7 Herbs & Spices For Better Health

Turmeric

Turmeric

Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-oxidant, with powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

Curcumin is so strongly anti-inflammatory, that studies have shown it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs.

Given that long-term, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic Western disease, it is not surprising that curcumin is linked to a variety of health benefits.

Studies have shown that curcumin can help treat a range of health problems, from minor toothaches to chronic conditions like arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. Researchers are also studying its potential as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, as well as colon, prostate and breast cancers. Further studies have shown evidence that curcumin may be a safe and effective treatment for depression.

Aside from its most regular use, as a spice in curries, turmeric also can be used to make drinks, such as the amazing Golden Milk, enabling you to gain the benefits, without having to eat curry every night, although, you may want to just do that.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a popular spice, found in all sorts of recipes and baked goods, including donuts ;-).

It contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for cinnamon’s medicinal properties.

Cinnamon has potent antioxidant activity, helps fight inflammation and has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

Cinnamon is notoriously packed with antioxidant capacity. It’s actually one of the most concentrated sources meaning that even just a little cinnamon – around 1 teaspoon per day – can help you get a healthy boost. Antioxidants help slow the ageing process, reduce oxidative stress and rid the body of toxins. Like turmeric and ginger, cinnamon is also anti-inflammatory. If you really want to reap the benefits, have all three together. They complement each other very well.

It’s also thought that cinnamon might be a good fighter of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It may protect the neurons in our brains, inhibit proteins connected to these diseases, and even improve motor function. Overall, cinnamon is an awesome food for the brain and body.

Cinnamon may also aid in healthier skin, improved brain function, and fighting infection. It’s great for managing blood sugar and insulin levels and may inhibit the growth of tumours, prevent DNA damage, and cell mutation.

Cayenne

Cayenne

Cayenne Chilli is one of the most used chilli spices, as it provides a touch of heat, without being the super hot range of chillis, so even those less tolerant to the heat of chillis can use it.

Chillis contain up to seven times the amount of vitamin C of an orange. Moreover, chilli contains vitamin A and vitamin E.

The magical bit that gives chillis their heat is called capsaicin. Aside from adding some zing, capsacin helps to inhibit the neuropeptides associated with inflammatory processes that take place in the body, and it may reduce pain in individuals with symptoms from sensory nerve fibre disorders (arthritis, psoriasis, etc.). I actually make a chilli salve myself, using a special hybrid super hot chilli. One user claims it is the only thing that allows him to function with his chronic back condition.

You may already be familiar, but capsaicin can also reduce congestion and relieve a stuffy nose. It goes without saying that the spicier the pepper, the more capsaicin a.k.a. the more benefits you reap. If you can handle the heat, it may be worth the sweat.

But wait, there is more. There is a cardiologist who carries some cayenne powder with him at all times. He claims to have administered it under the tongue of people both inside and outside a hospital, who were experiencing a heart attack. He claims that it instantly stops the heart attack and prevents further damage.

Ginger

Ginger

Ginger is closely related to turmeric and also provides several health benefits.

Like turmeric, ginger provides anti-inflammatory benefits and has shown evidence of being effective against osteoarthritis.

Studies have consistently shown that 1 gram or more of ginger can successfully treat nausea, including nausea caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy and sea sickness.

Ginger also appears to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, and can help with pain management.

Ginger contains gingerol, a powerful substance with medicinal properties. There is some, albeit limited, evidence that ginger may be effective against pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Garlic

Garlic

Garlic is best known for its pungent smell and it’s use to add flavour to numerous types of foods and meals.

Garlic also provides potent health benefits, due to the sulfur compounds formed when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed or chewed.

Perhaps the most famous of those is known as allicin. However, allicin is an unstable compound that is only briefly present in fresh garlic after it’s been cut or crushed.

Other compounds that may play a role in garlic’s health benefits include diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine.

The sulfur compounds from garlic enter the body from the digestive tract and travel all over the body, where it exerts its potent biological effects.

Garlic has very few calories, but, calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious.

A 28-gram (1-ounce ) serving of garlic contains:

  • Manganese: 23% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B6: 17% of the RDA
  • Vitamin C: 15% of the RDA
  • Selenium: 6% of the RDA
  • Fiber: 0.6 grams
  • Decent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1

Garlic also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. In fact, it contains a little bit of almost everything you need.

Garlic has also shown to provide great benefit for those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you suffer from either, I highly recommend you give the 6 whole lemons and 30 cloves of garlic remedy a go.

Cumin

Cumin

Cumin is a staple seed or ground spice in so many recipes. Its warm and earthy flavour is perfect for deepening the flavour profile of many different types of cuisine. Of course, you know exactly what cumin tastes like if you’re a taco enthusiast (and who doesn’t love tacos?). It tastes great, and it’s great for you.

Cumin is a great seed for digestion. One of its main compounds – thymol – aids in the production of bile, stomach acid, and digestive enzymes. This can improve the efficacy of digestion, naturally treat haemorrhoids or help prevent them, and reduce the severity of gas. Moreover, some of these benefits can be attributed to the fibre content found in cumin.

Vitamin E which is found in cumin acts as an antioxidant. Vitamin E is particularly good for healthy, glowing skin. It’s also pretty high in vitamin C, so like many spices on my list today, it can be a powerful immune booster. Lastly, cumin is anti-congestive, antiviral, and antibacterial meaning it’s great for warding off infection or clearing up the airways while under respiratory stress.

Cocoa

Cocoa is rich in polyphenols; these are the same compounds that are found in red wine and give it its reported benefits.

Cocoa may provide numerous heart and blood benefits, such as lowering high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels through its ability to improve nitric oxide levels and dilating blood vessels and arteries. Each of these areas helps reduce the risk of stroke and hearth attack.

Cocoa has been shown to improve brain function, mood and symptoms of depression, which might explain why people love to each chocolate.

The flavanols in cocoa have also been shown to improve symptoms of Type-2 diabetes.

Cocoa may also provide anit-cancer benefit and aid in weight loss.

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