Friday, September 21, 2012

Learning About The Health Benefits Of Spices

By Casandra Newton

With the added health benefits of spices, there is no reason not to use them every day to enhance your favorite recipes. By using them you can be assured that you will cook delicious food that will not have any added calories or fat. It really is possible to cook tasty dishes that are also good for you and your family.

One of the first benefits worth mentioning about seasonings is that many of them offer antioxidant benefits. Antioxidants are beneficial in that they protect against several health issues including heart disease and some types of cancer. They are also responsible for helping your body to break down free radicals that are present from smoke, pollution and from many of the foods that we eat.

Many seasonings also offer the benefit of working as an anti-inflammatory. Anyone that is dealing with chronic pain such as arthritis understands how important it is to find some relief. Inflammation is also known to be the first step in illnesses including some allergies, heart diseases, and Alzheimer's disease.

As we age our metabolism can slow down and cause us to gain weight. Increased metabolism is another benefit that a lot of people are happy to hear about. Capsaicin is a chemical found in seasonings that are derived from hot, red peppers. These seasonings can include dried red pepper seeds, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, and more. Instead of using calorie adding items such as butter, try some hot sauce and enjoy the benefit of increased metabolism.

Many spices offer benefits although others offer nothing. One example includes cinnamon. This seasoning is easy to use and very adaptable. Use it to add flavor to coffee or add zing to your bowl of oatmeal. An antioxidant, cinnamon will also help you to control your cholesterol and keep your blood sugar levels normal.

Oregano, another top seasoning, offers the same antioxidant benefits as you will gain by eating three cups of broccoli. Oregano is a flavor that is very familiar to most people. It adds a bit of pizzazz when added to grilled cheese sandwiches. Many people enjoy it sprinkled on freshly grown tomatoes while others enjoy a sprinkle or so added to their favorite jarred spaghetti sauces.

An offspring of the seasoning, curry powder, turmeric has been around for hundreds of years and has been used as an anti-inflammatory. More recently research has shown that it is also beneficial in the treatment of some cancers and Alzheimer's disease. With its anti-inflammatory properties, it also effective reduces pain and is beneficial in metabolizing fat cells.

To date, there are no specific answers on many of the questions associated with the health benefits of spices. For example, no one has yet determined if there is a specific amount of each one required to gain these benefits. As of yet, no one can answer as to whether or not heating, or cooking these spices reduce the health effects or maybe even enhance them.

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