Health Benefits of Common Spices
In turmeric powder, there are two active ingredients, Curcumin and Aromatic Turmerone. Studies have found Curcumin to be a powerful antioxidant, which can delay the natural ageing process. Curcumin has also been proven to be a potent anti-inflammatory in a University of California study. The study showed Curcumin to work just as efficiently as Ibuprofen for patients with knee osteoarthritis. Aromatic Turmerone has not yet been as extensively studied, however in a study using lab rats; stem cells were successfully repaired in the rat’s brain using Turmerone (huffingtonpost.com.au).
Cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood pressure and also to manage high cholesterol, as it increases the time taken for sugar to enter the bloodstream after a meal. Cinnamon also has antibacterial properties, being used in the middle ages to preserve food. It may be used to clear blocked sinuses when suffering from a cold (organicauthority.com).
Ginger has been used in Western diets since ancient Rome. It may be beneficial to people suffering from indigestion as it can increase the production of digestive fluids, such as saliva. Drinking a cup of ginger tea before a journey can also help prevent motion sickness (bodyandsoul.com.au).
Nutmeg also has antibacterial properties and has traditionally been used to treat bad breath by killing bacteria in the mouth and promoting healthy gums and teeth. People suffering from insomnia may also find nutmeg beneficial, as the magnesium found in Nutmeg reduces nerve tension and releases serotonin into the blood. After reaching the brain, this serotonin is changed to melatonin which is a sleep inducer (organicfacts.net).
Black pepper is excellent for the stomach, as it increases hydrochloric acid secretion, helping to improve digestive problems such as diarrhoea and constipation. The outer layer of the peppercorn can also contribute to breaking down fat cells into their natural components, allowing the body to process them more efficiently. Most importantly, black pepper helps transport other nutrients from spices, such as turmeric, around the body and into the cells (organicfacts.net).