My kitchen spice rack is like my own little pharmacy, and I try to incorporate its contents into each and every meal, from stir-fries to smoothies.
The dried parts of plants can add flavor and color to any dish and keep food free of harmful invaders, not to mention, spices are powerful antioxidants packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, and their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties can help keep the immune systems robust.
Spices have been shown to prevent and treat more than 100 different conditions. Research has found that the low dementia rate in India is due, in part, to the culture's high intake of turmeric, while cancer rates have also been shown to be lower in countries that use more spices.
If you are looking to work the healing benefits of spices into your everyday eating, here are some fun ideas to explore:
Add warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom to smoothies or to steamed milk. A study found that cinnamon helped regulate the blood pressure of patients with type 2 diabetes and healthy subjects.
Salads and Sandwiches
Add chives, basil, fennel or mustard seeds, cumin, and mint into the base of your leafy green salads and sandwiches, and throw in some garlic, basil, and ginger to vinaigrettes for a spice-infused salad dressing. Besides adding a tasty kick to meals, basil offers a host of health benefits, including being a powerful antioxidant. Similarly, garlic is a detox heavy hitter that's been shown to lower cholesterol, balance blood sugar, and regulate blood pressure.
Mustard contains turmeric—a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound that has been shown to soothe digestive problems, speed wound healing, prevent infection, relieve headache, improve blood flow, and even clear up skin problems. Dress your next sandwich with the healthy condiment.
The main ingredient in curry powder is turmeric, so marinate your lean meats in the flavorful, healthful rub.
Stir fry vegetables in a curry powder for an Indian flair or with ginger and garlic for an Asian twist. Ginger is great for calming an upset stomach, and studies have lauded its ability to combat acid reflux.
Add extra flavor to scrambled eggs with a handful of fresh parsley or chives, or color soft tofu with turmeric as an egg-scramble substitute. Parsley is a rich source of vitamins A and C and boasts powerful antioxidant effects.
Add saffron to savory rice or make a rice pudding with cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add oregano, ground rosemary, and cracked peppercorns to pasta. Add saffron to savory rice or make a rice pudding with cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add oregano, ground rosemary, and cracked peppercorns to pasta. Oregano is another potent antioxidant, while rosemary offers anti-inflammatory benefits.Invite spices to warm your body, tickle your taste buds, wake up your mind, and penetrate your soul with an abundance of gifts.