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Why We Need Spices in Our Diets

Health Benefits of Spices

Incorporating a diverse array of spices into your diet can yield numerous health benefits. Studies have linked spice consumption to improved blood sugar health, enhanced blood vessel function, better digestive health, increased satiety after meals, and even a reduced risk of mortality.

Here is a list of specific spices and their unique health benefits as shown in research studies:

Cardamom: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, cardamom also supports blood sugar health, cell protection, and heart health.

Cinnamon: This popular spice boasts anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to benefit blood sugar regulation and heart health.

Cumin: With benefits for blood sugar health, cell protection, and heart health, cumin is a versatile spice with diverse advantages.

Fennel: Renowned for its digestive benefits, fennel also contributes to hormonal health.

Garlic: Garlic offers anti-inflammatory properties along with benefits for blood sugar, blood vessel, cell, heart, and liver health.

Ginger: Widely recognised for its anti-inflammatory effects, ginger supports blood sugar health, cell protection, digestive health, heart health, and pain relief.

Saffron: This prized spice promotes blood sugar health, brain health, cell protection, and heart health.

Turmeric: Celebrated for its potent anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric also benefits blood sugar health, brain health, digestive health, and heart health.

Buying and Storing Spices

  • When purchasing spices, opt for varieties free of fillers and artificial additives (e.g., sugar, maltodextrin, gluten, artificial colours, preservatives, synthetic anti-caking agents).

  • Store spices in air-tight glass or tin containers in a cool, dark place to preserve freshness. Heat, light, and moisture cause flavour loss over time. High temperatures can also cause spices to lose colour or harden.

  • Spices can be bought in many different forms - fresh, dried whole, cracked or finely ground. Ground spices typically last about a year, while whole spices can remain potent for 2-3 years when stored properly.

  • To test whether a spice is still potent, rub a small amount between your fingers and smell for the aroma.

Incorporating Spices into Your Diet

Enhance your meals by incorporating spices in various ways:

  • Add cinnamon or ginger to your morning smoothies or coffee.

  • Sprinkle cumin, red pepper, or fennel seeds into soups for an extra flavour boost.

  • Experiment with stewing fruits alongside cinnamon sticks, cardamom, or vanilla pods for a delightful dessert.

  • Marinate lean meats in curry powder or paste for a flavourful twist.

  • Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over oatmeal or whole-grain toast to elevate your breakfast.

  • Explore cuisines from around the world to experience a wide range of spice combinations.

Overall Takeaway

Spices offer more than just flavour—they pack a powerful punch of health benefits. Aim to incorporate a variety of spices into your daily meals to harness their potential for enhancing health and well-being.

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