Looking for the benefits of adding spices to your food? Spices offer a diverse range of health benefits, such as compensating for nutritional deficiencies, strengthening the immune system, and regulating blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Furthermore, spices possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which aid in the prevention of diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. Spices can effectively address any nutritional deficiencies that your body may be experiencing, thus promoting proper system function.
Including spices in your meals can enhance their taste and improve your overall dining experience, as spices are rich in essential vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Not only do spices add flavor to your food, but they can also provide health benefits. People have been using spices for medicinal purposes for centuries, and now, scientific evidence supports their use. In this article, we will take a look at the top 7 benefits of adding spices to your food.
People Also Read: The Ultimate Guide to the Best Vegetarian Protein Sources
Here are top 7 benefits of adding spices to your food:
1. Boosting Immunity
Several spices have been found to boost immunity, which is essential for fighting off diseases and infections. For instance, turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can strengthen the immune system. A study conducted in 2017 found that turmeric supplementation improved immunity in healthy individuals by increasing the production of immune cells.
Similarly, ginger contains gingerol, which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help fight off infections. A study published in 2015 found that ginger supplementation reduced the incidence of respiratory tract infections in individuals with weakened immunity.
2. Lowering Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response by the body to protect itself from infections and injuries. However, chronic inflammation can lead to several diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Several spices have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body.
For example, cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, which has been found to reduce inflammation in several studies. A study published in 2017 found that cinnamon supplementation reduced inflammation and oxidative stress in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Similarly, garlic contains allicin, which has been found to reduce inflammation in several studies. A study published in 2018 found that garlic supplementation reduced inflammation and improved lipid metabolism in individuals with metabolic syndrome.
3. Regulating Blood Sugar Levels
Spices can also help regulate blood sugar levels, which is essential for preventing and managing diabetes. For instance, cinnamon has been found to improve insulin sensitivity, which is the body’s ability to use insulin effectively. A study published in 2013 found that cinnamon supplementation improved insulin sensitivity in individuals with prediabetes.
Similarly, fenugreek contains galactomannan, which is a type of soluble fiber that can help regulate blood sugar levels. A study published in 2015 found that fenugreek supplementation improved glycemic control and insulin sensitivity in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
People Also Read: The Importance of Self-Care in a Healthy Diet
4. Improving Digestion
Spices can also improve digestion by increasing the secretion of digestive enzymes and reducing inflammation in the gut. For example, cumin contains thymol, which has been found to stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes. A study published in 2015 found that cumin supplementation improved digestion and reduced bloating in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome.
Similarly, fennel contains anethole, which has been found to reduce inflammation in the gut. A study published in 2016 found that fennel supplementation reduced inflammation and improved gut health in individuals with colitis.
5. Supporting Brain Health
Several spices have been found to support brain health by improving memory, cognition, and mood. For instance, saffron contains crocin, which has been found to improve memory and cognition in several studies. A study published in 2017 found that saffron supplementation improved memory and cognition in individuals with mild cognitive impairment.
Similarly, black pepper contains piperine, which has been found to improve mood and cognitive performance in several studies. A study published in 2018 found that black pepper supplementation improved mood and cognitive performance in healthy adults.
6. Reducing the Risk of Chronic Diseases
Spices can also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. For example, turmeric contains curcumin, which has been found to have anticancer properties. A study published in 2016 found that curcumin inhibited the growth of several types of cancer cells, including breast, prostate, and colon cancer cells. Similarly, ginger has been found to have anti-cancer properties.
A study published in 2016 found that ginger extract inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells in mice. Additionally, several spices, including cinnamon, garlic, and turmeric, have been found to have cardioprotective effects. A study published in 2016 found that cinnamon supplementation improved several cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure, lipid levels, and blood glucose levels.
7. Enhancing Flavor and Variety in Your Diet
Adding spices to your food can enhance the flavor and variety in your diet. This is especially important for individuals who are trying to maintain a healthy diet and avoid processed foods. By adding spices to your food, you can create delicious and healthy meals that are full of flavor and nutrition.
People Also Read: Effective Ways On How to Reduce Food Waste
Spices are a great way to add flavor to your food while reaping several health benefits. They can boost immunity, lower inflammation, regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestion, support brain health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and enhance the flavor and variety in your diet. So the next time you cook, be sure to add some spices to your dish. Your taste buds and your health will thank you.