Good news: your spice cabinet may also double as a natural medicine cabinet! Check out these 5 herbs and spices that are packed full of awesome health benefits.
- Turmeric – Turmeric is an herb traditionally used in Indian Cuisine. This bright yellow gem of spice has been used as medicine for centuries. Over the past 15 years, more studies have emerged on the health benefits and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric. Research has also linked turmeric to cancer prevention and treatment. Turmeric is fat-soluble; therefore, to reap the health benefits, make sure to add it to food that contains fat. Sprinkle turmeric on your eggs, add turmeric to your favorite coconut chicken dish, or combine turmeric and lemon juice with olive oil and use it as a salad dressing.
- Cayenne Pepper – Cayenne pepper is a spice used in India, the East Indies, Africa, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The capsaicin in cayenne pepper is well known for its anti-inflammatory effects and as a digestive aid. Cayenne pepper has been used as a supplement to help ease the pain with arthritis and relieve headaches. Add a kick to your food by adding cayenne pepper to fish, chicken, poultry, or vegetables.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon is used just about everywhere! It is native to Sri Linka, Burma, and India. Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and has been used for years for its medicinal and healing properties. Lab studies have found cinnamon to be an effective supplement for reducing inflammation. And some research has found cassia cinnamon to help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. (Made from the bark of an evergreen, cassia cinnamon is the most common type of cinnamon found in the U.S.) There is no established dose recommendation for cinnamon, but some studies have found that just 1 tsp a day can provide the health benefits to decrease inflammation and blood sugar. Please note that very high doses of cinnamon can be toxic and if you do take a supplement, please consult with a registered dietitian and your physician. Add a dash of cinnamon to your morning oatmeal or mix with cottage cheese, apples, and almonds as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up snack!
- Dill – Dill is native to Mediterranean countries and southeastern Europe. The oil from the dill plant is rich in monoterpenes, known for their cancer-fighting properties. Dill is also known for its antibacterial properties and is high in antioxidants. Enjoy fresh dill with chopped cucumbers added to Greek yogurt, or season your favorite fish with cayenne pepper, lemon, and fresh dill!
- Mint – Mint is widely used in Asia, England, and the Middle East. It grows just about everywhere! Mint has been used for ages as a healing herb. It is best known for its ability to soothe the digestive system and is often used as a natural remedy for nausea and motion sickness. Nature’s first breath spray was fresh peppermint leaves! To reap the benefits of mint, add fresh mint leaves to water, sip on mint tea, or add chopped mint to fruit salad.
Article contributed by amfamfit
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