Spices are the very core of Indian cooking. The colorful and flavorful Indian cuisines that give off a mouthwatering aroma, what could be the secret behind? It’s no other than the Indian spices. The rich and exotic flavors these spices bring to any food can awaken the taste buds! But these spices do a lot more than spicing up your dishes these spices come with many health and medicinal benefits. It is not simply because Indian spices add flavor and nutrients to dishes without fat or calories, it goes beyond that.
Each spice contains different health benefits and understanding them will help you enhance home cooked meals that will meet the needs of the family members.
- Turmeric– a plant from the ginger family, with a bright yellow color, and a strong, and earthly taste. It gives a rich, zesty, and appetizing color to foods mostly curries and fish dishes. Researchers have shown that turmeric helps in minimizing liver damages, reduces toxins and helps the liver metabolize the fats and aids weight loss. The National Institute of Health found that the bright orange spice helps in treating arthritis, stomach pains, diarrhea, heartburns, intestinal gas, lost appetite, and stomach bloating. Moreover, turmeric serves as a tropical treatment for infected wounds, skin inflammation, and ringworm.
- Cumin– a flowering plant from the family of Apiaceae (parsley family) with seeds that is oval with ridges, a greenish-beige color, a nutty aroma, and bitter taste. It is usually dried-fried before use and can be grounded to a powder. Cumin is used as flavoring to rice stuffed veggies, and most savory dishes. Chewing a handful of cumin seeds after every meal can aid digestion and give relief from digestive problems. It has antiseptic properties that can ease common cold, fight flu by boosting the immune system. Cumin also contains a good amount of iron which can help reduce the chances of anemia.
- Ginger– a flowering plant with rhizomes that is widely used as spice has a sweet aroma and hot, strong taste. The inside is hard, woody, yellow, and fibrous. The root is often cooked after being peeled and grated. It is used in sweet dishes, desserts, and spicy dishes such as hot curries and stir fries. Ginger is most commonly known for relieving colds, quick relieving effects on heartburn, upset stomach, nausea, and motion sickness. Due to its high level of gingerol, it is considered to be beneficial anti-inflammatory making it a natural remedy for headaches and minor body aches.
- Cinnamon– is the dried bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum. It has a sweet-tasting spice, and a warm, woody aroma that stimulates that senses yet calms the nerves. Whole cinnamon is used for drinks while the ground one is used for cakes, sweet dishes, fruit pies, and is perfect when combined with chicken. Research suggests that it might help regulate treatment for type 2 diabetes as it helps in digestion of sugar. With the anti-inflammatory property of cinnamon, it improves cardiovascular health, increase metabolic rate, and has antimicrobial effects.
These are just a few of the many spices that are oozing with health benefits. So the next time you cook a meal and is adding that spice, you can smile and think to yourself that you are not only making your dish delicious but also packing it with health benefits that are good for you and the people you are cooking for.