Nature Knows Best: Spice Up Your Life
All those spices in your cabinet? They do more than just make food taste better.
Did you know that the spices you put on your food pack more than just a flavorful punch? They have many medicinal properties and have been used for thousands of years throughout history.
Cinnamon, the inner bark from the Cinnamomum verum tree, contains cinnamaldehyde which is a compound with a host of potential health benefits. It is said to aid in Alzheimer’s, insulin sensitivity, inflammation, blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, is antibacterial and much more! This spice pairs well with breakfast dishes and baked goods.
Oregano is an easy to grow herb and flavors Italian cuisine perfectly. It’s even found in taco spice blends. But, what you are eating is a compound that is high in Vitamin K and fights bacteria, free radicals in the body and helps reduce inflammation.
The Oregano essential oil contains caracrol and thymol which are very powerful against germs. One drop goes a long way. In a test-tube study, carvacrol inactivated the norovirus which causes diarrhea and nausea, within an hour.
The Latin word for sage is Salvia officinalis which means “to be saved.” Its flavor is common in breakfast sausage and Thanksgiving stuffing. This medicinal and culinary herb is full of folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamin, copper and much more! Sage can be used for dental health, aid in digestion, memory loss, and menstrual issues to name a few.
Tumeric is currently a hot topic and is a member of the ginger family. Its most active compound is curcumin which helps alleviate inflammation and is a strong antioxidant. Several studies confirm the many benefits of this spice. This herb complements warm dishes like soups and vegetables and surprisingly smoothies and desserts.
While these spices make wonderful additions to your culinary creations, they can also be found as potent supplements and essential oils. Always find high-quality products and use with caution being aware of any interactions with medications etc. I will be the first to say that even though it’s natural doesn’t mean its safe.
Organic spices can be purchased in bulk at reasonable prices available at some health food stores. Seasoning mixtures like chili seasoning and seasoning salt can be made at home to help avoid preservatives; you probably already have the spices in your cabinet!
I hope these ideas help you add a little more spice to your life!
Brooke DeLong, N.D.
“Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.” ~William Cowper
About the Author
Brooke DeLong has a degree in Naturopathy and is passionate about educating and inspiring people. She is a wife and mom to four awesome kids.