November 22 2017
Everyone loves a little seasoning in their food. Spicy, sweet, savoury, salty, it’s all part of the rainbow of flavours we have both in our palate and that we enhance our food with. Did you know you could also find medicinal benefits in your own spice rack? A lot of the seasoning you put in your food can actually have medicinal benefits! For centuries people would turn to their spice racks for medicinal solutions, and many of these solutions could still be used effectively today! Look in your spice rack or cabinets and what spices would you typically find? Cayenne pepper, cinnamon, black pepper, paprika, turmeric, dried rosemary and so on. You’ve used these in your meals for seasoning but I am willing to bet you do not know the health benefits that could be found in so many household spices.
One whose health benefits you may have heard of is turmeric. Turmeric is recognized mostly for its anti-inflammatory properties and not just for your digestive system, but for your joints too (and it is delicious in curry). It also has numerous other health benefits due to the fact that is also rich in many healthy nutrients such as protein, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc. Beyond fighting inflammation, turmeric is also quite useful when it comes to controlling diabetes by moderating insulin levels and improves glucose control in the body. It is also a useful superfood that protects the immune system and strengthens it. It can even be used externally on small cuts to help reduce bleeding and helps to prevent any unwanted bacteria from infecting the wound. Another spicy curative that you will likely find in your kitchen is cayenne pepper. This spice is beginning to gain recognition as a helpful aid in detoxification and digestion, in fact, a useful and yummy detoxifying drink involves cayenne pepper (recipe at the bottom of article) that helps with digestion and to stimulate your metabolism! Cayenne is also known to help warm up the body and to clear out any nasal and/or throat congestion which is fantastic for the winter months. Black pepper is another seasoning with health benefits such as aiding with healthy digestion by increasing hydrochloric acid in the stomach. In addition, black pepper has long been recognized as an anti-flatulent, a property likely due to its beneficial effect of stimulating hydrochloric acid production and also has diaphoretic (promotes sweating), and diuretic (promotes urination) properties.
Rosemary is a lovely scented herb that has been used for both medicinal and culinary purposes for thousands of years. It contains antioxidants and compounds with anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it provides respiratory protection, calcium for bone strength, and fiber for digestive health. Basil is used in foods from around the world! It has strong antioxidant properties as well as anti-inflammatory properties, and can help with cardiovascular health. Other benefits include helping with respiratory infections, asthma, diabetes, as well as aiding with pain relief and swelling. Mint is a beautifully scented herb that has numerous digestive properties. It helps with bloating, indigestion, flatulence and reduces the symptoms of IBS! These are just a couple different herbs and spices that do way more than just add a lovely flavour to your meals, you have your very own medicine box in your kitchen you can put to use to work towards a more natural and healthy life!!
Spicy Detox Lemonade
Okay so here is a personal favourite recipe of mine that has tiny bit of a kick and is definitely a bit healthier than your average lemonade! Here is what you will need for your own personal serving!
- 3 lemons
- Organic honey
- Cayenne pepper
- A glass
Pour some ice cold water into your glass (about ¾ of the way). Next, thoroughly squeeze each lemon into the glass filled with water. Next, take half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and mix it thoroughly with the lemon/water mixture. Finally, add 1 tablespoon of organic honey into the mix and stir. Enjoy this and detoxifying mixture.