Nutrition

The 10 healthiest aromatic herbs and spices

There are several herbs and spices with multiple potential health benefits, such as those with anti-inflammatory properties, cognitive enhancers, and some that may even help fight cancer, to name a few. Some of these herbs and spices include turmeric, peppermint, ginger, and many more. Long before modern medicine, the ancient Greeks used a variety of spices and herbs for their healing properties. Hippocrates (460-377 BC) used saffron, cinnamon, thyme, coriander and other herbs as treatments, many of which are still used today as remedies for fever, aches and pains. other ailments.

This article explores the health benefits of 10 herbs and spices, including turmeric, peppermint, ginger and more.

1 Turmeric

Turmeric is one of the most popular spices used today, both for cooking and for its health benefits. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral and antiparasitic properties. Of all these effects, research shows that turmeric is most effective for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

As an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, turmeric improves oxidative stress through its ability to scavenge toxic free radicals in the body. Free radicals are tissue-damaging molecules with an unequal number of electrons that can be catalysts for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Thanks to its high antioxidant content, turmeric can help reduce the risk of free radical formation and lessen the effects of stress on the body.

2 Ginger

Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for nausea and gastrointestinal problems. Today, people mainly use ginger root as a spice or as a supplement to treat digestive issues. Closely related to turmeric, ginger also contains anti-inflammatory properties and a very high level of total antioxidants. Only pomegranates and some types of berries contain more. As an anti-nausea agent, several controlled studies have proven that ginger is effective as an antiemetic.
It can be used against seasickness, motion sickness and morning sickness.
Some studies have shown that ginger may have anti-cancer effects. This is largely due to ginger’s high antioxidant levels. It can also slow cell reproduction, cause cells to stop dividing, and shut down certain activating proteins and signaling pathways that contribute to cancer.

3 Cumin

Cumin is a popular kitchen spice used for its aromatic effects. It is also beneficial for weight loss, cholesterol, stress management, and more. It also has strong antioxidant potential. Research also shows that cumin is an antidiabetic. A group of 80 people took an Ayurvedic formula containing cumin over a period of 24 weeks, and their postprandial blood sugar levels were significantly reduced.

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4 Peppermint

Peppermint is an extremely popular herb, commonly used as a flavoring agent. It is native to Europe and Asia. In these regions, people used it before the advent of modern medicine for its cooling effects, antibacterial properties and to improve digestive health. Research shows that as a holistic remedy, peppermint is also effective in improving cardiovascular (heart) and pulmonary (lungs) health by acting as a bronchodilator. Bronchiodilators work by widening the air passages (bronchioles) in the lungs. By inhaling the smell of peppermint, a person also increases their nasal breathing force, which allows more air to be sent to the lungs.
Also, some studies show that peppermint is an effective muscle relaxant thanks to its cooling minty compound. This is why menthol is often an active ingredient in ointments and creams that target muscle pain.

5 Echinacea

Echinacea is a supplement that is best known for targeting the immune system and helping to prevent colds. Although research has yet to prove that the herb can fight off viruses, many use echinacea to support the treatment of conditions such as colds and flu.

6 Cinnamon

Ancient civilizations have used cinnamon since 2,800 BCE for anointing, embalming, and treating disease. Although not as widely used for its therapeutic properties as it was thousands of years ago, cinnamon still offers myriad health benefits as an antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic spice. and anticarcinogenic.
A 2015 study shows that cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels. Its role in regulating glucose in the body has been suggested in many small randomized control trials, although the results have not been significant enough to be conclusive. Cinnamon also has cognitive-enhancing effects, and researchers set out to determine if the spice could be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
To learn more about the health benefits of cinnamon, click here.

7 Chilli powder

Capsaicin, the phytochemical that makes chili peppers hot, may play an important role in regulating heart and metabolic health. When people consume chili powder, the spice triggers beneficial protein changes in the body that are conducive to weight loss. But researchers don’t fully understand how it works. People who participated in a study where they consumed moderate amounts of chili over a 12-week period experienced weight loss results, which was triggered by the impact of chili on the body to better control the insulin, among other therapeutic effects. In another study researchers observed that regular consumption of chili peppers also significantly reduced levels of abdominal adipose (fat) tissue and reduced appetite and energy intake.
When it comes to cardiovascular benefits, recent research provided by the American Heart Association found that people who regularly consume chili powder can reduce their risk of death from heart disease by 26%. Besides,

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8 Parsley

Parsley is an herb native to the Mediterranean region. Many have used it over the years, both as a culinary herb and as a therapeutic treatment for a range of health conditions, including high blood pressure and allergies. This herb is full of antioxidants. It is full of antioxidants, carotenoids and other beneficial vitamins that contribute to the health of the body and the immune system. Among these is vitamin K, an essential nutrient for bone health.

9 Oregano

Another herb very present in the Mediterranean diet is oregano, which many use not only as a flavor enhancer for foods, but also as an aromatic oil and as a supplement. The herb’s antioxidants contribute to its potent taste and smell, and may also provide benefits such as:

– strengthen the immune system against infections
– reduction of inflammation
– regulation of blood sugar
– improve insulin resistance
– relieve urinary tract symptoms and menstrual cramps
– fight cancer.

10 Cardamom

Cardamom is another spice that offers a wide range of potential health benefits. Coming from the seeds of plants belonging to the ginger family, people often consume cardamom in teas, such as chai tea, as well as some coffees, desserts, and even savory dishes.
Some of the conditions that research shows cardamom can treat include:

– the constipation
– colic
– diarrhea
– dyspepsia
– vomiting
– headache
– epilepsy
– cardiovascular illnesses.

The healing properties of the spice come mainly from a combination of its volatile oils, fixed oils, phenolic acids and sterols. In particular, the volatile oils present in cardamom seeds are analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antispasmodic.

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Herbs and spices add flavor to meals, but are also powerhouses of essential nutrients that greatly benefit the body. Incorporating herbs and spices into the diet may provide some health benefits or improvement, but they should not be relied upon solely for the complete treatment of certain diseases.
People with serious health conditions should see a doctor to discuss the best course of treatment.

Sources

  • Ani, V., et al. (2011). Antioxidant potential of bitter cumin (Centratherum anthelminticum(L.) Kuntze) seeds in vitro
  • Balakrishnan, A. (2015). Therapeutic uses of peppermint—a review.
  • Basith, S., et al. (2016). Harnessing the therapeutic potential of capsaicin and its analogues in pain and other diseases.
  • Bodagh, MN, et al. (2019). Ginger in gastrointestinal disorders: A systematic review of clinical trials.
  • Bode, A., et al. (2011). Chapter 7: The amazing and mighty ginger. Herbal medicine: Biomolecular and clinical aspects, 2nd edition.
  • Fadus, MC, et al. (2017). Curcumin: An age-old anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic agent.
  • Frydman-Marom, A., et al. (2011). Orally administered cinnamon extract reduces β-amyloid oligomerization and corrects cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease animal models.
  • Hewlings, SJ, et al. (2017). Curcumin: A review of its’ effects on human health.
  • Jiang, TA (2019). Health benefits of culinary herbs and spices. [Abstract].
  • Mahmood, S., et al. (2014). Critique of medicinal conspicuousness of parsley (Petroselinum crispum): A culinary herb of the Mediterranean region [Abstract].
  • Manayi, A., et al. (2015). Echinacea purpurea: Pharmacology, phytochemistry and analysis methods.
  • Rahman, M., et al. (2017). Cardamom powder supplementation prevents obesity, improves glucose intolerance, inflammation and oxidative stress in liver of high carbohydrate high fat diet induced obese rats.

[HighProtein-Foods.com]

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