Here’s a few spices that have beneficial health benefits and should definitely be incorporated into your diet.

1) Cinnamon to lower blood sugar

This popular spice comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree and tastes great in hot chocolates or adding it to granola. Cinnamon is especially great for those who have high blood sugar. It lends a sweet taste to food without adding sugar, it has been proven to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

It can also provide heart-healthy benefits, like reducing high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Cinnamon is not a replacement for diabetes medication or a carb controlled diet, but it can help in addition to a health lifestyle.

Here are few ways to add more cinnamon into your diet:

  • Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls- Looking for something scrumptious to munch on in the evening, try a cinnamon roll with a side of pumpkin for the ultimate comfort food. You can get the recipe here.
  • Cinnamon raisin bagels- These are yummy and nutritious and perfect for a quick breakfast. You can get the recipe here.
  • Cinnamon chipotle spice popcorn- Try this crazy, spicy snack that I’m sure you won’t be able to stop eating! You can get the recipe here. 
  • The best thing about cinnamon is if you like the taste of it you can add it to a variety of meats, in fact some sauces tend to have it in already, for example butter chicken, its perfect just to add a pinch of cinnamon to yogurt, fruit or perhaps hot cereal, use it in stews and chilli or as a meat rub and hot beverages.

2) Turmeric to fight inflammation

Tumeric is best know for its use in Indian curry dishes and has become a very popular super food for its ability is to reduce inflammation a common cause for discomfort and illness.

Within tumeric there is a component called curcumin. Research suggests that it may reduce inflammation on the brain, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, curcumin is effective at reducing pain and swelling in people with arthritis.

You can add tumeric too:

  • Vegetables
  • Soup
  • Tea
  • Dips
  • Smoothies
  • Tooth whitener- yep thats right, look at the recipe here. 
  • You can actually use it as a paste for a face mask to, which can be beneficial to your skin read the how to make it here.

3) Ginger to relieve nausea

A tropical plant thats been used in the Asian cultures for many years to treat stomach upset, diarrhoea and nausea. You can get it in lollipops, candies, capsules and tea. You can purchase the powder in the spice aisle of grocery stores, or buy it fresh to make tea or grate it on food.

Ginger is effective at calming pregnancy-related nausea and reducing tummy upset after surgery. It cuts severity of motion sickness or prevents the symptoms all together. It can help with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, of course ask your doctor first.

You can add ginger too:

  • Stir fry
  • Smoothies
  • Tea
  • Salad
  • Ginger jam, which is great for a start to your morning read the recipe here. 

4) Garlic to boost heart health 

Most of us are pretty familiar with garlic, something that smells so strong but tastes so yummy. Eating garlic may actually protect you from heart changes that lead to heart disease.

It’s common that when you age, some arteries will harden as normal. This is called atherosclerosis and this occurs when a fatty deposit made up of cholesterol and other substances builds up on the inside of your artery wall.

Researchers have linked garlic intake with keeping blood vessels flexible, especially in women. In addition, studies suggest that eating garlic may reduce cholesterol and triglycerides. Garlic is a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, an eating style that heart doctors recommend.

Here’s what you can do with garlic:

  • Crush it
  • Spread it
  • Roast it
  • Let it be
  • Blend it
  • Boil it
  • Combine it

For more information on how to do all of this click here. 

5) Cayenne to ease pain

Cayenne is a type of chilli pepper. The pepper contains a substance called capsaicin. Its what makes it really spicy and also what provides the pain relief.

Capsalicin reduces the number of pain signals sent to the brain. It works on pain caused by arthritis and diabetes-related nerve damage. You can apply creams with capsaicin directly onto joints and muscles.

It’s also been proven to help with internal pain: ulcers. Although people often associate spicy food with stomach problems, capsaicin aids to help reduce ulcers and reduces excess stomach acid and increases blood flow.

You can add cayenne too:

  • Add a little heat to your food
  • Chilli
  • Soups
  • Stew
  • Meat
  • Hot and spicy fish tacos read the recipe here. 

Its definitely time to spice up your life a little by adding these spices to your cupboard and your meals or even drinks from now on, with each of them specialising in something thats important to a healthy living.

Journalism Student