–“Let food be thy medicine.”
First coined by Hippocrates around 400 B.C.E., this age-old wisdom holds true in the 21st century. While modern medicine has its clear advantages, the powerful benefits of mother nature’s offerings should not be underestimated. Since it’s common knowledge that eating fruits and veggies keeps our bodies feeling great, spices might be considered the unsung heroes when it comes to natural health. If you’re looking for a simple way to improve every aspect of your health, add a little spice to your life with these healing ingredients.
For a Healthy Tummy: Ginger
For ages, ginger has been used throughout the world to treat stomach ailments. It’s an excellent treatment for nausea due to morning or motion sickness, and studies have shown that it can be more effective than over-the-counter medications. In addition to alleviating queasy feelings, ginger is also great for healing gastrointestinal issues like gas, IBS, diarrhea, and indigestion. And if you’re a woman who struggles with abdominal cramping during your period, sipping a little ginger tea can help to ease the discomfort.
For Longevity: Garlic
Garlic is great for more than just pasta and warding off vampires. While we recognize garlic for its distinct taste, it’s been used as medicine for as long as it’s been enjoyed as food. Garlic contains allicin, which not only gives garlic its classic smell but also brings medicinal properties that contribute to optimal health. Consuming garlic can help regulate blood pressure, prevent colds, improve heart health and circulation, and decrease risk of cardiovascular disease. Garlic can even be an effective way to keep wrinkles and signs of aging at bay because it contains compounds that protect skin from collagen breakdown from sun exposure.
For a Balanced Body: Cinnamon
Eating cinnamon has some pretty sweet benefits. If you want to sweeten your dishes but are trying to cut back on sugar, cinnamon is a satisfying solution that can also curb your appetite. In addition to tasting delicious, cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, which curbs the effects of carbohydrates on the body and aids digestion. People who suffer from diabetes may find that this spice helps their bodies respond to insulin. And if you love the smell of cinnamon, you’re in luck: studies have linked its scent to improved learning ability and memory. This means you’ll never forget to spice things up with cinnamon.
For a Happy Brain: Saffron
Feeling down? Saffron can help with that. In various studies, saffron performed just as well as low-dose antidepressants in treating participants with mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Not only can the herb keep your brain happy but sharp as well. Recent research points to evidence that saffron can be used to improve cognitive function for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s. Some specialists have linked its mood-enhancing abilities to saffron’s power to relax muscles in the digestive tract as well as change levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, all of which leave your body feeling happy.
For a Body that’s Lit: Cayenne
You don’t need to subject yourself to the master cleanse to enjoy the benefits of cayenne. This spice is well-known for its metabolism-boosting effects that can aid in digestion and weight loss. Additionally, adding a dash of cayenne to your diet can also curb cravings for junk foods and keep you feeling full. Not only will cayenne heat things up in your belly, but it can improve circulation throughout your whole body to make you feel on fire (in a good way!). You can also keep stuffy allergies and colds away with cayenne, which acts as a decongestant for your ears, nose, and throat. All of this will help you feel more clear, energized, and ready for anything.
What spices have you integrated into your wellness regimen?
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