Why You Should Spice Up Your Health
As a creative person, one of my favorite parts of the kitchen is the spice cabinet. Spices and herbs are a great way to add flavor and color to a favorite dish, so I spend a lot of time there.
I do favor a specific group of dried spices: cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon and ginger. I find they not only deliver a powerful punch of flavor to each dish, but the wide range of health benefits they provide make them essential in the kitchen.
Cayenne – The capsaicin is the “heat” in this pepper and is known to have a wide range of health benefits whether used internally or topically.
- Reduces inflammation
- Relieves pain
- Help fight cough, congestion & colds
- Boosts metabolism by raising body temperature which helps burn calories
- Helps lower blood pressure
Turmeric – Curcumin is a major component of turmeric and it is responsible for the bright yellow color and properties beneficial to health. How you consume turmeric may improve the benefits of the spice – take turmeric with a source of fat (oils or nut butters) or black pepper.
- Natural anti-inflammatory
- Antioxidant which helps prevent and manage heart disease
- Can affect cancer growth and formation
- Counteracts the effects of carcinogens
- Helps reduce the symptoms of skin conditions
Cinnamon – Comes from the bark of various species of cinnamon trees, but all cinnamon is not equally beneficial.
Cinnamon cassia is the more common type and found on most store shelves. Cassia is safe to eat in small to moderate amounts, but it includes a compound called coumarin. Consuming too much of this may harm your liver and cause health problems.
Ceylon cinnamon is the “true” cinnamon and the one you want to use thanks to its many health benefits.
- Boosts metabolism
- Improves intestinal health
- Protects against heart disease
- Control blood sugar levels
- Improves how the brain responds to insulin
Ginger –Consumed in numerous forms – more commonly fresh or ground. It has a peppery, slightly sweet taste with a strong spicy smell.
- Helps prevent/treat arthritis
- Provides relief from stomach discomfort
- Aids in digestion
- Relieve or prevent constipation
- Alleviates nausea and morning sickness
Megan Ware, RDN, L.D. The health benefits of cayenne pepper Medicalnewstoday 2020, January 3
Kocaadam B. Sanlier N. Curcumin, an active component of turmeric (Curcuma longa) and its effects on health Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2017 Sept 2;57(13):2889-2895
Watson, Kathryn What are the benefits of ceylon cinnamon MedicalNewsToday 2017, April 18
Abraham, Klaus et al. “Toxicology and risk assessment of coumarin: focus on human data.” Molecular nutrition & food research vol. 54,2 (2010): 228-39. doi:10.1002/mnfr.200900281
Fletcher, Jenna Why is ginger good for you? MedicalNewsToday 2020, January 18
After trying many different spice racks I have found my new favorite. (Pictured above)
- Wide mouth bottles make them easy to fill with the included funnel
- Generous 3.4 oz clear bottles keep a good supply of your favorite spices on hand
- Clear glass means you can always see how much spice is left and it’s thick so not easily broken
- Attached swing lids seal airtight and won’t get lost on the counter
- Includes fancy “chalkboard” labels & a liquid chalk pen
Best of all? I picked up a full set of one dozen spice jars and 40 labels for under $20 on Amazon.
Strep Throat Herbal Remedy
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 tablespoons of raw honey
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
Mix all spices in a small bowl and take 1/2 teaspoon every 1/2 hour until gone.
Let the mixture sit at the back of the throat for a little before swallowing.
Ref. School of Natural Healing. Dr. Christopher