WELLNESS--Spices, herbs, and natural flavoring may not just enhance our taste buds. Recent studies are showing that spicing up your mealtime may in fact lower your risk of certain diseases and may also help to reduce inflammation in your body.
Often nature has many of the answers that we’ve been searching for and herbs and spices are a great example of this.
Here is a small list of my favorite spices and how they’ve been shown to enhance your overall health:
Black Pepper - Black pepper is rich in piperine which has been shown to slow, reduce or even kill certain types of cancer cells relating to breast, prostate, colon, lung, liver, stomach, and cervix. Piperine has also exhibited anti-inflammatory effects and may help reduce the pain relating to Arthritis and gout.
Turmeric - This bright orange spice has been used in Ayurvedic traditions for thousands of years. It has shown great promise in lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, and even heart disease. The active ingredient curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is often recommended by doctors to help fight the symptoms or Arthritis and sports injuries.
Oregano - Oregano has potent anti-microbial properties and is incredibly effective during cold and flu season. Using oil of oregano drops under the tongue along with fresh oregano in your cooking has been shown to boost immunity and ward off certain infections.
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt - Salt has had a bad rap. For those with high blood pressure, it is wise to minimize sodium intake but tests have shown that pink Himalayan sea salt contains 80 + trace minerals and may help to alkalize the body.
Basil - Fragrant basil is packed with Vitamin K which helps our bodies to better absorb Vitamin D3. Vitamin K also promotes proper blood clotting, and supports our bones. Basil may also offer DNA protection and has antibacterial properties to help fight off infections.
Sage - According to the Journal of Psychopharmacology, sage has been shown to benefit people’s memory. Sage supplements have also been studied for their power to reduce anxiety symptoms.
Garlic - Garlic contains the sulphur compound called allicin which has numerous health benefits. Garlic is known to reduce bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, inhibit the common cold and flu, and may even fight cancerous cells.
Rosemary - Rosemary also has anti-inflammatory effects and supports healthy eye health. Rosemary also positively affects the brain and may even lower the risk of certain cancers including breast and blood.
Curry - Various colors of curry are often used in Thai and Indian cuisine. Curry has long been researched to reduce inflammation in the body, and to fight harmful free radicals from attacking our cells. Curry may also support proper liver health and detoxification.
Ginger - Ginger tea has been used as a remedy for digestive issues, nausea, and motion sickness for thousands of years. It also has immune-boosting properties, and has been shown to reduce overall inflammation in the body.
Cinnamon - Cinnamon has antifungal and antibacterial properties and has been researched for its benefits in lowering blood sugar in the body. It has anti-inflammatory effects and is considered a superfood because of its high antioxidant content.
There are numerous studies worldwide that show the positive health benefits of herbs and spices.
This week why not experiment with your cooking? The next time you’re at the supermarket look for fresh, organic herbs and try something new. Not only will your taste buds thank you but you’ll definitely be doing your health and your body some good!
Alert! Always check with your doctor to ensure that specific herbs and spices won’t interact with your current medications or pre-existing health issues.
(Jay Bradley is an Anti-aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach living in Los Angeles.