Benefits of Indian spices on your health

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May 25, 2015

Spices are one of the most important ingredients that add taste, flavour and aroma to your food. They are not only popular in kitchen but they have many health benefits too. Many years ago, diseases were treated with the help of these spices.

May 25, 2015

Spices are one of the most important ingredients that add taste, flavour and aroma to your food. They are not only popular in kitchen but they have many health benefits too. Many years ago, diseases were treated with the help of these spices.

They have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial effects and contain loads of antioxidants which boost the immune system. Like fruits and vegetables, spices are also very beneficial. Let’s look at some of the health benefits of common Indian spices.

Cinnamon: Known as dalchini in Hindi, it is a common household spice. In addition to its strong flavour and aroma, cinnamon also has some medicinal properties. Consuming 6 grams of cinnamon per day (1 heaped teaspoon) lowers blood glucose levels and insulin resistance by activating the insulin receptors. It also improves insulin sensitivity by improving the uptake of glucose by the cells. Besides this, cinnamon also helps to reduce abdominal fat and lose weight (fat burning effect).

Ways to include it into your daily diet:

  • Cinnamon powder can be added to your tea/coffee.
  • The powder can be sprinkled on breakfast cereal.
  • It can be added to wheat flour used for making chapatti.
  • It can be swallowed with 1 glass water.

Cardamom: Cardamom or elaichi helps in the process of digestion and controls excessive production of acids. Indigestion leads to bloating, flatulence, heartburn and cramps. Cardamom contains a very important phytochemical ‘cineole’ which has many health benefits. It increases the movement of the food through the intestine and also reduces cramps and flatulence. Also, cardamom has expectorant properties which help to reduce mucus production and thus treats cough, cold and bronchitis.

Ways to include it into your daily diet:

  • Chew raw cardamom (it also keeps bad breath away).
  • Add cardamom to your tea/coffee.

Fennel seeds: They are an amazing source of dietary fibre which increases the bulk of food by absorbing water and helps in easy passage of stools thus and are very helpful in the treatment of constipation. Saunf also protects the digestive tract lining thus reducing spasms and aiding in digestion. Fennel water is beneficial for infants with colic (1 teaspoon fennel seeds can be added to 250-300 ml boiling water. Boil for 10-15 mins and strain). It is also a galactogogue which increases breast milk supply in lactating mothers.

Ways to include it into your daily diet:

  • Drink fennel water.
  • Chew raw fennel.
  • It can be added to tea.
  • It can be added to salads.

Ginger: Fresh ginger helps to reduce pain and stiffness in the joints caused due to arthritis. This anti-inflammatory property of ginger or adrak is due to the presence of a compound called ‘gingerol’ which reduces the inflammation and free radical production thus improving the mobility and flexibility of joints.

Ways to include it into your daily diet:

  • Fresh ginger can be added to tea.
  • It can be added to stir-fry vegetables.
  • Ginger drink- 2 tablespoons grated ginger can be added to hot water. Strain this water and add ½ teaspoon honey.

Courtesy: Health India