Here in Australia, winter is well and truly here which means it’s cold and flu season. If you’re lucky enough not to be sick at the moment (I am not that lucky) then these handy spices will still be of benefit to you with preventing illness and strengthening your immune system. These spices all have incredible healing properties, start incorporating them in to your diet today!
Ginger is commonly used in Asian/Middle Eastern cooking and it’s medical uses date back thousands of years. In Chinese, middle eastern and Indian medicine, ginger has often been used as a digestive aid or to get rid of nausea. Recent studies have shown ginger has anti-inflammation properties and therefore can reduce pain and swelling in people suffering from arthritis. Ginger has also been seen to alleviate migraine symptoms and aid in the death of cancer cells.
The easiest way to incorporate more ginger in to your diet is to drink ginger tea or use it in cooking. Ginger is great for both sweet and savoury cooking. The easiest way to consume ginger is to crush some in to a mug and serve with some honey and hot water and drink it as a ginger tea. Ginger is a spice that is easy to incorporate in to your daily diet and by doing so, you will see incredible benefits.
Nutmeg has a long history of medicinal uses and is used in both sweet and savoury cooking by a variety of cultures across the world. Nutmeg is a staple in Chinese medicine for being used as pain relief. Nutmeg is incredible for aching joints, muscle pain and arthritis. Nutmeg oil can also be used to remove excess gas from your intestines to alleviate stomach aches. Nutmeg has incredible antibacterial qualities which can aid in the removal of bad breath! Nutmeg along with the other spices mentioned in this post has incredible detoxification properties which acts has a tonic. This means that it has the ability to clean out the kidneys and liver, allowing for healthy function of these organs.
Cayenne is an incredible spice with so many properties. Historically it has been used as a decongestant but current research suggests it also has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as an antioxidant. Cayenne is now a popular ingredient among arthritis creams and other ointments used to treat muscular or joint pain. Cayenne has also been used to treat cramps and nerve pain. Now for all you dieters out there looking for something that aids in weightloss…. cayenne pepper is the spice for you. It has incredible power to aid in digestion and metabolic processes. It is able to continue burning calories several hours after consumption. Cayenne can be added on to pretty much every savoury dish, try adding it on top of your roasted veggies!
Turmeric has been in the spotlight a lot lately so it’s probably no surprise that I will be discussing it’s incredible properties as well. Turmeric is truly something that I believe we should all be consuming daily. Turmeric is historically used in Indian medicine to aid digestion but recent research has revealed that it has incredible anti-inflammatory properties. These properties are so incredible that they have been proven to reduce the inflammation that contributes to tumour growth and can therefore clear away the carcinogens before they damage the cellular DNA. It’s bright yellow colour is due to the chemical curcumin that actually has the ability to prevent the spread and growth of cancer cells and also can work as an antidepressant. You can buy turmeric in capsules which I highly recommend you add in to your supplement routine. Cancer affects 1 in 2 of us Australians, that is 50% of us. Turmeric may aid in the prevention of cancer and help make you one of the luckier 50% of our population.
The world’s east has historically used cardamom to treat heart disease, the common cold, the flu, bronchitis and asthma symptoms. Cardamom contains 25 volatile oils. Recent studies have shown that these oils have the ability to improve digestion and reduce cancer growth.
Cloves are the buds of the Myrtaceae Tree that have been dried out. Cloves have been used for their numbing properties for centuries, aiding in toothaches. Recent studies have shown that clove oil can be used to kill bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Cloves also have anti-inflammatory properties which aid in heart disease and cancer prevention. These really are incredible little buds. I love making vegan chicken noodle soup with cloves and star anise, the recipe will be up shortly.
This is my ultimate favourite ingredient. Garlic not only tastes nice but has incredible healing properties. This is my favourite thing to add to foods in cold and flu season. Garlic is known to prevent the onset of your typical ‘old age’ diseases such as arthritis, cancer, immune disorders and cerebral ageing. I recommend adding a garlic supplement to your supplement routine (especially during the winter)