About what these or those spices are useful for, how they affect the human body, which of the spices you should definitely include in your diet and what contraindications you should know about.
It is difficult to imagine any cuisine in the world without a variety of spices. Everyone in the kitchen has an impressive supply of jars with fragrant contents. Only we do not always realize what we put in this or that dish. Is it useful or not? After all, spices are not only responsible for the taste of food, but also affect the well-being and state of the human body as a whole.
There are a lot of spices. Cloves, star anise, cinnamon, different types of peppers, saffron, sage, basil, coriander are just the tip of the iceberg. And each spice has not only its own aroma, color, area of culinary use, but also unique beneficial properties.
Many centuries ago, spices were valued even more than gold bars. Thanks to them, new countries were opened, new trade routes were laid. Spices were used as a food preservative and a color for some dishes.
Spices and herbs were also used as cosmetics that can improve the condition of the skin, hair, nails. The spices were expensive, so they were often given on big holidays as the main gift. The richer the house was and the higher the status, the more varied were the spices in their menu.
Benefits of spices
When you eat spicy foods, your body releases endorphins and your mood improves. Spices, especially pungent and pungent, are natural antibiotics. For example, chili, black pepper and dried garlic, due to the content of capsoicin, piperine and allicin, are able to fight viruses and harmful microorganisms that have entered the nasopharynx and mouth.
Green aromatic herbs contain the antioxidants the body needs to help reduce the damage caused by cooking carcinogens and fight the aging process.
Condiments help keep blood sugar levels under control, prevent inflammation, aid digestion, fight germs, and improve metabolism and fat breakdown.
To cover all the useful properties of all more or less familiar spices, even a dozen articles are not enough, we will consider only some of the most common seasonings that are definitely in every home.
Anise and star anise
Despite the rather specific taste and smell, anise and star anise are an excellent remedy for the prevention of constipation and intestinal problems. Thanks to the essential oils they contain, they contribute to the proper functioning of the intestines.
The most common types of seasonings – black and red pepper – not only make the dish more pungent, but also help prevent cancer, protect the body from colds, strengthen the skeleton of the body, and help normalize blood clotting. It is these spices that are recommended for people who smoke, since the beta-cryptoxanthin they contain helps to neutralize the harmful effects of tobacco.
Bay leaf and carnation
These two spices help fight upper respiratory tract diseases. The essential oils contained in them in large quantities make breathing easier, warm the body, improve blood circulation, stop coughing, and cleanse mucous membranes.
This spice is on the list of superfoods. Turmeric prevents the development of certain types of cancer, including cirrhosis of the liver, normalizes the function of the bile ducts, prevents inflammation, and inhibits the growth of malignant tumors.
Curry is a spice blend that includes coriander, cinnamon and other spices. It is this mixture that is advised to be consumed on a regular basis for people suffering from diabetes and pre-diabetes conditions, as well as for the elderly.
If you use sesame in the form of an additive in dishes, then it is able to normalize blood pressure, and if in the form of oil or in pure form, then there will be no problems with the work of the intestines.
Vanilla helps to slow down the aging process and stop the growth of malignant cells, prevents the occurrence of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. All this is due to the polyphenols that make up it. Of course, this is only a natural spice, not an artificial additive.
Cumin and dill
These spices are real helpers in the fight against coughs. They are useful for lactating women to increase the quality and protective properties of milk.
This aromatic spice with a recognizable taste is not only an excellent addition to drinks, meat, fish, but also a good remedy for nausea and migraines. It also has soothing properties.
Ginger and garlic
In addition to all the anti-inflammatory and prophylactic properties we know, ginger and garlic have another good quality – they help to lose weight and improve metabolic processes. They help to spend extra calories in converting heat processes. True, while burning tastes provoke appetite, so everything is not so simple. Ginger helps with early toxicosis by relieving nausea.
Spice extracts in cosmetics and medicine. Flexogor Gel
Many cosmetics and medicines contain spice-based active ingredients. Ginger is especially widely used. Due to its warming and anti-inflammatory properties, the manufacturers of Flexogor Gel add it to the composition. This helps to eliminate discomfort in the joints and a speedy recovery.
Contraindications to the use of most of the spices we are used to are chronic diseases of the digestive system, pancreatitis, ulcers and gastritis in the acute stage, allergies, asthma, diseases of the genitourinary system. If you have a serious chronic medical condition, talk to your doctor.
In any case, even with a completely healthy body, you cannot consume more than 5 grams of spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, for example, in high doses can cause seizures, and cloves can cause drowsiness. Rosemary and saffron should not be consumed during pregnancy, it is advisable not to get hot pepper in the eyes, as it can cause a retinal burn.
Some spices, such as curry, can alter the effect of the medications you take. Therefore, if you are taking regular medications, talk to your doctor about prohibited condiments.