Why You Should Spice Up Your Life

Thursday, February 12, 2015 | 10:34 pm

Most of us would not even consider making our favorite dishes without adding seasoning to enhance the flavor. Ever add cinnamon to your oatmeal or coffee? Maybe rosemary or sage to your chicken? How many of you are fans of Indian cuisine with its pungent spices? You may think you are just making your favorite drinks and dishes more flavorful, but spicing up your meals does not just make them taste better — it can also be beneficial to your health.

The benefits spices offer you in terms of your health are endless. They can help control blood sugar, protect against inflammation that can contribute to chronic diseases and they can play a role in weight management. Spicing up your life is a way to enhance meals and optimize our health at the same time.

Find out what health promoting spices you may already have in your cupboard or spice rack and their benefits. Experiment with some of these disease-fighting spices to perk up your meals while improving your health.

Cinnamon: This spice could become a diabetic’s new best friend. Cinnamon has a remarkable effect on regulating blood sugar. It is even involved in regulating blood pressure in type II diabetics.

Cumin: Are your joints achy from arthritis? Black cumin can help reduce inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Cumin is a good source of iron and like cinnamon; animal studies have shown it may help lower blood glucose levels.

Turmeric: This bright yellow spice, which gives curry its fame, is part of the ginger family. Turmeric has potent antioxidant qualities. This same antioxidant quality may make it a cancer fighter.

Oregano: It wouldn’t be Italian without oregano. Oregano is loaded with antioxidants and can help fend off bacteria. When it comes to natural disinfectants, oregano oil has been found to be a potent antimicrobial, followed by allspice and garlic.

Ginger: This spice sooths an upset stomach and has anti-inflammatory benefits. It can also bring relief for cough and congestion from a cold or flu.

Rosemary: You either love or hate this strong spice, I happen to love it! Rosemary is an antioxidant but most importantly, it has antifungal and antibacterial activity. It has been shown to interfere with candidiasis growth (yeast infection).

There are endless benefits for your health and diet to using spices when preparing foods. I have listed the benefits of six spices in this article but all spices have some sort of benefit. Next time, before you reach for the salt, try being creative and experiment with different spices!

Dr. Tina Paul, BCND, Traditional Naturopath, Vibrant Living Wellness Center, 144 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, (626) 470-7711 or visit www.vibrantlivingwc.com.


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