5 Healthy Spices You Want To Start Using Now
Spices; where would food be without them? They add flavor and variety to any dish that you can think of. With so many options, it can be hard to decide which to use and, more importantly, which ones will have the greatest positive impact enhancing our healthy lifestyle. Here we’ve gathered our top five spices and the profound health benefits they promote.
This spice is a widely used favorite and is used in a variety of ways from savory dishes to sweets. While known for its flavor and scent, Cinnamon is also packed full of amazing health benefits. It’s a powerful antioxidant, has anti-inflammatory capabilities and has been shown to help lower high cholesterol as well as lowering blood sugar levels. Add this spice to your morning coffee, stir it into your oatmeal or toss it with sweet potatoes and olive oil to add a delicious smoky flavor.
Sage is believed to help improve brain function and memory, particularly for those suffering from Alzheimer’s. Sage inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger in the brain that decreases in Alzheimer’s patients. A four month study showed significant brain function improvements in those with Alzheimer’s who consumed sage extract. Sage can be added to grilled chicken or tofu, tossed and baked with butternut squash or added to pumpkin soup.
Turmeric is a spice commonly used in curry (this is where the dish gets its vivid yellow color). Turmeric contains Curcumin, an extremely powerful antioxidant and strong anti-inflammatory which can help relieve bloating and inflammation in the body. Curcumin helps your body defend itself from oxidative damage which is believed to cause many diseases (such as heart disease and alzheimer's) as well as aging. Aside from curry, Turmeric is also delicious in rice dishes, as a salad dressing and even as a latte! An easy turmeric latte recipe is to heat coconut or almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Once heated, add 1 teaspoon of turmeric, cinnamon and ginger. Whisk until frothy and pour into your favorite mug. Add honey or your favorite sweetener to taste and enjoy!
Rosemary is believed to be a great spice for aiding in the prevention of the symptoms of allergies and nasal congestion. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to relieve allergic responses and the stuffy nose that often comes with it. Rosemary is delicious when added to roasted veggies, soups and grilled fish, chicken or tofu.
Garlic is a spice that can be found just about anywhere in the world and has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. Garlic is believed to contribute to the prevention of cancer in the lungs, brain and prostate as well as helping to prevent heart disease and lowering high cholesterol and blood pressure. Garlic can be used to add flavor in veggie stir fry, ground up with sesame and onion as a seasoning on kale chips and roasted with tomatoes, squash and zucchini.
Combining a healthy, flavorful diet with daily meditation, yoga practice and self care can create the perfect environment for a happy and healthy life. Incorporating these spices into your daily meal routine can give you an added boost in health and in flavor. Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to start cooking. Bon appetit!
About the Author
Brooke Kathleen - Also known as the Unicorn Yogi, Brooke began practicing yoga in 2009. She moved to New York City for work in 2013 and her practice faded out due to the inconsistent hours. In 2017 she re-discovered her practice during a very intense and difficult series of events. After devoting herself to practice for another year she realized that she wanted to learn how to share the tools that yoga had given her to heal and grow with others. She found Vikasa online while researching and fell in love with the curriculum and location. The rest is history! New York, USA