Herbs and spices have been used for centuries for their health and medicinal purposes. There is a vast array of seasonings available; many that you may not be familiar with, so if you tend to reach for the salt and pepper, it may be time to expand your seasoning pallet. Many seasonings, such as garlic, not only add flavor to your foods, but have several health benefits as well. Here are four of the most commonly used seasonings that are also extremely beneficial for your health.
Turmeric, a relative of ginger, has been a staple for the use in Indian Ayurvedic medicine as an antibacterial and antiseptic to treat inflammation, infection, poor digestion and wound healing. More recent studies have shown that turmeric contains polyphenol curcumin, which is thought to be a powerful cancer-fighting agent. A little turmeric goes a long way in seasoning foods. To reap the benefits of this flavorful seasoning, consider sprinkling a little turmeric in foods, such as pasta, eggs and soups. To reap the best benefits of turmeric for ailments, such as arthritis, consider sipping a cup of turmeric tea once or twice a day.
Garlic is frequently used as a flavoring for pasta sauces, grilled meats and even bread. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and was popular in earlier centuries for treating wounds, infections, cholera and typhus. One of the best benefits of garlic is its anti-fungal and antioxidant properties are excellent for helping to lower cholesterol levels. When used in small amounts, garlic has also been shown to beneficial for diabetes, reducing heart disease and lowering the risk of hypertension. It is important to note that excessive amounts of garlic may cause bloating, body odor, skin irritation and/or an upset stomach. Also, garlic may cause blood thinning, so it shouldn’t be used if you have a bleeding disorder.
If you are looking for a way to incorporate flavorful seasonings into your food, nutmeg should not be overlooked. One of the best benefits of nutmeg is its ability to help you fight insomnia. To use nutmeg as a way to help you get a better night’s sleep, simply sprinkle a small amount in a cup or warm milk or your favorite tea and sip a cup of this flavorful beverage about 30 minutes before bedtime. Another great way to use nutmeg is by adding it to carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil, which can applied directly on a tooth to relieve a toothache or taken by the teaspoon to settle an upset stomach.
Many herbs and spices are used for medicinal purposes, so they may interact with prescription medications you are currently taking. So, be sure to talk with your doctor about the herbs and spices you are interested in using as seasonings to ensure they don’t produce side-effects, especially when taking certain medications.