Spices play a significant role in the way we cook and consume food around the world. Every spice has its own flavoring and essence, and its addition or omission can literally make or break a dish. There are many spices we use in our day to day cooking, these include popular ones like cumin, black pepper, turmeric and coriander seeds. In the ancient times. Spices are known to have several health benefits; in fact it’s the addition of a bouquet of spices that make traditional Indian home-cooked food one of the healthiest meals eaten around the world. Spices come with notable nutritional values and provide some major health benefits.
Here’s a list of 23 different spices, which you should start adding to your meals for healthy living:
1. Star Anise: Star Anise is a small seed, which is star shaped, comes from evergreen tree. It has licorice flavour, packed with antioxidant properties, which has vitamin Cand has anti-fungal uses and improves women’s health. It is rich in fibre and may help in preventing constipation. Fibre bulks up in the colon along the intestinal tract and attracts water, thus preventing constipation.
2. Basil: Basil is an herb in the Mint family. This herb’s scientific name is Ocimum basilicum, it adds flavor to meals, and its nutrients can provide health benefits. Basil is widely used for problems with the stomach, such as spasms, lack of appetite, intestinal gas, vomiting, constipation, and many other disorders. However, there is not sufficient medical evidence to support this use. Below we are discussing the health benefits of Basil or Tulsi.
3. Turmeric: This spice is packed with antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is good for your brain, relieves arthritis, prevents cancer and has healing properties. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties have been instrumental in treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The antioxidant also destroys the free radicals in the body that damage the cells.
4. Anise: Star anise is usually used for culinary purposes. Star anise is a rich source of two important antioxidants namely linalool, an essential oil, and vitamin C that protects the body against cellular damage caused by environmental toxins.
5. Allspice: It is a kind of berry that combines flavors of pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon for a power-packed flavour dose. It helps in digestion, has anti-inflammatory properties, improves circulation, promotes dental health, enhances immunity and promotes heart health.
6. Ajwain: Ajwainis also known as carom seeds. Carom seeds are often chewed for medicinal purposes. Despite a partially bitter taste, ajwain or carom seeds provide a whole host of health benefits. Ajwain promotes digestion, cures stomach ache and helps relieve tooth pain. These seeds are rich in calcium, proteins and fibre too.
7. Black Pepper: A pinch of black pepper when added to any recipe enhances the flavor manifold. Black pepper, also known as the king of spices, promotes weight loss, helps relieve cold and cough, improves digestion, boosts metabolism and treats many skin problems.
8. Black Cumin: Black cumin seed oil helps in preventing asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues. Contains antioxidants, beneficial acids and b-vitamins that balance the immune system. Black cumin seeds contain antioxidants, beneficial acids and b-vitamins that balance the immune system. Moreover, they have been found superior to almost every other natural remedy when used for autoimmune disorders.
9. Cumin: This seed has a bitter taste which is an essential part to Middle Eastern cuisines. It has the ability to aid digestion, improve immunity and treat skin disorders, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis and anemia. For centuries, light gravy flavoured with cumin or a glass of zeera water has been used in Indian household as a fool-proof remedy for digestive issues.
10. Clove: Cloves are antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic. They’re a powerhouse of antioxidants and are rich sources of minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and vitamins and minerals. Clove oil is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. In aromatherapy, it is used as an antiseptic and pain reliever especially for toothaches and stomach pain. It is often mixed with other oils to treat various disorders. For instance, those who have troubled sleep can apply some warm clove oil along with sesame oil on the forehead to feel calm and relaxed.
11. Coriander: It is also known by the name cilantro or dhaniya. Coriander comes packed with essential health benefits. It is not only beneficial when consumed fresh, adding coriander seeds to your daily food can also be very healthy. Coriander seeds have anti-oxidant properties and dietary fiber that advance the healthy working of the liver and facilitate bowel moments. They help in the generation of digestive compounds and juices that facilitate the procedure of digestion. In the event that you experience some indigestion, try and add coriander seeds in your diet. You will definitely notice a difference.
12. Chili Pepper: Chili peppers are healthy for you and provide you with various health benefits, apart from a spicy kick to your food. When added to your diet, these can be a good source of vitamin C, aids weight loss, lowers blood pressure and relieves congestion.
13. Saffron: It comes from a flower and has bright yellow color and a very distinctive aroma. It is often used in cooking to give its color and essence to the food. It helps manage asthma, aids in menstrual problems and soothes dry skin.
14. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a favourite household spice which has been used throughout the world for ages. It has large number of antioxidants which protects body from body diseases and have many anti-inflammatory. Cinnamon forms a part of many exotic dishes and is currently trending because of its ability to reduce a tummy bloat.
15. Caraway Seed: They are a good source of dietary fiber. They are used as tea and as a seasoning. It contains various essential vitamins like A, E, C as well as a number of B-complex vitamins. They remove harmful free radicals from the body. It is known to be a really effective treatment for cough.
16. Cardamom: Also known as elaichi, cardamom hails from India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Indonesia. It is the world’s third most expensive spice. A rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C, calcium, iron, and zinc, this spice promotes heart health, helps in digestion, enhances oral health, helps in diabetes, helps fight depression, fights asthma, prevents blood clots and treats skin infections.
17. Fennel: It is native to Southern Europe and grown all over Europe, Middle-East, China, India, and Turkey. This spice is a rich source of dietary fiber. Its powerful antioxidants helps in removing harmful free radicals from the body and promotes a healthy being, it helps fight aging and other degenerative neurological diseases.
18. Fenugreek: Cultivated in North Africa, the Middle East, Egypt and India, this ingredient has many medicinal uses. It improves digestion, is known to increase libido in men, promotes milk flow in mothers, helps those suffering from eating disorders and also reduces inflammation.
19. Bay leaves: Bay leaves are a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Also regular inclusion of bay leaves in meals promotes general health. 2. They have been proven to be useful in the treatment of migraines
20. Mace: Mace is the outer coat of the nutmeg seed and is quite similar to nutmeg in actual taste and flavour. Mace aids your appetite, helps manage stress and enhances blood circulation. It also acts as a fragrance, has anti-inflammatory properties and protect your kidneys.
21. Mustard: This seed comes from the ground and has a spicy flavor. Native to the temperate areas of Europe, mustard helps reduce pain, stimulates appetite and relieves symptoms of arthritis. According to a study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, including mustard oil in your regular diet could prove to be beneficial to your heart health. Being a rich source of MUFA, it lowers bad cholesterol in the body, thus keeping a check on blood fat levels and helping in circulation.
22. Nutmeg: It is a popular spice used in cooking across the world and it is also famous for its health benefits. In ancient times, nutmegs were used for numerous remedies to improve health. It improves bad breath, helps detox the livers, helps you to sleep well and is known to improve the texture of your skin.
23. Dry ginger: Dry ginger facilitates weight loss by improving digestion, which helps in burning stored fat and processing glucose in the blood. It also speeds up metabolism and controls fat absorption, thanks to its thermo genic properties. Another benefit of dry ginger is its ability to curb hunger and overeating .