Immense Health Benefits Bestowed by Spices

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The Indian sub-continent is frequently referred to as the “home of spices” since herbs / spices are widely used not only to add taste and flavor to the food, but also for its profound medicinal benefits. Recent scientific research has proven that these herbs/spices have innumerable health benefits and can help prevent potentially life threatening diseases. They possess numerous biological properties and synergistic effects that not only prevent diseases / ailments but also improve overall health and well-being. The scientific basis of “Ayurveda” which is an ancient branch of medicine is the use of natural ingredients to nourish, strengthen and heal the body. ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity) is a method of measuring antioxidant properties in biological samples. Research has proven that spices / herbs possess the highest ORAC values which enable them to neutralize free radicals, increase metabolism and provide nutrient dense value to the food.

Commonly used Indian spices offer tremendous health benefits and aid in prevention of potentially life threatening conditions. The usage of spices like turmeric, saffron, coriander, cardamom and cumin have been proven to be extremely beneficial for health.

Turmeric – Its anti-inflammatory properties is due to the presence of curcumin, the pigment that imparts it a vibrant yellow-orange color. Curcumin is a polyphenol clinically proven not only to prevent proliferation of cancerous cells but also aid in reducing symptoms associated with several health conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, joint inflammation, liver conditions and depression.

Saffron is a highly-prized exotic spice renowned for its color, flavor and innumerable health benefits commonly referred to as “spice of richness”. It contains a natural carotenoid dicarboxylic acid called “crocin” which confers anti-oxidant, anti-cancerous, anti-convulsant and anti-depressant properties. Saffron is also a good source of potassium, manganese, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc and manganese. Additionally it has been proven to help treat vision problems, neurogenerative disorders, artherosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, depression and gum disease.

Coriander is another widely used spice in the Indian sub-continent. These are basically seeds from the cilantro plant which possess immense anti-inflammatory properties. Coriander is used to treat various ailments like high cholesterol levels, anemia, blood sugar, small pox, ulcers and digestive problems.

Cardamom is closely associated with the ginger family has been found to contain a valuable chemical named limonene which possesses immense antioxidant properties. Cardamom commonly known as the “queen of spices” contains potent antioxidants and offers protection against innumerable health conditions like cancer, blood pressure and also possesses diuretic properties.

Cumin seeds are extensively grown in India and very frequently used in cooking. Cumin aids in digestion due to the presence of an aromatic compound called cuminaldehyde. Cumin also produces an enzyme called thymol that secretes various acids / enzymes that aid digestion. Cumin is also known to relieve respiratory conditions, anemia, skin disorders and cancer. Cinnamon and asafetida are other useful spices that aid digestion, respiratory disorders and lower cholesterol levels.

Hence the use of Indian spices in daily cooking can have profound medicinal benefits. Regular use of spices can help combat various health problems and improve overall vitality and well-being.