Spice Up Your Health!

Spices are very popular when it comes to cooking delicious food. But not many know that they are rich in medicinal properties. Consuming small amounts of spice can not only help us maintain good health but also prevent major diseases. Here are a few pointers:

Turmeric: Turmeric comes from the ginger family and is native to South Asia [1]. It is widely used for culinary purposes, especially for making curry, and has ceremonial uses as well. But it is mostly known worldwide for its medicinal values. According to the website for National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [2], turmeric can be effectively used to treat heartburn, stomach ulcers and gallstones. It can also reduce inflammation and can help in preventing and treating cancer.

Turmeric can best be taken by mouth in the form of capsules. It can also be consumed in teas. Turmeric is also known for its cosmetic values. Therefore, it can even be made into a paste and applied onto the skin.

Cumin: Cumin is a member of the Apiaceae family and resembles caraway seeds [3]. It is used in different regions of the world to enhance and add a peppery flavor to the dishes. It is also known for its distinctive aroma. Studies show that cumin is a good source of iron, which plays a key role in keeping the immune system healthy. Cumin is also known to help in food digestion and maintain a healthy digestive system [4].

Cumin can be easily consumed by adding it to our everyday recipes. It can be fried with vegetables and beans for extra flavor. Drinking cumin tea is another soothing and effective way of taking-in cumin. It can be made by boiling cumin in water. Let the water stand for a while before filtering it.

Fenugreek: Fenugreek plant comes from the Fabaceae family [5]. The seeds of this plant are used as a spice and its leaves are used as an herb. Fenugreek, as a spice, is an excellent digestive aid. It also helps in reducing blood sugar levels and thus is used in treating diabetes. Fenugreek also helps in reducing fevers, treating allergies, bronchitis and congestion [6]. The NCCAM website also states that fenugreek paste can be applied onto the skin for treating inflammation. However, pregnant women should take extra care while using fenugreek [7].

Fenugreek seeds are taken by mouth or applied to skin as a paste. The seeds can also be used in seasoning or added to dishes in moderate quantities.

Black Pepper: Black pepper belongs to the Piperaceae family. The fruit of this plant is dried and used as a spice [8]. Research has proved that black pepper stimulates the taste buds and subsequently improves digestion. It is also known to be a carminative that prevents intestinal gas production. In addition, black pepper has antioxidant and antibacterial effects. Another benefit of consuming black pepper is that it increases the breakdown of fat cells, which in turn keeps individuals slim and energetic [9].

Black pepper can be added to a variety of everyday dishes for extra flavor. It can also be added to soups and salads as seasoning.

These are a few known health benefits of some of the spices. Every spice has its own set of unique properties. Adding these spices to everyday recipes and making them a part of the diet can prove beneficial to health. This will give you the fuel you need when you play tennis using rackets from www.tennisracquets.com/collections/used-tennis-racquets.

Sources:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turmeric
2. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/turmeric/
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumin
4. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid;=91
5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenugreek
6. http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/fenugree.html
7. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/fenugreek/
8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_pepper
9. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid;=74