Spice It Up!

spices.png

TURMERIC

Turmeric is actually apart of the ginger family and widely used in Asian and Indian cultures as well as medicinally.  Benefits include anti-inflammatory agents, aiding with stomachaches, sprains, skin & eye infections, liver function, reduce risk of cancer, digestion, and general pain.  Turmeric is high in manganese, iron, B6, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. 

This spice has been said to be stronger than ibuprofen or aspirin.  Next time you want to grab a pain reliever, try taking a couple teaspoons of turmeric instead, for a natural yet effective remedy.  This can be made similar to tea, hot water or milk and you may add lemon and/or honey.  Taking capsules daily may be sufficient, but make sure the ingredients are solely turmeric, many brands add other compounds while falsely advertising as 100% turmeric.  This can be used in virtually any fish, soup, smoothie, teas, and sauces.
 

GINGER

One of my absolute favorites!  Many medicinal uses, but great for cooking too!  The ginger root plant offers a spicy yet tangy sweet taste, often providing ethic foods with their world-renowned flavors and aromas.  Ginger has numerous healing properties that aid in relieving flatulence, nausea, stomachaches, congestion, colds & sore throats, colic, migraines, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms.  Also increases blood circulation and reduces inflammation.  Excellent source of B6, magnesium, niacin, folate, zinc, phosphorus, and riboflavin. 

Ginger is very easy to consume, although very spicy, you can easily peel and slice small pieces to eat raw. Making tea from ginger is very beneficial and infusing in water has proven to be quite effective too!  Lemon ginger water is amazing!  I highly suggest you try it if you haven't!  Using cuts of this powerful root in dishes like stir-fry makes nicely aromatic meals with fresh vegetables and a well paired protein and carbohydrate.
 

CINNAMON

You probably think cinnamon is a seasonal spice, but in fact you should be using it year round for its health benefits.  Great source of antioxidants!  Consuming teaspoons of this spice can go a long way!  Cinnamon is known to prevent heart disease, diabetes, even cancers and neurodegenerative diseases in addition to maintaining blood sugar levels, digestion, enhancing immune responses, remedy for pain (i.e. menstrual pains, muscle soreness), and heart health.  Great source of calcium and potassium, smaller amounts of phosphorus, iron, vitamin A & vitamin  C. 

Cinnamon is another spice that is very versatile.  Sprinkling in the form of powder is a primary use, although cinnamon sticks are rather popular as well.  Cinnamon tea, consisting of hot water and cinnamon bark is an old remedy to treat nausea.  Adding to meats as seasoning or simple vegetables or fruit can really change up the flavor to create a new exciting recipe.  Try hot milk with honey, vanilla, and cinnamon for an exotic yet simple warm beverage without caffeine and also perfect for the kids!

spices2.png

BLACK PEPPER

Did you know black pepper may be the most well known and accepted spice worldwide?  Who doesn't like fresh ground black pepper?!  I'll admit it's one of my favorites and well, I do put it on most foods.  Black pepper is used frequently, but to maximize its health benefits, it's best to grind whole peppercorns immediately before consuming on foods.  This also enhances you body's absorption abilities of other nutrients from foods.  The peppercorn aids in digestion while promoting intestinal health and disables the formation of gas, but also promotes fat loss by breaking down fat cells.  Black pepper is a terrific source of fiber, vitamin K, C, & B6, manganese, copper, iron, chromium, and calcium.  In other words, full of antioxidant promoting properties!  Black pepper can be used with absolutely everything, from seasoning your favorite dishes, to relieving tooth aches, or surprisingly enough as a skin exfoliator!  You may even take 1/4 tsp of freshly ground pepper with 1 tsp of tumeric daily to maximize your body's absorption rate.
 

PAPRIKA

Everyone knows paprika, but aside from sprinkling this spice on deviled eggs or decorating a dish, I bet you're unaware of the benefits it actually holds.  Being rich in carotenoids, that provide antioxidant properties and capsaicin, which minimizes severe chronic illness, as well as acting as an appetite suppressant only begins to address the health benefits.  Paprika packs a large dose of antioxidants in such a small serving, it's believed to treat and prevent cancer, beneficial to the eyes and heart, plus the antioxidant quality may relieve symptoms from autoimmune disorders.  This vibrant red-orange spice may also be a great substitute for salt; sometimes when you think a food is lacking salt, it's really missing flavor, a flavor paprika can certainly provide!  Such a great alternative!  Seeing as though paprika is derived from bell peppers, the spice provides excellent sources of vitamin A, C, K, B6, & E, thiamine, phosphorus, manganese, cooper, fiber, niacin, iron, potassium, and lastly riboflavin.  Aside from garnishing as a seasoning, paprika can be used in facial masks and added to hair dyes to enhance and balance color.  Adding the spice to foods and beverages give the most benefits though due to consuming, allowing maximum absorption rate.  Paprika works the best from the inside out!

spices3.png