How Herbs and Spices are Valuable to Your Diet

By Subodh / April 19, 2014

For a very long time, spices have been used to add additional flavors to our food. In fact, there are so many food items which cannot be prepared without certain spices. Spices and herbs have become such an important part of our culinary needs that there is no way we can live without them. This is the reason why all the spices are readily available everywhere. While we use spices and herbs frequently to pep up the flavor of our food, we often do not realize that they also contain many medicinal and healing properties too. Long before the days of refrigeration and electricity, spices and herbs were used not only for the purpose of consumption, but they were also used as preservatives to keep the food items from decaying. This clearly tells the importance of spices not only as flavoring materials but also as items with nutritional values.

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Benefits of Spices and Herbs in General

Spices and herbs have innumerable medicinal properties. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of it and very few are the experts in recommending their best usage. As already stated spices and herbs can be used as preservatives. However, this is not the only the purpose for which they can be used. For instances, spices such as garlic and ginger are known for their effectiveness in the treatment of arthritis. They are also known for helping in treatments related to digestion. If we know how to use the spices and herbs in proper quantity and combinations, we can considerably help ourselves in countering the effects of excess fat, and problems related to sugar and salt. The proper usage of herbs and spices is also beneficial for overall health in the long run. For instance, many herbs and spices are the sources of abundant antioxidants and their proper consumption could help in reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases and other chronic diseases.

Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of the most widely used spices in many cultures around the globe. It has a lot of medicinal properties and can help in the treatment (or aid the treatment) of many diseases. The oil components found in cinnamon are known to have healing properties. The oil components found in cinnamon are – cinnamyl acetate, cinnamaldehyde, and cinnamyl alcohol. These components are especially beneficial in the treatment of some diseases related to digestion and common cold.

To preserve the healing properties of cinnamon, it needs to be stored properly. It is advisable that you keep cinnamon sticks or powder in a tightly closed jar or bottle in your refrigerator. When stored properly, they can be preserved for over a year. To get the maximum health benefit from cinnamon, it is recommended that you consume up to 5 gm of it every day. It can either be mixed in your food items or consumed directly (although the taste will not be very pleasant.)

Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is another spice which is used very commonly in food items. A study has revealed that turmeric is a big source of antioxidants. It is also quite popular for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Additionally, turmeric contains many vital nutrients, proteins and minerals. For instance, it is a rich source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K. It also contains minerals including sodium, calcium, potassium and more. It hardly requires any further explanation as to why turmeric is used for medicinal purposes. Turmeric can help in prevention of cancer. It is also known to have positive effect on the patients with arthritis. Additionally, it also helps control diabetes cholesterol level.

Health Benefits of Oregano

Oregano is another herb which is very widely used for cooking purposes all over the world. Perhaps very few people would be aware that it has a lot of health and medicinal benefits too. A study shows that oregano could be quite beneficial in the treatment of some of the respiratory diseases. Apart from that, it is also beneficial in treating certain digestive disorders. It has also been found that oregano is very effective in the treatment of certain skin related diseases. For instance, proper usage of oregano can help reduce acne breakout. It can also help in reducing the dandruff level on the scalp.

Health Benefits of Rosemary

Rosemary is widely used for culinary purposes to give the aroma to the food. It is also used in the production of aromatic perfumes. But it also has many health benefits. Rosemary contains vitamin b6 and calcium. It is known for helping reduce body pain. It also helps as a memory booster. Additionally it helps improve the immune system.