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Our kitchen cabinets are filled with spices and while we tend to pour them on liberally for flavor we tend to take them for granted. They can do a lot more than flavor our dinner. Here are some super spices that pack more health benefits than you might have known.
Lovingly referred to as the “Queen of Spices” it boasts antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric is what makes it so special and turmeric happens to be one of the only readily available, edible forms of it. A 2007 study also showed curcumin to have anticancer properties with the potential to fight malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. Since it tends to lose its punch fairly quickly make sure you buy in quantities to last only a few months or instead opt for fresh turmeric root. This Indian spice goes well in lentil dishes, curried chicken salads, over a green salad and adds extra healing power to home made chicken soup when you’re under the weather.
According the American Diabetes Association regular consumption of between one and 6 grams of cinnamon helps reduce blood glucose, triglyceride and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It can also help short-term spikes in blood sugar, making it a perfect addition for high carbohydrate foods such as oatmeal and rice pudding, which tend to spike blood sugar levels. Cinnamon also contains strong antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties making it an excellent addition when trying to fight a cold. Besides adding it to your food try sprinkling some in your coffee or even using it as a face mask with a little coconut oil to help fight acne.
While best known to help soothe a queasy stomach, ginger is also thought to help reduce pain and inflammation thanks to gingerol- a chemical found in ginger. If you suffer from arthritis, frequent migraines or menstrual cramps adding some ginger to your diet just might help reduce the pain. Fresh ginger is more potent than the powdered variety and it makes a delicious addition to herbal teas, baked goods and it can even be added to fruit or vegetable juices. Or try making your own oil for achy muscles by mixing a few spoonfuls’ of ginger with sweet almond oil.
Jacqueline Banks, who grew up in Casa de Campo, is a certified holistic health counselor and busy mother. Her focus is on helping other busy moms in all stages of motherhood keep themselves and families healthy and happy.
She uses natural and organic solutions to solve individual health problems and promote clean living.
Check out her website at: www.jacquelinebanks.com