Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Spice Of Life

It's going to be max 38 degree today. Part of me wants to go out and enjoy the Sun before the arrival of Autumn but another side of me telling myself to stay home and do what ever I need to do. For instance updating this blog. So. here I am. I have been meaning to share the benefits of spices that I often used to enhance the flavour of the food I cooked but due to time constraint the plan has to be postponed.

Spices that I am going to talk about may seen ordinary but they have amazing health benefits. Spice can come in buds such as cloves, bark (cinnamon), roots (ginger), berries (peppercorns), aromatic seeds (cumin) and even stigma of flower (saffron).

1. Chilli Peppers can range from  mild to fiery. For this spice, the hotter the better when it comes to its anti-oxidant properties. Chilli is thought to help prevent and treat diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin have the potential to lower glucose and insulin level and reduce the formation of fatty plaques on the artery walls and prevent blood clots. 15g a day of chilli peppers will be able to improve your sleep which will benefit your cardiovascular system.

2. Ginger: 1g ginger powder per day keeps the nausea away.Ginger may alleviate symptoms of nausea such as morning sickness from pregnancy, surgery or chemotherapy or even motion sickness. It's anti-nausea effects of ginger or ginger tea that are probably the best recognised. Ginger also inhibits inflammation. Patients with arthritic knee pain found relief from ginger extract.

3. Black Pepper: Natural chemical piperine in black pepper is the component that is responsible for possible health benefits. There is suggestive evidence that black pepper can improve digestion, help the nervous system increase energy expenditure.

4. Cinnamon give us warm and fuzzy feeling.  Cinnamon contains health-promoting anti oxidants such as cinnamaldehyde which could help blood flow. The most promising benefit of this spice is that it is able to lower the blood sugar levels.

5. Turmeric usually sold as dry powder. it adds much more colour and flavour to your curries. Abundant in vitamins and minerals, it is the phytochemical curcumin that offers anti-oxidant properties and anti inflammatory. The phenolic compounds in turmeric has shown to reduce the risk of cancer.

6. Cloves are packed with wonderful compound. In fact, cloves have the highest anti-oxidant activity compared with other herbs and spices. Eugenol, the primary component of clove's oil functions as an anti-inflammatory substance. Studies shows that it is able reduce inflammatory symptoms by 15-30 percent. Cloves can be used in both sweet and savoury recipes.

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