Herbs and spices not only contribute very few calories to eating but are healthy in many ways. Given below is a list of ten spices that we may examine in detail.
- Cinnamon is known for long as a spice and as a medicine. It is the brown bark of the cinnamon tree and is available in a tubular form, or as a ground powder. Its unique healing properties are on account of three components in it viz. , cinaamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohol and other volatiles. Together they give cinnamon properties like anticlotting by its effect on blood platelets. Cinnamon is also a fungicide and reduces blood sugar levels as a result of its effect on insulin production. Its scent improves brain function, its calcium and fibre levels prevent heart disease. Used in sweet dishes, desserts and curries
- Ginger has good effects on motion sickness and nausea; pain associated with arthritis and also thins blood like aspirin. Ginger is commonly used in breads, cakes and many Asian dishes.
- Turmeric is an anti-oxidant that neutralises free radicals and protects against cancer. Additionally the compounds in turmeric have anti-inflammatory and cholesterol lowering properties that fight against the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Although it doesn’t have any flavour enhancing effect, it adds an all-natural colour to any dish and is popular in curries and Indian dishes.
- Paprika is a spice made by grinding fruits of capsicunannuum (e.g. bell peppers or chilli peppers) and can range from mild to hot and used to add colour and flavour to dishes. It is an excellent source of vitamin A and contains capsaicin that hasanti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent cancer. Paprika combined with thyme and ground red pepper can liven up the taste of popcorn.
- Garlic regular consumption of garlic reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels.It also destroys cancer cells.Garliccontains various minerals and vitamins. It has a distinctive taste and adds flavour to pasta sauces and marinades.
- Rosemary stops gene mutations that reduce cancer risk and damage to blood vessels that inhibits heart attack risks. It has many substances that stimulate the immune system improving blood circulation and digestion. It is commonly used in gourmet breads and Italian dressings.
- Oreganohas more anti-oxidant properties than 27 other culinary herbs. The phenols in it are great bacteria killers, destroying their cell membranes.It is available fresh, ground or chopped. It is used in Italian dishes, vegetable preparations and soups.
- Basil fresh basil contains flavonoids that protect cells and chromosomes from radiation damage. It also has beta carotene and an excellent source of vitamin K and prevents cardiovascular diseases. It is also asource of magnesium, iron, potassium , calcium and vitamin C. Basil leaves are tastiest and healthiest when fresh and are used in tomato based foods, in pesto and used in Thai and Vietnamese dishes and salads.
- Cilantro contains items that reduce blood sugar and cholesterol and suggested to fight salmonella. Best used in home-made salsa and salads along with traditional lettuce.
- Chili Pepper has a fiery hot flavour and helps prevents mouth ulcers and clears stuffed noses and lungs. It also aidsweight loss. Best added in sautéedvegetables to increase spice volume.
In conclusion, herbs and spices have many health benefits without adding calories to food.
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