Spice of Life: Health Benefits of Spices
Spices have more disease-fighting antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables. Here's how to rack up the benefits.
Galangal is used to relieve flatulence, dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and motion sickness. It's also used to treat fevers, colds, cough, sore throat, bronchitis, infection, rheumatism, and liver and gallbladder complaints. Used as an antibacterial and antispasmodic.
Cinnamon is a natural antioxidant which is beneficial to the beautification purposes, not to mention cinnamon oil has antimicrobial properties which prolongs the life of the curry. Can lower blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.
Red chili peppers are very rich in vitamin C and pro-vitamin A. Additionally, peppers are a good source of most vitamins B, especially B6. Potassium in chili that is high magnesium and iron would really make up for those lazy days.
Black pepper has a very long history of medical benefits, the list goes like this: Alleviated hemorrhoids, Alleviates gas, helps constipation, improves digestion, improves appetite lost, promotes sweating (cardio workout), Promotes urination, anti-bacterial effects, natural anti-oxidant, and everyone's favorite; helps in breaking down fat cells.
A member of the ginger family, turmeric has long been associated with its healing properties. Used as a common antiseptic in India, turmeric is used regularly to treat damaged skin such as cuts or burns. It's even being touted as a possible cure for Alzheimer's disease.
Anise leaves in curry are used to treat digestive problems, toothaches and the oil extract can be used to treat lice and scabies.
Lemongrass is an herb from grass family. It has numerous health benefits. It is antidote to cough, cold, fever, headaches, abdominal pain, other stomach conditions, arthritis and fungal conditions. It is a good relaxant.
Destroys cancer cells and may disrupt the metabolism of tumor cells, says Karen Collins, RD, nutrition advisor to the American Institute for Cancer Research. "Studies suggest that one or two cloves weekly provide cancer-protective benefits."
Can decrease motion sickness and nausea; may also relieve pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Ginger contains antioxidants and so can help protect against disease. It can help calm spasms and reduce flatulence in the digestive system.
In recent years, coconut milk has somehow been given a bad reputation when, in fact, it is extremely healthy. Yes, coconut milk and oil contain fat - but this is good, not bad fat. Coconut milk has many uses, most of which build up the immune system and the body's defenses Its also can be lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), while promoting good cholesterol, modulates metabolic functions, and fights aging.