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Spices with healing powers

Many are familiar with the improved flavour that spices add to food. But beyond being used as delicious components of daily meals, spices have power to combat and prevent diseases. Here are some worth considering in your next culinary undertakings for improved flavour and a boost of health

1. Rosemary

Rosemary contains acids that improve liver and heart function. It’s rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps eliminate free radicals responsible for causing chronic illnesses.

By stimulating adrenal glands, it provides energy, boosts mood and relieves stress. Consuming rosemary will keep your brain from aging by protecting cells from damage. The herb helps prevent breast cancer by blocking oestrogen.

2. Cayenne

Cayenne has an impressive nutritional profile comprising proteins, manganese, fibre and potassium. This hot pepper is used in production of different medications owing to its ability to combat a wide range of health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and muscle pain. It’s a traditional cold remedy and works by shrinking blood vessels in the nose to relieve congestion.

Cayenne is also a metabolism booster as it increases heat produced in the body and helps with burning calories. Capsaicin, a chemical found in the peppers, reduce hunger and helps in weight loss as one feels fuller for longer while consuming less calories.

3. Cinnamon

Blood sugar control in people with diabetes is one of its effective uses. For people looking to fight sugar cravings, taking cinnamon is advised due to its ability to regulate blood sugar. It’s been known to combat bacteria such as E coli, which sometimes causes diarrhoea.

Treating nausea, constipation, flatulence and lowering bad cholesterol are some of its other healing properties. The fibre rich herb also helps in fighting heartburn.

4. Thyme

Flowers, leaves and oil of thyme are great in supporting the immune, nervous and digestive systems in the body. Thyme oil helps in relieving sore throats due to its strong ability to kill germs.

It’s effective in treating hypertension by controlling blood pressure in addition to reducing cholesterol levels. Adding thyme to meals decreases the likelihood of contracting a food-borne illness as it kills infectious bacteria that may be present.

Besides fighting cancer-causing tumours, thyme is a great mood booster as it helps in production of dopamine, which is responsible for relaxation and pleasure.

5. Ginger

Ginger has long been used as a remedy for digestive problems and nausea. The root with powerful anti-oxidant properties works by hampering the effects of serotonin, a chemical produced by the brain and the stomach when one is nauseated.

Ginger helps treat migraines, reduces pain and swelling caused by arthritis all thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects. Regulating blood pressure and decreasing blood clots during menstruation are among other healing benefits of ginger.

6. Turmeric

This peppery spice with a pretty yellow colour has powerful cancer fighting properties. Turmeric derives its colour from a chemical called curcumin, which helps stifle tumour growth and clears carcinogens before they can damage cells in the body.

It’s also effective in halting the growth, spread of cancer cells and protects against colon, breast, skin, prostrate and lung cancer. Owing to its strong anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is effective in treatment of digestive problems.

7. Garlic

Garlic derives its strong odour from a sulphur compound that’s packed with numerous medicinal properties. Its antifungal and antibacterial abilities help with fighting yeast infections, colds and sinus infections.

Daily consumption of garlic lowers the risk of heart diseases by reducing cholesterol levels and thinning blood to avoid clots. Interestingly, garlic is used in treating baldness on the scalp, face or other part of the body. Applying garlic in the affected areas will help the hair to grow. Antioxidants contained in garlic protect the nervous system dementia Alzheimer’s disease.

8. Cumin seeds

Rich in iron, cumin seeds are essential in boosting metabolism, energy production and bolstering the immune system. Consuming the spice stimulates production of pancreatic enzymes to help with proper digestion and nutrients absorption. It may also boost the liver’s ability to detoxify helping the body get rid of toxins.

Cumin can be used in soups, curries and vegetables. The bonus for this spice has to be its ability to protect against memory and reduce effects of stress in the body.

9. Black pepper

Black pepper may be a spice to consider for those looking for a youthful look and good skin. When used with honey and crushed pepper, it serves as strong exfoliator as it improves blood circulation on the skin and supplies the organ with more oxygen.

Adding it to your food helps in fighting wrinkles. It is also rich in antioxidants, which help remove disease-causing free radicals from the body. Relieving coughs, alleviating chest congestion are among other benefits of black pepper. Better still, black pepper increases metabolism, helps break down fats and aids in weight loss.

10. Cardamom

Its distinct taste and strong aromatic fragrance makes cardamom a widely preferred spice, especially in pastries and teas. Cardamom is a remedy for indigestion and flatulence. The spice is believed to contain antidepressant properties with its oil being majorly used in aromatherapy and is thus used in healing depression.

It helps treat asthma and other respiratory illnesses by opening up constricted windpipes and cause relaxation of tracheal tissues. When chewed, cardamoms help freshen breathe. Cardamom is believed to contain aphrodisiac properties and to contain cure for impotence and premature ejaculation.

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