So, what exactly are spices? Spices are aromatic or pungent vegetable substances that tend to have strong flavors, and when used in larger quantity, they contribute a substantial amount of minerals and other micronutrients. Most herbs and spices have substantial antioxidant activity, which influences nutrition through many pathways.
Spices have been an integral part of culinary cultures around the world and have a long history of use from flavoring to preserving food. It’s a good thing because as you might know, spices offer various beneficial effects that positively impact our health.
According to a recent study, populations with a higher consumption of spices have a lower incidence of cancer. In addition, the bioactive agents in spices have also shown beneficial roles in obesity, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal conditions, various cancers, and dermatological conditions.
For example, cayenne pepper contains a bioactive ingredient called capsaicin, which has metabolism boosting properties. Cinnamon has one of the highest antioxidant value of any spice, which can reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar and increase sensitivity in insulin to aid in fat burning. Oregano has antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant, and antibiotic properties, which can be used to treat cough, fever, and congestion. Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that help to digest fats quickly.
The bottom line is, there are so many spices, and each have different variations of health benefits. Also, because they pack a punch of flavor, they are a great substitute for salt in cooking. Be sure to check out the DASH Diet Plan on our website for more information and give your next meal a dash of spice!