Spice It Up
They say variety is the spice of life, but it turns out that spice is actually the spice of life. That is, there are many spices that have some incredible health properties. Adding or increasing the amount of spices in your meals and drinks is a tasty and easy way to support a healthy lifestyle. In fact, you may even find substituting salt and sugar with spices in your everyday cooking will produce amazing results, both for your health and your taste buds.
Here are a few key spices that are easily accessible and easily incorporated into your diet. Let’s dive in!
It’s also one of the most versatile spices, and can be used in a variety of ways, such as:
- Sprinkle a little into your coffee for extra flavor
- Sprinkle cinnamon over some frozen yogurt
- Incorporate it into anything you’re baking
- Add a little to tomato sauce to make it richer
- Swirl some into a fruit shake
Also sometimes called curcumin, turmeric has been used as medicine since ancient times. It’s the spice that often gives curry a yellow color. But its health benefits can’t be understated; it is a strong anti-inflammatory used to relieve the symptoms of arthritis, but it’s also associated with improved brain function, reduced risk of heart disease, and even fighting Alzheimer’s.
Because of its association with curry, though, you might be surprised that there are a variety of other uses for this wonder-spice, including:
- Scrambled eggs or frittatas
- Roast with vegetables, like peppers, cauliflower, and potatoes or other root vegetables
- Simmer turmeric with coconut milk to make Golden Milk
Another spice that goes well with both cinnamon and turmeric is ginger. Ginger is great for your digestive tract, but is also known for helping to assuage nausea. It’s also quite a versatile spice that can add a real zing to any dish. Some ideas include:
- Use fresh ginger to make ginger tea with a little lemon and honey
- Stir fry it with garlic and onions for the base of a vegetarian stir fry
- Make candied ginger for a healthy and sweet snack on the go
- Mix with carrot juice for a strong morning pick-me-up
Turn up the heat with this spice! Cayenne is known for being hot, but it also can help reduce appetite and burn fat! Some studies have also found connections between cayenne and combating some forms of cancer.
Unlike the other spices discussed so far, though, cayenne can sometimes be a little harder to incorporate. Not everyone likes spicy food, but with a deft touch, you can add cayenne to your diet without burning your taste buds off. Some dishes where cayenne can be added include:
- Add a dash or two to a chocolate mousse
- Mix with cinnamon and sprinkle into your coffee or eat over frozen yogurt
- Gently turn up the heat on your hummus, bean dip, or even guacamole
Just remember to go easy with the cayenne. A little goes a long way, and many people need to become accustomed to its spiciness.