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Health Benefits of Spices: Quick Facts and Stats

Spices not only add depth and flavor to your meals, they also provide numerous health benefits. Spices have been an integral part of our food and the way we eat for centuries. Now, they’re becoming an integral part of medicine the more they’re studied There are hundreds of different spices out there that are a concentrated source of antioxidants. Some spices are slightly more beneficial than others, so here are some spices you should consider incorporating into your daily diet and meals.

  1. Cinnamon
    Cinnamon adds a lot of flavor while also helping lower blood sugar levels. Cinnamon gives food that sweet taste without adding sugar, and studies have shown that it can lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon has also been shown to reduce high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels leading to a healthier heart.

    Quick tip: Try sprinkling some cinnamon into your tea, smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or even as a meat rub to reap the benefits.

  2. Turmeric
    Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice that has various benefits on your body and brian. The primary active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin gives the spice its characteristic yellow color and is the compound responsible for most of turmeric’s health benefits. Curcumin is a natural antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory benefits and has been shown to slow the aging process and prevent Alzheimer's disease.

    Many studies have also shown that turmeric can help treat symptoms of arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, some studies have even shown curcumin being more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.

  3. Ginger
    Ginger has been used for thousands of years to treat nausea, upset stomach and diarrhea. It has a calming effect on the lining of the digestive system and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You can purchase ginger in a variety of forms including teas, supplemental capsules, spice, and candies.
  4. Cayenne
    Cayenne is a type of chili pepper that brings a lot of spice and medicinal properties to a dish. Capsaicin, the compound that makes the chili peppers spicy, has been shown to boost your metabolism and keep blood vessels healthy. Cayenne has also been shown to reduce hunger and help you feel fuller for longer.

    Research showed that people who were taking capsaicin ate less food throughout the day than those who didn’t take any. People taking capsaicin also reported feeling fuller, even though they were eating fewer calories.

  5. Garlic
    Most of us are already very familiar with cooking with garlic, but not many people realize the health benefits garlic contains. Garlic has been shown to boost immunity, work as an anti-inflammatory, improve cardiovascular health, and improve your hair and skin. It is recommended to eat raw or cooked garlic, not use supplements.
  6. Cumin
    Cumin is a leafy plant found in India and Asia. It adds an earthy, spicy taste to foods as well as many health benefits. This includes the ability to ease digestion-related problems, improve immunity, and treat skin disorders. Cumin seeds are rich in antioxidants and iron which can help improve blood flow throughout the body.
  7. Cocoa
    Most people associate cocoa with chocolate and assume it’s not healthy. However, as a spice it has many health benefits. The cocoa bean itself is full of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that have been studied extensively and have been shown to boost heart health. Flavonoids also seem to help reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and help keep your coronary arteries healthy.

Enjoying your food is the key to maintaining healthy habits long term. Cooking with spices will keep meals delicious and make them healthy. Consider buying your spices in bulk so that you’ll never run out of these healthy ingredients!

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