The Flavor of Good Health…
Variety is the spice of life, and enjoying a variety of herbs and spices may help you live a healthier life as well. Seasonings have been used since ancient times to perk up the flavor of food. The average person consume over 1.5kilos of spices annually. Much of its chilli, pepper and mustard seed. Mustard seeds contain lot of protective substance called phytochemicals, which may inhibit the growth of existing cancer cells and help and prevent normal cells from turning into cancerous ones. Other herb and spices like the ones below, also have some amazing attributes. But remember little goes long way: Too much of these can ruin recipe and may not be ideal for your health.
Turmeric: This herb of ginger family provides the yellow colour in curries. It’s a powerful anti-oxidant and has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries. Preliminary studies suggest it may help prevent or even treat Alzheirmer’s disease. Turmeric also enhances immune function, improves digestion and may reduce your risk of heart attack. Because of its anti-oxidant properties, scientist are studying curcumin one of most active substance in turmeric as a possible treatment of cystic fibrosis.
Ginger: Is effective in preventing the symptoms of motion sickness, especially seasickness. In addition it can be useful in reducing the nausea and vomiting brought on by pregnancy. To get the stomach-calming benefits simply steep about 50grams of fresh ginger root in cup of hot water. Ginger also contains inflammation fighting substance called gingerol, which may help reduce pain and improve function in people who have arthritis.
Coriander: A most popular spice in Indian and Mexican cuisine, coriander is rich in protective phytochemicals and is a good source of iron, magnesium, and manganese.
Cinanamon: One of the oldest spice known as Dalchini is a ingredient in curry powder. It seems to reduce inflammation and recent studies show that it may also be especially for those with type 2 Diabetes. In one study consuming even minute quantities daily reduced blood sugar in people with diabetes by about 20% and lowered triglycerides, LDL and total cholesterol. In another chewing cinnamon gum or simply smelling the spice, improved attention and memory.
Rosemary: It contains substances that have an anti-inflammatory effect, which may improve immune function and circulation, and reduce the severity of asthma attacks. Used, as aromatherapy, it may enhance memory and cognition.
Clove: Is a highly useful aromatic herb. Cloves impart a particular aroma because of the presence of essential oil in them. The compound responsible for the aroma is eugenol. It is the main component in the essential oil extracted from cloves, comprising 72 to 90 per cent eugenol and has pronounced antiseptic and anaesthetic properties. Other important constituents include essential oils like salicylate, which acts as painkiller. Known for being a mild anesthetic, anti-inflammatory as well as an anti-bacterial agent, it is extensively used in relieving pain in oral ailments. Ayurveda recognizes it as an antiseptic, analgesic, anti microbial, antispasmodic, antiviral, anti parasitic, anesthetic, and carminative. It prevents vomiting, acts as a digestive, and a mild sexual stimulant. Clove is said to be effective against coli, streptococci, staphylococci, and pneumococci. It is believed to prevent stomach upset, traveler’s diarrhoea and wound infections.
Fennel: An old reliable household remedy, good for flavoring foods and medicines. The tea makes an excellent eye wash. Fennel is a thoroughly tried remedy for gas, acid stomach or dyspepsia, gout, cramps, colic, cystitis, and spasms. Ground fennel sprinkled on food will prevent gas in the stomach and bowels. For colic in children, the herb should be steeped (weak for infants) and given in small doses every half hour until the infant or child is relieved. Nursing mothers will find fennel helpful in stimulating lactation, in a warm tea. Fennel seed, ground and made into a tea is given for snake bites, fever, insect bites, dog bites, hiccoughs, flatulence, backache, toothache, obesity, blood purifier, or food poisoning. Good for jaundice when the liver is obstructed or to improve appetite. Excellent for obesity. Increases the flow of urine and increases menstrual flow. Fennel oil may be rubbed over painful joints to relieve pain or rheumatism, and may be added to gargles for hoarseness and sore throat and cough.
To be continued...