Cooking your own food is a great way to make sure you know exactly what goes into it, and adding a few health-boosting spices can make a home-cooked meal even more savory. Fortunately many of the spices we use to make our plates a gustatory and olfactory delight are also very beneficial to our bodies, too. Here are 5 awesome spices you should be cooking with all the time.
Used in numerous Latin, Asian and Mediterranean dishes, cilantro offers dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and essential oils as well as antioxidants that help to fight a long list of diseases. One ounce of cilantro provides about 38% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A and 109% of the RDA for vitamin K. It is also a rich source of Vitamins c and B-6, as well as numerous trace minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. Cilantro is an analgesic, and aphrodisiac, has fungicidal properties and also helps with digestion.
Ginger in used in countless dishes for delectable taste, but the health benefits ginger may just outweigh its delightful flavor. Ginger can be used as a detoxifier and can even prevent stomach ailments from eating ‘bad’ seafood. Perhaps most notable is ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to reduce pain and swelling, purifies the blood, and protects against anti-inflammatory-related disease. It has been used in the East for centuries for everything from increasing energy to treating a stuffy nose and head congestion.
If you love curries, then turmeric can be a great spice to add to your rice dishes, vegetables, and curried foods. This super-spice comes from tubular roots that grow profusely in India, and its bright orange color tells of its medicinal benefits. Turmeric has been known to be better at reducing inflammation and pain in the body than Motrin. It is antiseptic and antibiotic, is a natural pain-killer and cox-2 inhibitor, treats depression in Chinese medicine, reduces many forms of cancer, slows mental dementia in Alzheimer’s patients, stops the growth of new blood vessels in unwanted tumors and speeds up wound healing. This powerful spice is a must-have for any health conscious cook.
Like turmeric and ginger, garlic is extremely beneficial. This stand-by spice for many gourmet kitchens is a natural antioxidant, helps support gut health, is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and can even be put in your pet’s food to keep fleas away.
5. Pine Nuts
Roasted pine nuts over baked salmon or drizzled on a salad are not only delectable, but also health-promoting. Pine nuts are a great source of non-animal protein that is full of magnesium for more energy, contain lot’s of vitamin D, C, and A, iron, pineolic acid, as well as lutein for better vision, strong bones, and boosted immunity.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.