Does it ever cross your mind what will happen if you wake up one day and there are no spices or herbs in the world? The food will be bland, tasteless.
Personally, I don’t eat any savory food without black pepper. Herbs and spices not only improve the food taste but can be beneficial for your health. So, it is high time to include some of these herbs and spices in your daily dietary supplements.
Today, I will share some incredible benefits of eight different herbs and spices; and four herbs and spices to avoid in daily cooking.
Herbs and Spices with the most health benefits
1. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is an inner bark of tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. It contains many essential minerals, including fiber, calcium, manganese, and iron. It will add a nice flavor to your food along with health benefits.
Benefits: It has various health benefits, from regulating blood pressure by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing menstrual cramps by balancing hormones progesterone and testosterone in women. Moreover, antioxidant compounds in the spice prevent hunger spikes by improving your metabolism rate. It is also effective against digestive problems and diabetes.
Consumption: Just half a tablespoon each day can help you lower blood sugar and reduce belly fat. You can sprinkle ground cinnamon over your toast, yogurt or add to your coffee.
2. Chili: Chili is one of the most versatile spices and can be used fresh, grounded, or flakes. The interesting fact is, chili contains around seven times more Vitamin C than an orange.
Benefits: The capsaicin in chili is particularly beneficial in boosting the immune system, firing up metabolism, anti-inflammation properties, etc. The spiciness of chili reduces congestion and relieves a stuffy nose too.
Consumption: Add the spice to your hummus, avocado toast, pasta, or Indian curries! Carefully though, if you are not used to the heat, it can cause some discomfort. But if you can handle the heat, it means you will get more capsaicin that can be more beneficial to your health.
3. Turmeric: Turmeric is a yellow spice that gives dishes a nice color and is mostly used in Indian cuisines.
Benefits: Turmeric has been used for centuries to treat various health issues such as arthritis, diabetes, joint pain, digestive problems, and even cancer. Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric. It may prevent cancer cells from mutating and also help Type-2 diabetic patients.
Consumption: To fight back dangerous inflammation in your body, sprinkle some turmeric in legumes-based dishes, sauces, curries, or even smoothies. Did you know it can be added to milk (commonly known as golden milk) and coffee too? Moreover, you can apply a turmeric face mask to reduce acne and dark circles!
4. Cumin: This particular seed is used in many cuisines like Indian, Mexican, South African, and many others. It is naturally rich in iron, which is essential for women.
Benefits: It is a fantastic remedy for digestive issues, aiding stomach acid production, and digestive enzymes. If you are suffering from hemorrhoids and gas problems, including cumin in your cooking can bring comfort to you. Cumin is excellent for respiratory problems and keeping infection at bay by boosting your immune system.
Consumption: Although it is mostly used in Mexican foods like tacos, quesadilla, and burritos, you can also add it to soups, stews, or veggies to upgrade your food taste.
5. Rosemary: Rosemary not only fills your foods with a lovely aroma, but fresh ones also contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and other B vitamins.
Benefits: The fragrant herb contains polyphenols that help prevent cancer, among other health benefits such as improving digestion, stabilizing blood pressure, and memory preservation. Moreover, it has antibacterial and antioxidant Rosmarinus acid.
Consumption: Rosemary oil is one of my favorite essential oils that do wonders for the skin, hair, bruises, and sore spots. It is said that catching a whiff of rosemary can boost your brainpower and give you energy! You can use rosemary to marinate your chicken or steak.
6. Oregano: Often overlooked as a herb, oregano is packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, and K, vitamin B6, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Benefits: This herb also has an adequate amount of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Its oil has been associated with cancer-fighting qualities as well.
Consumption: Along with nutrients, it has incredible natural flavors too. I mean, can you even imagine pizza without oregano flakes? Oregano dressings are essential for Italian food items. Do not miss your chance to get its benefits once in a while.
7. Sage: Sage can be used fresh out of your garden or dried and grounded for long-term use. Like most herbs and spices, sage has anti-inflammatory qualities and an abundance of antioxidants.
Benefits: It is a cognition booster and has been known to increase memory recall and retention. The aromatic herb can be useful for patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson‘s disease. It may also minimize cholesterol levels, prevent menopause, and improve blood sugar levels.
Consumption: You can use sage-infused water to treat inflamed throat or sore teeth. It also goes well with meat recipes as it has a strong flavor.
8. Black pepper: Black pepper is considered one of the most health-beneficial spices. It has antibiotic properties along with antioxidants and anti-depressants.
Benefits: It promotes intestinal health and improves respiratory problems like a scratchy throat or stuffy nose. Moreover, it stimulates the digestive enzymes of the pancreas to enhance food absorption. Black pepper has also been found to have anti-tumor and anti-mutagenic properties.
Consumption: To enhance your food taste by a thousand degrees, grind some of it and add it to soups, salads, meat, eggs, pasta, pizza, chicken, and hundreds of items.
Herbs and Spices that are best to avoid for daily consumption
1. Chamomile: Chamomile is used for centuries as a remedy for several health issues. Often, it is taken as tea.
Potential harm: Many people are witnessed to suffer from drowsiness after consuming this herb. Some people also said that it also triggers allergic reactions, although it is rare. It can induce certain discomforts like abdominal cramps, thick tongue, throat tightness, lips swelling, itching, rashes, and blockage of the breathing passages.
What to avoid: It would be best for you to avoid taking a daily dosage of chamomile tea. Because if you take large doses of chamomile, it causes vomiting.
2. Garlic: Garlic has been added to dietary supplements to lower blood pressure and cholesterol level to some extent.
Potential harm: Garlic consumption can cause allergic reactions, skin inflammation, and stomach upset if taken in large portions. A study carried out on rats showed that garlic’s daily intake lowers sperm cells, thus increasing infertility chances.
What to avoid: Additionally, bad breath is common after eating garlic. So, you may want to avoid it before a date or a meeting! It might also decrease natural blood clotting and should be used carefully if you take medications to prevent blood clotting.
3. Feverfew: People use feverfew for its medicinal properties in reducing migraine headaches, menstruation problems, arthritis, psoriasis, allergies, asthma, and many other health issues.
Potential harm: The side effect of feverfew includes headaches, nervousness, stiffness, insomnia, joint pain, and tiredness. Like garlic, it can also prevent normal blood clotting.
What to avoid: Though it may help with some health problems, it can have overwhelming side effects. If you are allergic to yarrow root, chamomile, and ragweed, you must avoid feverfew. Moreover, if you mistakenly consume feverfew and face issues, immediately take anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, etc., to reduce its effects.
4. Ginger: Ginger has been used therapeutically for ages and is a common remedy for nausea, bloating, and gastrointestinal discomforts.
Potential harm: It may lead to blood-thinning if consumed in huge portions regularly.
What to avoid: Ginger does not cause many problems, but it would be recommended not to include it in your daily cooking. A small amount on alternate days is adequate if you are suffering from nausea. But try to replace it with healthier nausea-preventing herb or medication.
Conclusion Many of the herbs and spices mentioned are very healthy and nutritious, filled with antioxidants and vitamins. And you know, what is the best thing about herbs? You can grow most of them in your backyard with minimal effort!
Lastly, I should advise you to add at least one herb or spice to every meal to get all the essential health benefits. Interestingly, some herbs and spices can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. For example, you can add cinnamon to meat-based recipes and make desserts like cinnamon buns!