Integrative Nutrition Blog

Why You Should Be Using These 6 Healthy Spices

November 29, 2016

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Whether in a hearty soup, a warm cup of tea or a cut of meat, spices not only add flavor to your food and drinks, but they also have ample health benefits. If you suffer from digestive issues, for instance, cinnamon can soothe your stomach. Struggling with insomnia? Nutmeg can help with that.

Here’s a rundown of spices that can make you healthier from head to toe.

Turmeric
What can’t turmeric do? This spice, popular in Indian cuisine, can improve health in just about every way possible. Turmeric contains the powerful antioxidant curcumin, which has been shown to protect the body against cancer and may even increase lifespan. Turmeric can also prevent plaque buildup in arteries, calm an upset stomach and fight Alzheimer’s. Check out these suggestions from The Kitchn for adding turmeric to your diet.

Cinnamon
Like turmeric, cinnamon may also ease your tummy troubles and protect against Alzheimer’s. In addition, it can help regulate blood sugar levels and menstrual cycles. Get a dose of both turmeric and cinnamon with this quick “Golden Milk” tea recipe from Wellness Mama.

Nutmeg
Nutmeg is a popular spice during the holidays and a natural sleep aid. It may also help with anxiety, stomach ailments and joint pain. Just be careful not to consume too much of it, as an overdose can cause nausea and even hallucinations. Nutmeg pairs well with seasonal favorites such as butternut squash for a hint of sweetness.

Ginger
The warming effect of ginger is perfect for those cold winter days. Ginger has also been shown to reduce cholesterol, and decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It’s also a popular nausea reliever. In fact, ginger may be better than vitamin B6 at treating an upset stomach. Spice up your dessert this holiday season with ginger molasses cookies!

Oregano
Oregano, popular in Mediterranean foods, may reduce the risk of colon cancer. It’s also rich in vitamin K, antioxidants and may have healing powers when you’re feeling sick. Oregano oil, in particular, has been touted in studies as a remedy for fighting some viral and bacterial infections. You can add dried oregano to your salads and meats, like this chicken dish from Epicurious that combines lemon, garlic and oregano.

Coriander
Coriander seed is packed with antioxidants and can relax digestive muscles to treat stomach problems. Like oregano, coriander may also have antimicrobial properties. Cook up a spice-filled side dish like these crispy coriander potatoes from Food Network, which also feature fennel seeds, turmeric and thyme.

What’s your favorite spice-filled recipe? Share it here!

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