How Spices Can Improve Your Health
Did you know that spices do far more than just make your food taste good? Many spices have medicinal properties and health benefits that are simply too good to ignore. If you are following the Paleo diet, then you should seriously consider adding these spices to your culinary repertoire.
Turmeric is a spice that is rich in curcumin, an anti-inflammatory that is thought to be around 50 times more powerful than vitamin C and vitamin E. There is some research that suggests curcumin has anti-cancer properties and can help to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. This is still preliminary research, and certainly not a sign that turmeric can be used in the place of real medicine, but it does mean that you can feel good about home-made curries and other dishes with turmeric in them.
Cinnamon is a great addition to the Paleo diet, and makes a good substitute for cane sugar. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can contribute to cravings and binge eating. Consuming cinnamon helps to prevent those blood sugar spikes and dips and improves the way that your body metabolizes any glucose in your day-to-day diet. Regulating your insulin levels can reduce your risk of developing diabetes and help to cut your risk of heart disease as well. Cinnamon can be added to almost any sweet dish or drink.
Rosemary offers health benefits of a slightly different variety. Meat is an important part of the Paleo diet, and when you grill or sautee certain meats the cooking process can produce heterocyclic amines ? harmful free radicals that are thought to contribute to the development of cancer. Marinating meats in rosemary can help to prevent the formation of those free radicals.
Oregano contains a large amount of antioxidants, as well as vitamin K, which contributes to the strength of your bones. In addition, eating oregano when you?re feeling a little run down may help to fend off stomach flu and similar bugs.
Ginger has long been used as a travel sickness remedy, but it has other benefits too. Did you know that eating ginger can help to reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness ? the aches and pains that occur after a hard workout? Preliminary research conducted in Thailand suggests that ginger also helps people to concentrate for longer and improves their memory.
Most herbs and spices have powerful health benefits, and we are only just coming to understand those benefits today. If you have the time to cook from scratch, then adding a wide variety of herbs and spices to your diet will be beneficial. However, it is important to note that moderation is an essential part of the Paleo diet. There is such a thing as diminishing returns, and over-consumption of anything, even a particular herb or spice, can be harmful. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors did not eat the same things day in, day out, and neither should we. As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life!
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