The Easiest Spice To Incorporate Into Your Daily Routine, According To An Expert

mbg Editorial Assistant By Christina Coughlin
mbg Editorial Assistant
Christina Coughlin is an editorial assistant at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2019 with a degree in psychology and music.
Overhead of a Variety of Spices

Image by Marc Tran / Stocksy

Here at mbg, we are all about spices. Not only do they add delicious flavor boosts to an ordinary meal, but they have numerous health benefits as well. Sometimes it can be hard to pick just one and figure out how to use it, so we consulted spice expert Kanchan Koya, Ph.D.

According to Koya, the possibilities are endless! When we asked her what spice is easiest to incorporate into a daily routine, she gave us two: paprika and cayenne. Both from the same larger "family" of chili powders, the spices differ in texture and taste.

What are the health benefits?

According to Koya, "This family of spices contain capsaicin and related compounds with anti-inflammatory and microbiome-nourishing effects."

Capsaicin is a component of chili powders that has numerous health benefits, helping to control our appetites and increase metabolism. In fact, a recent study found that consumption of chili peppers may reduce a person's risk of death by up to 23%. While paprika is full of antioxidants, cayenne is a great energy-booster. Either one provides a simple and effective way to improve overall health.

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How can you use them?

The spices work in different ways. "While cayenne is spicy, paprika is mild and sweet and can complement a plethora of routine foods," says Koya.

She suggests putting paprika on any simple dishes, like roasted vegetables, fish, meats, and even popcorn. The complementary cayenne works nicely on beans, eggs, and Mexican-style foods. Both applications are simple—just add a dash of the powder into the dish and you're all set.

For more ways that these spices can benefit your taste buds and your body, check out these six spices to boost energy or five spices that help with weight loss

Want your passion for wellness to change the world? Become A Functional Nutrition Coach! Enroll today to join our upcoming live office hours.

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