There are numerous delicious spices that offer a whole host of nutritional benefits so I am going to share 5 of my favourites, which I use pretty much every day.
This extremely aromatic spice works equally well in both sweet and savoury dishes. If you get sugar cravings, make cinnamon your new best friend! It helps to control blood sugar levels * and improve resistance to insulin, plus its packed full of antioxidants. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties make it valued as a natural food preservative. I have it almost every morning, whether in my porridge, pancakes, smoothie or granola!
I add turmeric to absolutely everything, from curries to stir-fries to smoothies to porridge! In fact, I’ve written an entire blog post on 7 Mind-Blowing Facts About Turmeric! This superfood has been famous for it’s health properties for thousands of years, including its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant goodness. The curcumin, which gives turmeric its vibrant orange colour, helps to fight free radicals in the body that can damage cells. It regulates the liver function and acts as an antacid for stomach ulcers. In addition, it is amazing at keeping the skin looking young and fresh, while also helping to combat more serious inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema.
This super spicy powder is famous for its detoxifying properties and its fiery colour makes every dish look gorgeous. It’s not so much about the flavour as the heat that this brings to each dish – a small pinch goes a long way! With anti-irritant properties, it relieves joint pain, plus it stimulates the digestive system by increasing the enzyme flow which aids in metabolising food and eliminating toxins. Use it to give a kick to curry, chilli, spicy pasta dishes and even hot salad dressings.
Paprika is used both for its delicious flavour and for its bright red colour. This magical spice contains Vitamin E, essential for healthy blood-vessel function, as well as beta-carotene and iron, which are powerful components to make your skin and hair glow. Paprika tastes wonderful sprinkled in pasta dishes, onto of salads, over eggs or into homemade hummus.
Cumin is an important part of Middle Eastern and Indian cooking. I love incorporating ground cumin into my curries and stews, and find it works best in more hearty, wintery dishes. Not only is its warm, earthy taste completely unique, it also hosts an array of health benefits. Studies have shown that the consumption of cumin helps to balance blood blood sugar levels, so it is particularly beneficial to those with Diabetes. Cumin also has a fantastic effect on digestion, as it stimulates the production of pancreatic enzymes and helps your body to absorb nutrients more efficiently, plus it is incredibly high in magnesium and iron, among other vitamins.
I would highly recommend buying all 5 of these spices if you don’t already own them – they taste magical and you will reap the health benefits!
What are your favourite herbs/spices and how do you use them? Let me know in the comments below!
* Cinnamon stabilises blood sugar https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19930003