For most of us, spices are just colourful little bags we buy because the recipe says we have to. But for people who inhabited the Earth long before we did, spices were much more than just something they added to food in order to improve its taste. Did you know that pepper was once worth its weight in gold? Or that nutmeg was responsible for starting a riot and numerous financial loses?
Throughout time, with the discovery of new spices, people learned the real value of these magic little ingredients, not just for gastronomy, but also for curing different types of conditions. In modern times, more and more studies are supporting ancient beliefs, which is why we decided to let you in on some spice secrets, and teach you a little something about how to get the most from these magic powders. Let’s see what the best spices are, and what you can use them for, health-wise:
This spice is mostly used in Indian and Scandinavian cuisine, and is considered a miracle ingredient in the Ayurveda medicine. With its specific aroma and lemon-like taste, cardamom is marvelous when it comes to curing teeth conditions, kidney stones or stomach aches. Add a few cardamom seeds to your coffee, and you will also get a drink with rich aroma. Did you know that cardamom is also called the plant of love due to its aphrodisiac properties?
This exotic spice is related to cinnamon, and it is considered to be the royal spice of Holland, where you can find it in a numerous types of foods. Used as a powder, nutmeg can be added to mashed potatoes, cream soups, and various sauces. As for its health benefits, nutmeg is high on vitamins and minerals (potassium, calcium, iron) that are great for your immune system, helps digestion, and keeps your brain functioning properly. If you mix honey and nutmeg powder and use it as a face mask, you will have a healthier and cleaner skin in no time. It also does wonders for acne.
Smoked paprika is a spice obtained by grinding dry and smoked chili peppers in oak tree containers, and it is most common in Hungary, Serbia, California and Spain. You can add this spice to any type of stake, on French fries, soups or rice meals. Its health benefits are well-known: protects your eyesight, prevents blood clots, improves blood circulations, and also has an antioxidant role. You can use smoke paprika in weight loss diets, since it a wonderful energy booster, and burns fats.
Turmeric is one of the most known spices, and also one of the most used in ancient India, especially for curing wounds, cuts and scars. Studies have shown that this spice can improve arthritis, dental pains, and can also keep your blood sugar levels low. Turmeric has an intense flavor, so you should not exaggerate when using it. Add it in various meals, such as chicken duck or turkey dishes, or in rice, for a beautiful color. A lot of people also use it as a dressing, alongside olive oil, for vegetable salads.
Our last spice is saffron, it comes from ancient Nepal, and it is currently most produced in Iran. We’re sure you have already heard about the miraculous properties of saffron, this famous spice can treat depression and insomnia, prevent gastric acidity, and fight with urinary infections. Saffron is high on vitamins, iron, potassium, sodium and pro-vitamins, and has antioxidants properties. The cosmetic industry has started to use saffron in their anti-acne drugs and creams, and other acne-related skin conditions.
Other worth mentioning spices are: poppy seeds great for lowering cholesterol levels, anise great for improving rheumatic pains, fennel for improving your immune system, and clove for dental pains.
Spice up your foods and drinks with these ancient remedies, add them to your regular diet, and you will surely see improvements in just a few months. What’s your favorite spice?