In the famous words of the Spice Girls, we’re here to spice up your life – through the power of food of course! Herbs and spices shouldn’t be left neglected in a food cupboard and used occasionally to jazz up a meal, we recommend using them regularly to utilise their many health benefits. We’ve got the list of some of our top superfood spices guaranteed to boost your meals in a seriously healthy way!
- This popular spice can be found in anything from porridge pots (psst- our Cranberry & Cinnamon Porridge is delicious) to baked goods, but it also has lots of health benefits! Loaded with antioxidants, cinnamon can help to fight inflammation and lower cholesterol levels.
- Cinnamon may improve some risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol levels, triglycerides and blood pressure.
- The benefits of this spice do not stop there, cinnamon may also assist with lowering blood sugar levels. It can slow the absorption of sugar, which helps to prevent blood sugar spikes and balance energy levels.
- Cinnamon also contains the active ingredient cinnamaldehyde, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is widely believed that regular consumption of cinnamon may help to prevent cancer.
- Loaded with phytochemicals that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is a spice to definitely include in your diet! It is suggested that fresh ginger and powdered ginger can help to relieve nausea such as travel sickness and pregnancy-related sickness.
- Ginger is also great to help treat digestive problems, such as bloating, flatulence and indigestion. It is thought that it helps your digestive system by boosting digestive juices and neutralizing acids.
- Containing the powerful antioxidant curcumin, turmeric helps to fight oxidative damage, which may lead to accelerated ageing as well as increasing the risk of many diseases.
- Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help to fight inflammation. Although a small amount of inflammation is beneficial, long-term inflammation plays a key role in nearly every chronic Western disease, meaning that the active ingredient curcumin can help to fight and prevent harmful long-term inflammation as well as potentially improving brain function, fight Alzheimer’s and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer!
- Studies suggest that turmeric may help control blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and reduce the risk of dementia by preventing the build-up of amyloid plaques, which restrict blood flow to the brain. The antioxidant properties of turmeric may help to prevent the formation of cancerous cells in the colon, breasts and lungs.
- This chilli pepper contains the active ingredient capsaicin, which has many health benefits! Capsaicin is an antibacterial phytochemical that is great for your digestive health, it may help prevent stomach ulcers by helping your body produce mucus that protects the stomach lining.
- Capsaicin may help to boost your metabolism, which helps to burn excess fat as well as reducing appetite. It also has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-diabetic properties that can prevent disease and reduce pain. Cayenne Pepper helps to keep your heart ticking away, by helping to improve circulation and lower blood pressure that helps to keep your arteries clear of blood clots, which helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- This spice has natural pain-relieving characteristics and can help to reduce the pain associated with injuries, strains and chronic inflammation from conditions such as arthritis.
- Nutmeg also has an impressive fibre content, which is great news for your digestive health, as it helps to bulk up your bowel movements and help to prevent unwanted constipation.
- Nutmeg is a fab source of potassium, which helps to relax blood vessels. This helps to reduce blood pressure and lower the strain on your cardiovascular system. Nutmeg also contains iron, which boosts your red blood cell count as well as reducing the risk of anaemia.
- This antioxidant-rich spice helps to fight disease and contains vitamin B6, which can help to lower high blood pressure as well as helping to heal damaged blood cells.
- Paprika can also assist with treating anaemia, as it creates haemoglobin in the blood, which is responsible for transporting oxygen through the bloodstream.
- There are heaps of antioxidants in Paprika, such as carotenoids, a type of pigment that is found in plants and help to prevent free radical damage occurring in the body. One of the carotenoids found in paprika is beta-carotene, which can help to protect your skin health.
- Paprika also contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals that are renowned for their eye health benefits! The antioxidant benefits of paprika prevent chronic inflammation, which is at the root of nearly all modern Western diseases!
- Containing iron and copper, cumin helps to keep your red blood cells healthy, as well as containing zinc, which helps to keep your immune system in tip-top condition.
- Cumin also contains potassium, which is essential for controlling blood pressure levels as well as your heart rate. Hold up, the health benefits of this aromatic spice do not stop there!
- Cumin contains calcium, which is needed to build and maintain strong bones and teeth and regulate muscle contractions. It is suggested that cumin has an anti-diabetic effect, as it helps to lower blood sugar levels.
- Cumin is rich in phytochemicals including phytosterols, which can help to lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol.