Spices come with a host of health benefits, including boosting your immunity and keeping you protected from infections such as bacteria, virus etc. It is even said that including such spices in your diet, which come with unique immunity-boosting properties can prove to be beneficial this flu season. A sprinkle of it in your soups, smoothies, stews and baked goods can help your mind and body stay healthy.
List of few Spices that you can include in your daily diet:
CINNAMON: Cinnamon comes from the inner tree bark of several evergreen trees and is often used to flavour cereals, drinks and baked goodies such as delicious cinnamon rolls. It is packed with valuable nutrients including Vitamins A, B6, C, E and K. When compared with other spices and superfoods, it is on the top for protecting your body from free radicals.
Adding cinnamon to your diet can help in preventing heart diseases, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It even helps in fighting respiratory tract bacterial infections. In days gone by, the spice was native to Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar and Bangladesh, and was transported by the traders to Egypt so they could use it to embalm mummies!
CARDAMOM: Cardamom is derived from the seeds of several plants in the Zingiberaceae family and is native to the Indian subcontinent and Indonesia. The small pods are often used in curries and in Ayurvedic medicine to help prevent respiratory infections, coughs, colds and asthma.
These aromatic seeds are great for people with high blood pressure as they help to lower the levels. Studies show that cardamom increases the activity of specific enzymes which helps to fight certain types of cancer.
CORIANDER: Coriander, also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro is used in either ground spice or fresh leaf form. It helps in reducing blood pressure and can prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. Coriander contains potent antioxidants which helps to fight inflammation within the body. Studies show that it even manages anxiety with almost the same effect as some of the prescribed drugs.
HIMALAYAN SALT: Mined from the Salt Range mountains of Punjab in Pakistan, Himalayan salt contains over 80 elements and minerals that are beneficial to health. These pink granules are used in the same way as regular table salt. As it’s in a natural and unrefined form, it is much better for your health.
The benefits of seasoning your dishes with the Himalayan salt are ten-fold as it helps to balance electrolytes. This pink salt boosts your brain health and is healthy for the bones. It even regulates hormone levels and reduces the risk of sinus and respiratory problems.
BLACK PEPPER: Native to Kerala in Southern India, black pepper has been used in Indian cooking since around 2000 BCE. Today, it is farmed mainly in Vietnam but can also be found in other tropical regions including Indonesia and Brazil. Black pepper was often referred to as ‘black gold’ as it was an expensive commodity that only the wealthy could afford. It was the most traded spice in the world.
Today, black pepper is frequently used in seasoning dishes, in Ayurvedic oils and in few beauty treatments. It not only adds delicious flavour to recipes but also protects your body against inflammation, free radicals, premature ageing, certain cancers and heart disease.
GINGER: Ginger originated in Maritime Southeast Asia in countries like Indonesia, Borneo and Malaysia. It was one of the first spices to be exported through the trade routes to Europe and was regularly consumed by Greeks and Romans in their diets. It can be eaten in fresh or powdered spice form.
It is often used in flavouring dishes and is loaded with a nutritional value containing many Vitamin B numbers such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9. This form of spice can even fight flu symptoms and nausea. It reduces muscular pain and has anti-inflammatory benefits. Ginger can even treat chronic indigestion and lower blood sugar levels too.
TURMERIC: Turmeric is known for its healing powers. It contains Lipopolysaccharide, a substance with antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties that helps in stimulating the human immune system. Like good old customs, you can include Turmeric Milk in your diet to boost immunity.
CLOVE: It is commonly known as the winter spice and is another ingredient that has incredible immunity-boosting abilities. Clove is used in Ayurvedic remedies for cough and cold, and also works well in shielding your body against infections. You can use it in flavouring gravies, tea and even in hot water to give a soothing effect to your throat and chest.
Keep yourself and your family safe this Flu season!
PLEASE NOTE: Do not treat this is as a medical reference as it’s only based on information available online. Discontinue the use of any ingredient or spices, if you feel any allergic reaction to the herb.