We all know we should be eating whole foods, taking supplements, exercising and drinking water to be as healthy as possible. What we may not realize is that spices/herbs have been around for many years and are full of exceptional health benefits when added to our health plan.
Before there were a variety of medications and medical treatments, spices were used to treat and prevent many health issues. India, where many spices originated from, used them even 3,000 years ago! The well-known eighth-century king, Charlemagne said, “Spices, the friend of physicians and the pride of cooks.” It goes to show that spices were a natural part of meals, but also known to be a powerful medicine.
Whether you are struggling with low energy, allergies, digestive issues or pain, there are spices that may help to reduce the symptoms when consumed. If you want to prevent heart-disease, cancer and other common health issues, spices may be a good option.
Turmeric is known as Indian gold. It has been studied that India has a much lower rate of chronic illnesses compared to America and other Western countries. Its active ingredient is curcumin. This antioxidant is an anti-inflammatory, which assists with pain and improving circulation. This helps to reduce arthritis symptoms, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It is also known to prevent cancer, diabetes, depression and digestive issues. You can use it to relieve headaches, clear skin issues, reduce allergy symptoms, and even deal with wounds. Turmeric is becoming more known as a powerful healing remedy because of its wide variety of uses internally and externally. There have even been promising studies showing the amazing results slowing down different forms of cancer. For example, 34 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer were given high daily doses of curcumin and 64 percent showed a slow-down in its progression. You can add turmeric to meat, vegetables, salad dressings, soup, rice and a variety of dishes. You can even consume more yellow mustard, which contains this vibrant spice.
Cinnamon is my favorite spice! You may taste cinnamon in a variety of dessert dishes and be unaware of its amazing health benefits. It’s a bit funny that cinnamon is actually known to help balance blood sugar and is in such high-sugar meals. In the U.S., type 2 diabetes is increasing rapidly and can lead to a variety of other issues such as heart-disease. Millions of people have high blood sugar and no idea how to regulate it. This is where cinnamon comes in. There have been studies done showing that people with type 2 diabetes who received cinnamon daily, had a lower blood sugar. It has also been shown to decrease cholesterol levels. Even healthy people can use cinnamon to prevent blood sugar issues, stroke, cancer and food poisoning. It also helps reduce those annoying sugar cravings. If you want true cinnamon, make sure you get Ceylon cinnamon. The one in your spice cabinet is most likely cassia and not real cinnamon. In addition to desserts, you can add cinnamon to coffee, baked apples and pears and lentil soup.
Ginger has been used for thousands of year in India, China and other countries, mostly for helping with nausea symptoms. Whether nausea is from motion sickness, medication-induced, morning sickness or another cause, studies have shown the difference ginger makes. When volunteers were given ginger and asked to sit in a spinning chair, they all became nauseous. But when given ginger beforehand, it took them longer to get nauseous and it was not nearly as intense. In the study, they noticed that ginger limited the release of vasopressin, a hormone that helps to regulate levels of water, salt and blood sugar and why there may have been an improvement in the symptoms. In addition to easing nausea, ginger is filled with phytonutrients, making it anti-inflammatory. This helps to reduce arthritis pain and migraines as well as asthma and heartburn. You can grate fresh ginger into hot water and sip for a healthy tea. It works well in asian recipes and also roasted sweet potatoes, applesauce and soup.
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(Read more at Beliefnet.)