When people start eating “healthy” or “clean” they often fear giving up tasty, delicious food for bland, plain, boring and in the case of some vegetables, bitter food. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it is completely the opposite.
Having completely overhauled my diet back in 2014, I was shocked and amazed at how much taste I was missing out on. I thought giving up my Vegemite toast, chicken roll and spaghetti bolognese for kale salads, chia seed smoothies and a range of vegetables meant I was giving up on taste. But boy was I wrong!
In addition to adding a range of delectable tastes to your food, spices have many health benefits.
As I dived deeper into the world of cooking and nutrition, I soon realised I was missing out BIG TIME! Never have I tasted such delicious, healthy and satiating foods. Adding spices to your food not only makes them taste delicious, but they are extremely good for you too.
Amazing Spices to Try Right Now
Used in Indian cooking for thousands of years, turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Consume it with black pepper to increase absorption into the bloodstream. Try adding turmeric to your omelette, frittata, vegetables or smoothies.
- Cayenne Pepper
Having been used for 9,000 years, cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which gives it its medicinal properties (and its hot taste). Cayenne pepper can increase metabolism, reduce headache pain, fight inflammation, ease the symptoms of joint and muscle pain such as experienced with fibromyalgia, lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and stop the spread of prostate cancer. Try adding cayenne pepper to your soups, stews, marinades and even your hot chocolate as the Latin Americans do.
Used in Mediterranean, Indian, African and Latin American cooking for centuries, cumin contains cuminaldehyde, cymene and terpenoids, which are an excellent source of dietary fibre, iron, calcium, B-complex vitamins and antioxidants. Cumin aids digestion, improves immunity, prevents skin disorders such as fungal and microbial infections, reducing signs of ageing, as well as treating insomnia and respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis. Try adding cumin to your omelette, mince or sprinkle it over your vegetables before roasting.
Originated in the West Indies and South America, paprika contains a lower dose of capsaicin than cayenne pepper, giving it a milder taste. Paprika has anti-inflammatory properties helping to reduce the swelling caused by arthritis and acne. It also helps to reduce blood pressure, aid digestion, enhance energy, improve eye health and promote sleep. Try adding paprika to any chicken or seafood dish.
This spice is made from the inner bark of trees and dates back as far as Ancient Egypt. Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and contains cinnamaldehyde, which give it its powerful health and metabolism benefits. Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties, helping to fight infections and repair tissue damage. It may also reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood sugar levels, help protect neurons and improve motor function against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and it even appears to cause death to cancer cells. Try adding cinnamon to your coffee, lamb, meatballs or even natural popcorn.
Spices have been used in cooking for thousands of years. In addition to adding a range of delectable tastes to your food, spices have many health benefits. Try adding one of these spices to your next meal to reduce any number of ailments and improve your health.
What is your favourite spice and what do you like to add it to?
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