Spices often overlook some of our kitchen except for cooking use but these foods are some of the most powerful sources of nutrients. Read this list of exquisite spices that inject delicious flavour into your food and while bringing forth healthy food benefits.
Cinnamon is sourced from the inner barks of cinnamon trees. The cinnamon sticks we are familiar with are from the Cassia Cinnamon variety. Cinnamon gets its aromatic flavour and scent from a unique compound called cinnamaldehyde that yields impressive health benefits. For instance, studies have shown that using cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants which help the body chronic disease, including the aforementioned type 2 diabetes. How can you enjoy this fragrant spice, then? Try cinnamon as a breath freshener, just chew on a cinnamon stick and it will unpleasant oral bacteria. Sprinkle it into your meals like oatmeal, hot beverages and baked goodies for a spice kick.
Ginger is an essential ingredient for cooking around the world such as in Indian, Asian and Caribbean cuisine. The pungent and peppery flavour is noted for helping many to alleviate nausea, bloating and soothing menstrual cramps. Ginger is a go-to ingredient for when you have a cold as it provides an immunity boost to fight off infections and bacteria. A simple remedy using ginger to grate 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger then mix with 1-2 cups of boiling water. Allow to steep and add a teaspoon of honey. Don’t limit yourself with ginger teas, there are so many ways to enjoy ginger, you can add it into your soups, stir-frys, marinades, smoothies, stews and curries for spicy aroma.
Turmeric, also called saffron or “hardi” in Trinidad and Tobago is known for its bright yellow color or curcumin. Curcumin is the compound responsible for most of turmeric’s awesome health benefits. Curcumin can promote healthier blood flow and blood pressure regulation. Turmeric is used by many for cosmetic purposes for facial masks that claim to even out the skin tone and leave a beaming glow. This spice is available as a powder and in the raw vegetable state as a root that you can grate and use as desired. Similar to ginger, grate a small knob and boil in hot water for a natural spice tea.
Bright red and spicy, cayenne boast an incredible bold taste and colour to your cooking while also serving up nutritional benefits. Cayenne peppers are a type of chili pepper, originating from Latin America and are closely linked to bell peppers and jalapeños. Boost your metabolism with cayenne containing capsaicin, the compound responsible for the heat of this pepper but also containing metabolism-boosting properties. With the heat produced, this assists increasing blood flow and can increase your calorie burn. If you are already a fan of spicy food, adding cayenne pepper is a no-brainer and should be easy to integrate. Try it in its various forms including as a raw pepper, powdered spice or supplement. Simply add a pinch of cayenne pepper spice to many of your favorite foods, such as eggs, soups, meats and sauces.