0024Ginger

  • An ancient spice wonder, ginger is a non-steroidal, natural anti-inflammatory8
  • It can be used to bring relief to a cough or the flu
  • Ginger has been proven to reduce the muscular discomfort of arthritis9
  • It also fights nausea and vomiting caused by things ranging from seasickness to the morning sickness to chemotherapy10
  • There is theory that the anti-inflammatory aspects of ginger have been found to reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after workouts. Evidence does not consistently support this, however, it has suggested that ginger may increase the speed of recovery11

RIMG0021Turmeric

  • Easily identified by its bright yellow appearance
  • Turmeric offers potential anticancer activity as experiments showed that it reduced the development of animal tumours12
  • It has antifungal properties which could heal lesions13 and may other properties: antidiabetic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-venom, antiulcer14

RIMG0012Cumin

  • Recognised by its powerful, deep earthy aroma with a pungent taste
  • Cumin is full of antimicrobial activity15that can be used to fight bacterial/fungi infections as well as viral infections16
  • It’s also packed with antioxidants which fight cancer, is anti-inflammatory and increases sperm count17

 

It is clear to see that there are ranging benefits from using spices, they reduce risk of cancer, fight infections, calm nausea, relieve arthritis and even boost sperm count. They taste great and make your food colourful as well as giving it a kick so start incorporating them in your cooking today, spice it up!

spices insta

References

  1. Total phenolic contents, chelating capacities, and radical-scavenging properties of black peppercorn, nutmeg, rosehip, cinnamon and oregano leaf
  2. Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids of People With Type 2 Diabetes
  3. Positively Ageless: A 28-Day Plan for a Younger, Slimmer, Sexier You
  4. Effects of novel capsinoid treatment on fatness and energy metabolism in humans: possible pharmacogenetic implications.
  5. Effects of capsaicin, green tea and CH-19 sweet pepper on appetite and energy intake in humans in negative and positive energy balance
  6. Antimicrobial Effects of Pepper, Parsley, and Dill and Their Roles in the Microbiological Quality Enhancement of Traditional Egyptian Kareish Cheese
  7. Capsaicin: Identification, Nomenclature, and Pharmacotherapy
  8. Ginger—An Herbal Medicinal Product with Broad Anti-Inflammatory Actions
  9. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders
  10. Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials.
  11. The Effects of Pre-Exercise Ginger Supplementation on Muscle Damage and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
  12. Potential anticancer activity of turmeric (Curcuma longa)
  13. Antifungal activity of turmeric oil extracted from Curcuma longa(Zingiberaceae)
  14. Turmeric and curcumin: biological actions and medicinal applications
  15. Inhibitory and stimulatory effects of cumin, oregano and their essential oils on growth and acid production of Lactobacillus plantarum and Leuconostoc mesenteroides
  16. The Effect of Cumin Seed Extracts against Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Vero Cell Culture
  17. Nutritional value, functional properties and nutraceutical applications of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.): an overview

Note that these are the author’s interpretations and applications of research they have performed.

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