Spice Up Your Life: Spices For Health

Spice lovers rejoice! Your favourite flavour-booster doesn’t just taste great but helps your health too. However, those who can’t take the heat shouldn’t fret. Many spice options benefit your health without burning your mouth.

Let’s look at some of the health benefits of spice and how you can work it into your diet.

Increased metabolism: Research shows eating red peppers can increase your metabolism and reduce your appetite. Add chilli flakes to stir-fries, soups and even poached eggs to help your taste buds and metabolism.

Decrease cholesterol: For those who can’t handle red chillies, there are many health benefits from milder herbs, like garlic. A staple of many cuisines, garlic is shown to reduce cholesterol levels and help prevent heart disease.

It’s an excellent flavour-enhancer too. So, why not try freshly chopped (or lightly sauteed) garlic to flavour your food instead of added salt?

Fight inflammation: Spices that are milder in flavour, such as turmeric, may also reduce inflammation. No wonder it’s been used in ancient cultures for centuries to promote overall health.Try adding a dash to your rice for colour, aroma and anti-inflammatory boosts!

Load up on antioxidants: Antioxidants help fight off diseases. Ginger is an excellent source of these inflammation-fighting chemicals. It’s super versatile too, add a small amount to your veggie juice, soup or you can even make ginger-based cake and biscuits—just don’t over-do the sweet treats!

Prevent bacterial and fungal infections: Cinnamon may have a sweet scent, but it’s harsh when it comes to protecting your body. It helps inhibit the growth of bacteria (including Salmonella) and also fights off fungal infections.

But remember, many cinnamon-flavoured foods don’t equate to good choices. Use cinnamon to enhance your healthy snacks and meals to benefit from its health-boosting qualities fully.

Live longer: Finally, turning up the heat of your dishes with chilli could help you live longer. A study found those who ate spicy foods regularly in a week showed a 14 per cent relative risk reduction in total mortality compared to those who didn’t. Further, adults who ate hot red peppers had a 13 per cent lower hazard of death, compared to those who did not.

So, hot or not, spices provide not just a boost in flavour but also to our health. Shake up your next meal by adding some spice!