Most people use spices to color, flavor or preserve their food. Spices are grown in the tropical regions of the world and also in the cool misty highlands. They have been used since 50,000 BC and these include dried seeds and fruits, roots or barks. Spices are known to add years to one’s life because they are rich in phytonutrients and they have active nutrients which protect the body against diseases and promote healing. Each spice has a unique flavor and aroma which are derived from phytochemicals which protect the spices from insects, parasites, and animals.
Spices are known to have healing powers when they are used in their natural form because they contain antiviral and antibacterial properties, trace minerals and B-vitamins. They can be used in cooking soups and stews, added to salads or tea or drinks and in baked foods and the health benefits include:
- Regulate the immune system– most spices have medicinal properties which help raise the immune system, hence the body is able to fight off any diseases and have positive effects on people who have autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis.
- Balances the blood sugar and lowers cholesterol– spices such as cinnamon is known to mimic the action of insulin, which is the hormone that regulates blood sugar and stimulates the insulin receptors on the muscle cells and fat to allow excess sugar to move out of the blood and into the cells. It reduces the amount cholesterol in the blood and a teaspoon each day could reduce the triglycerides and total cholesterol levels by 12 to 30 percent.
- They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that protect the body against oxidation and low grade inflammation which results in too many diseases. Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory effect which relieves arthritic pain and has natural compounds which stabilize cells at the molecular level, which makes them safe from oxidative stress and free radicals. Antioxidants fight disease such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer.
- Eases digestive discomfort such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colic, diarrhea, bloating. The spice works like an antispasmodic drug which relaxes the contracted digestive muscles that are causing discomfort and any overactive gut disorders.
- Helps in digestion– spices such as pepper stimulate the taste buds, trigger the pancreas to start producing digestive enzymes and tone the intestine lining which boosts the digestive power in very many ways. This, in turn, speeds up the time food moves through the gastrointestinal tract hence reducing the changes constipation and colon cancer. Pepper is also known to calm nausea and relieve flatulence.
When you are using spices, it is important to use one or two spices at a time so as not to lose the flavor of the food. Don’t sprinkle the spice from the container directly to the steaming pot as the rising moisture will diminish the spice potency that remains in the jar.
Use fresh spices and make sure they have not stayed for long on the shelf. At simplespicerubs.com you are assured of getting healthy and nutritious spice rubs that you can use to flavor and spice up your meals.