Clean Meals

Spices

Basic guide to the benefits of spices

Many people don’t realize the benefits gained from simple spices. Spices provide a lot of antioxidants that are great for fighting free radicals in the body, as well as making food taste great! They also can help naturally fight ailments. Some of the basic information on the benefits found in spices:

  • Basil- Basil can be used in many applications from easing stress to clearing your skin, this herb has some serious mind-body benefits.
  • Marjoram- Helps increase the rate of healing and soothes muscles. It also helps with digestive health and is a natural diuretic.
  • Mint- Mint has been used to relieve pain, soothe sunburns, and treat indegestion.
  • Oregano- Oregano is a major source of thymol and carvacol which are two antibacterial agents that fight off infection. It also has quadruple the antioxidants of blueberries. Like thyme, it’s easy to grow at home and adds traditional flavor to any dish whether you use it fresh or dried.
  • Parsley- This herb can be found decorating a variety of dishes and helps fight bad breath. Parsley has been connected to health since the days of the Romans, and today its supporters believe the herb helps pass kidney stones, battle deafness, and prevent buildup in the arteries.
  • Rosemary- A 2010 study found that certain spices, especially rosemary, helped reduce carcinogenic compounds that are produced when ground beef patties are cooked. Rosemary has also been studied for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
  • Sage- Sage is thought to be a digestive aid and appetite stimulant. It can be used to reduce gas, abdominal cramps, and bloating. Other uses vary from killing bacteria to weaning a child from breast feeding, by slowing production.
  • Tarragon- The herb is rich in phyto-nutrients and also antioxidants, promoting health. Tarragon is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It’s said to be an appetite stimulant and can help with anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence and hiccups. Tea made from the herb can help to treat insomnia.
  • Thyme- It’s easy to grow at home with full sun and well-drained soil, so you can use it fresh or dried all year-round. But the health benefits go beyond warm soup on a cold night: The herb’s oil is antiseptic and antibacterial, and recent studies show thyme can kill MRSA infections, which are resistant to other antibiotics.
  • Cinnamon- It brings out and warms up the flavors in the foods it is paired with, cinnamon will also help keep your arteries healthy, manage blood sugar levels, and lower cholesterol. For healthier ways to reap the benefits of this power spice: Add it to your coffee, sprinkle it on oatmeal, stir it into peanut butter for celery sticks, and dash on sweet potatoes or carrots.
  • Cloves- Cloves can be used for soothing the digestive tract muscles and is a potent antihistamine.
  • Nutmeg- Nutmeg improves digestion. It eases the symptoms of menstruation and can be used for inducing calm or sleep.
  • Turmeric- It can reduce inflammation in arthritis patients (and may block the formation of some cancers). Try it in a curry chicken dish and then add black pepper, since that tabletop staple is believed to help the body absorb turmeric for maximum effect.
  • Chili peppers- This spicy pepper provides Capsacin, the ingredient that provides the plants with their spice, also has medical benefits that include pain relief, heart health, fighting prostate cancer, and stopping ulcers. If you’re ready to take on the hottest peppers out there, try habanero or Scotch bonnet; for less of a jolt, try jalapenos, Spanish pimentos, or cherry peppers.
  • Garlic- As a staple of natural remedies and traditional medicine, garlic has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral effects, and some studies show that it can stop blood clots from forming in your arteries. It’s also an easy spice to add into your diet: Try it in pasta sauce, on pizza, roasted with other vegetables, or finely chopped in homemade spreads.

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