Spice it up
What would a painter be without his colors, a musician without his instrument and a cook without his spices? Spices, however, bring much more than their unique taste to the table. They have been used for medical purposes for centuries. We could write a whole bible about every spice and its health benefits. But let's start with two widely used spices.
Next to the delicous taste spices also offer a wide range of health benefits. Many ancient cultures still use herbs and spices as first choice for the treatment of ailments and other health concerns. In Ayurveda, an ancient indian philosophy, herbs and spices are an important pillar used to heal and prevent diseases. The number of spices are endless and many of them you have probably never heard of so we want to keep it simple and just talk about a few very powerful spices.
Turmeric, one of the most used spices in India. It is a bright yellow root (see foto on the left) used in many ayurvedic medications and consumed daily in the indian kitchen, also in sweet dishes. Even outside of the ayurvedic field dozens of studies are coming out showing how curcumin (the pigment in turmeric that gives it that bright yellow color) may play a role in preventing and treating a viarity of diseases.
Just to mention a few health benefits, turmeric is an excellent, natural antibiotic, strengthens digestion, helps improving the intestinal flora and promotes metabolism. Turmeric also has a blood-purifying effect and stimulates the formation of new blood tissue (Dr. Vasant Lad & Dr. David Frawley, 2018). Moreover, it is the most anti-inflammatory food followed by ginger and garlic (NutritionFacts.org, 2019). So get some turmeric in your kitchen and use it daily!
Oregano belongs to the mint family and is well known in the Italian kitchen and in the home pharmacy. From a nutritional point of view, oregano leaves are a good source of iron, manganese, vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. It is therefore a general immune booster. Due to the presence of phenolic acids and flavonoids, oregano has a high level of antioxidant properties. Oregano oil is effective in reversing inflammation and can be used to cure indigestion, flatulence and bloating (Healthline, 2020).
Moreover, it has antiseptic properties and is highly effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Researchers have found that the plant compounds in oregano can kill many of the bacteria that cause food poisoning, including salmonella (Healing Spices, 2017). Read more...
The most common use of cumin as a kitchen remedy is for digestive disorders and to improve the body's digestive ability. Cumin also has antibacterial/antiviral properties. Furthermore, this spice has been shown to control healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. From a nutritional standpoint, cumin is a naturally iron-rich ingredient, and also contains large amounts of calcium and magnesium. It also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Cumin may be just the super spice you are looking for to not only improve the taste of your favorite dish, but also to promote your health and vitality. Read more...
The Challenge - Spice it up!
We would like to encourage you to explore new spices and add at least one spice to every dish (including sweet dishes!). Cinnamon, (star) anise, cardamom, cloves, vanilla, and licorice are some spices that are often used insweet dishes. Season your milk with some of these spices for your next coffee or Matcha Latte (recipe). You can find more inspiration on our recipe page.