Herbs and spices add loads of flavor to your favorite dishes, but they could also add health benefits to your diet. These plant-based flavorings contain lots of healthy, natural components that might provide specific benefits. Many herbs and spices include components that have an antioxidant effect and can reduce inflammation. Find out more about different seasonings and how they could help.
Cinnamon is a popular spice that's often used in desserts and sometimes in savory dishes. It comes from cinnamon tree bark and provides a touch of sweetness without adding sugar. While it adds rich flavor to your dishes, it can also help lower your blood sugar. This can be especially helpful if you have type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon can help improve your body's insulin sensitivity. Keep in mind that you should never replace medication with cinnamon, especially if you've been diagnosed with diabetes and are on medication to control the condition.
This spice could offer other benefits, too. It gives your body an antioxidant effect. It could help reduce inflammation, which could reduce your risk of some diseases and may ease pain and swelling you have. Your heart might also get a boost from cinnamon thanks to potentially reduced cholesterol and triglycerides.
The strong flavor of garlic adds a punch to all types of savory foods, but it can also offer heart-healthy benefits. Garlic could help improve flexibility in your blood vessels. This can be especially beneficial as you get older, as your arteries can naturally harden from buildup on the walls. It could also help lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can support heart health. Plus, garlic could help you get over some illnesses, like the common cold. Having garlic breath could be worth it to gain those potential health benefits. Add garlic to soup, marinades, pizza, pasta and other dishes to enjoy the flavor and the benefits.
A popular ingredient in curry, turmeric can add flavor to many dishes. The curcumin in turmeric could help reduce inflammation throughout the body. In the brain, reduced inflammation could help improve memory and reduce cognitive decline, which would be a major benefit as you age. Chronic pain can be an issue with age, and reducing inflammation could ease some of that pain. You can add dried turmeric to soups and other savory dishes. Another popular option is to sip on golden milk, which is milk with turmeric, sweetener and your choice of other spices like cinnamon, ginger and black pepper.
Another spice that could potentially help with pain is cayenne pepper. The capsaicin in cayenne can ease the pain signals to your brain so it doesn't register the pain as much. Eating cayenne pepper could help ease the pain of ulcers and cut down on the growth of the bacteria that causes them. Capsaicin might also help suppress your appetite and boost fat burning, which could help you lose weight. Controlling your weight can reduce your risk of some diseases. Losing weight also eases the pressure on your joints, which could help reduce pain.
If you have tummy issues regularly, ginger could be your go-to spice for calming your stomach. It's known to help ease an upset stomach or nausea. People sometimes use it to calm seasickness or motion sickness. It might help if you're receiving chemotherapy and have nausea as a side effect. However, you should always talk to your doctor to make sure ginger won't interfere with your chemotherapy treatment. Peppermint is also known to soothe nausea.
You can use fresh ginger in many recipes or boil a piece of fresh ginger root in water and add cinnamon and honey to make a soothing ginger tea. You can also find it in candies, lollipops and other convenient forms that are ready to consume.
If your iron is low, adding cumin to your food could help. That's because cumin is a natural source of iron. You can get 17.5% of your daily intake of iron from a teaspoon of cumin, making it one of the most iron-dense foods. Having enough iron in your diet is important for preventing anemia and keeping your energy levels high.
Cumin can offer other health benefits, too. It could support your digestive health by speeding up digestion and improving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It could also help minimize the effects of diabetes, improve your cholesterol and act as an antioxidant. Trying adding it to a variety of meals like curry, rice, soup and sauces.
Avoiding sickness as you get older is important. Rosemary could help with that thanks to it being an antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. This could help your immune system fight off infections. The carnosic acid in rosemary has antioxidant powers that could help slow down cancer cell growth. Rosemary could also help with stress relief and improved memory and concentration, which can be a nice bonus for older adults. Try rosemary with fish, pork, chicken, potatoes, soups and vegetables to add this healthy herb to your meals.
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