You shouldn’t be surprised that spices are actually good for more than just making your food more flavorful.

Like fruits and vegetables, they contain many nutrients that help you live a healthy life.

The bonus is that they can also be used in many different ways, from teas to supplements.

Spices That Can Increase Your Health and Wellness

There are many spices and herbs that help with health and wellness. Covering all of them would take a couple of book volumes. Here are eight that you should try.

1. Ginger

When you think of ginger, it may bring back memories of your grandmother giving your ginger ale to help you ease a tummy ache.

Ginger properties include controlling stomach acid, as well as cutting back on gas and bloating (and you can do this best by eating raw ginger). It’s also great for stopping nausea and car sickness, and you can take it in the form of ginger root pills.

Ginger juice benefits include being rich in antioxidants. It’s a powerful ally in the fight against cancer. It’s also known to help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy addition to meals and juices.

2. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is believed to help your body respond differently to foods high in fat – keeping you from getting fatter when you eat them. It’s also great for the digestive system. Cinnamon can even aid those that have lost their appetite.

While you’re more likely to add cinnamon that’s already been ground into your smoothies and meals, you can also find cinnamon in oil form. Cinnamon oil is used to treat fungal infections and can help internally and externally. Cinnamon is a great addition to baking and breakfast foods, and it can be added to tea as well.

3. Chili Peppers

Chili Peppers are amazing little specimens that do a ton of good for the body, from the very top of your head all the way down to the tips of your toes. They fight arthritis, and ingredients from them are used in topical pain medications. They also fight pain internally.

Full of things like folic acid, potassium, niacin, and riboflavin – chili peppers fight anemia, boost your cognitive function, help fight congenital disabilities in pregnant women, and even help with sinus issues. It’s the capsaicin in chili peppers that clears the sinuses and helps relieve pain.

4. Saffron

Saffron is rich in carotene, which you should be able to guess with its dark orange color. The specific name of this carotene is crocin, which is believed to kill off many types of cancer cells.

Other benefits of this prized spice (because of it’s amazing uses in healing and because it’s a culinary delight) include preventing gas and use as an aphrodisiac.

5. Turmeric

Turmeric is related to ginger (and it kind of looks like ginger too). Curcumin is one of the main healthy compounds that are in turmeric, and it is used as an antidepressant.

Curcumin also relieves inflammation, and its heart-healthy properties work to keep blood sugar at a steady level.

As if those weren’t enough to make you go buy some turmeric to add to meals, and maybe even some turmeric supplements, curcumin also helps fight viruses, including the flu. You can drink it in tea, to help you stave off the cold winter chill.

6. Parsley

Parsley isn’t just a garnish on plates for you to look at. It has mint-properties that help freshen your breath. You should be eating it because it is also a great herb in the fight against cancer. It contains heterocyclic amines and myricetin, which both work against cancer cells.

Parsley is also rich in vitamin K, so it promotes healthy bones. Next time you get a sprig of parsley on your plate at a restaurant, eat it. It has a bit of a minty flavor to it, and is completely edible – it’s not just meant to decorate your plate and then get tossed in the trash.

7. Rosemary

Rosemary is more than just a great addition to baked chicken – it is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Adding this herb to your diet on a regular basis will help boost your immune system and even improve your circulation.

The antioxidants in this herb make it great for fighting cancer. It has also been used to help with indigestion.  Antioxidants are beneficial during the cold season since they work to flush toxins (and viruses) out of the system.

8. Garlic

Garlic offers so many great healthy properties – from being a natural antiseptic to being a natural antibiotic. Raw garlic can help you battle a sore throat. Adding garlic to your meals does more than just add flavor.

Another antioxidant-rich herb, garlic is also available in pill form (in case you just can’t stand that flavor). If you get used to it though, you get an excellent ally in the fight against cancer. It goes good with pasta dishes, as well as pretty much any meat dishes imaginable. And it’s great with veggies as well.

Getting the Most Out of Your Spices

If you’re not spicing up your meals when you’re cooking, you’re doing it wrong.

Integrate these spices, and other healthy spices, into your meals each day to help boost your intake of vitamins and minerals.

You can also consider finding teas that contain some of these spices, or taking them in supplement form when available, to increase your intake and the health benefits they offer.

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