Spice Up Your Life

By Adrianna McDonald

Many people think that when you want to lose weight or you are on a “diet”, either for bodybuilding or athletic competition, your food has to be bland and boring. But it doesn’t have to be! To make your food tasty use herbs and spices. You will not only get the flavour but also boost your health through the many benefits of herbs & spices.

Here are few of my favourites:

  1. Turmeric

Studies have shown that curcumin, the compound in turmeric responsible for its orange colour, has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Use certified organic (non-irradiated) turmeric in lower doses on a daily basis so that large doses won’t be necessary later in life after a serious disease sets in. Nourishing yourself, rather than self-medicating with ‘nutraceuticals’, should be the goal of a healthy diet.

Here are some more benefits of adding turmeric to your meals:

  • It may reduce the risk of heart attack
  • It eases joint pain
  • It delays the onset of type 2 diabetes
  • It can help improve memory in dementia patients
  • It can even help slow or stop the growth of cancer cells
  • It prevents unwanted weight gain
  • And finally, turmeric controls triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and terminates accumulation of harmful fats
  1. Coriander

Coriander is unique in that it’s both a herb (the leaves) and a spice, the latter coming from coriander seeds, which are dried and used  whole or ground as powder.

Both coriander seeds and leaves have traditionally been used to:

  • Reduce gas in the stomach and intestines
  • Stimulate digestion and treat spasms of smooth muscles, such as your stomach.

The leaves were widely used as an appetite stimulant and they were also eaten or applied externally to the chest to treat chest pain and cough.

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  1. Garlic

This is the most known and recognized disease fighting herb that also happens to be a culinary delight.

Garlic grows easily out of left over cloves. You can put it in your favorite meals, make garlic chicken soup, crush fresh garlic in a salad, it is indeed very versatile! It can lose potency when heated above 130 degrees, but avoid consuming too much raw garlic unless you want to risk gastrointestinal problems.

  • Garlic is antimicrobial and kills viruses and bacteria without disrupting intestinal flora (in moderate doses).
  • It is very effective against cold or flu viruses and more effective than penicillin against infections.

Any kind of meat or fish tastes amazing when garlic is added. I personally love it mixed with mashed vegetables.

  1. Ginger

People have been experiencing the many health benefits of ginger for ages; it is time that you see it as more than just an ingredient for your dishes, but also as a powerful natural remedy.

I must say it’s definitely a favourite of mine. Simply cut a piece out and add it to hot water with lemon to relieve the following:

  • Heartburn/acid reflux/GERD
  • Pain
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy Nose or Nasal Congestion
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Toothache
  • Headaches
  • Inflammation
  • Sore throat
  • Swelling

Ginger is also good for:

  • Cancer protection
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Helping with diseases caused by or fueled by inflammation such as arthritis, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, numerous cancer types, cardiovascular disease, and more.

 

  1. Cinnamon

 

True cinnamon is usually labelled as “Ceylon cinnamon” and comes principally from Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean.  Cassia, on the other hand, is often designated as “Chinese cinnamon” or “Saigon cinnamon” and comes principally from Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Japan and Korea.

Cinnamon is popular for its significant ability to gain control over fluctuating or rising blood sugar. I love sprinkling it in my coffee or over roasted sweet potatoes.

  • Cinnamon has been shown to normalize blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics by improving the ability to respond to insulin
  • It lowers cholesterol
  • It supports healthy blood clotting
  • It fights bacteria and fungus
  • It boosts memory and protects the brain
  • It improves digestion

So next time head to the supermarket rather than your local pharmacy!

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2 responses to “Spice Up Your Life

  1. This is a great post! There are far too many people resorting to a dry chicken breast with veggies without any added spice or flavour! There’s so much variety of spices and flavours that are available to us now from all over the world and we should embrace it! Love this! X

    Like

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