Spices are great flavor enhancers for many meals and beverages.
However, some spices are better than others and have fantastic health benefits.
If you’re looking to “spice up your life,” check out this list of five spices you need to include in your diet!
1 – Turmeric
Turmeric is a yellow spice that contains curcumin. It has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as a powerful antioxidant.
Studies show that this spice can improve symptoms of arthritis and lower the risk of heart disease.
The taste of tumeric is bitter but can be offset with other spices.
Turmeric is a common ingredient in many South Asian dishes, including curry, stir-fry, and stews.
However, you can also consume turmeric by swapping your afternoon coffee for a tasty turmeric latte or sprinkling it on your favorite dishes.
Here are other ways you can add tumeric to your diet:
- Add a pinch of turmeric to your smoothie for an antioxidant boost
- Add curry powder or cayenne pepper to non-dairy milk, nut milk, or water and drink it as a tea
2 – Ginger
Did you know the history of the ginger root dates to ancient times?
This root (and grounded spice) is a common ingredient in different medicines to improve digestion and eliminate nausea.
Ginger has a lot of antioxidants and is great for supporting healthy aging. Add ginger to warm beverages, soups, or baked goods for a sweet yet warm flavor.
Here are other ways you can add ginger to your diet:
- Add a slice of ginger to your tea or coffee for an extra kick of flavor.
- Add freshly grated ginger to vegetables and rice.
- Make a spicy tea with fresh ginger, lemon, and honey.
3 – Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a common go-to spice for many people because of its versatility and potential health benefits.
The compound cinnamaldehyde inside cinnamon gives this spice its flavor and aroma.
Cinnamon also contains polyphenols, which have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Anti-oxidants may also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, among other health benefits. The best part about cinnamon is its diverse flavors – from spicy to sweet, there are so many ways to use cinnamon!
Traditional Chinese medicines use cinnamon because it’s believed to have antifungal and antibacterial properties that can fight off infections.
You can boost your cinnamon intake by adding it to oatmeal, warm beverages, and roasted root vegetables.
Here are other ways you can add cinnamon to your diet:
- Cinnamon bread
- Cinnamon apple chutney
- Cinnamon-sugar dusted almonds or other nuts (try adding this ancient spice to your baked goods for a unique flavor)
4 – Cayenne
If you’re looking for a flavor kick, cayenne is the way to go.
The compound capsaicin can lower blood pressure and offer relief from arthritis pain.
You can sprinkle cayenne in a cup of warm water with lemon, ginger, and honey for a quick cold-weather immunity boost.
You can also add it to your favorite meals. It’s important to note that including large amounts of cayenne makes your meal spicy!
5 – Cardamom
People don’t call cardamom the “queen of spices” for nothing.
Cardamom is a spice with an herbal warmth that tastes like a cross between mint, eucalyptus, and pepper.
This spice is known to have antimicrobial properties and can help oral, heart, and liver health. You can incorporate cardamom pods in meat dishes, baked goods, and warm beverages.
Here are other ways you can add cardamom to your diet:
- Add cardamom pods to lentil dishes, rice pilafs, and chai tea.
- You can add this ancient spice to your morning oatmeal or sprinkle it on your yogurt.
Spices are great flavor enhancers for your favorite meals and beverages. Some spices are better than others and come with awesome health benefits.
If you’re looking to “spice up your life,” this list of five spices you need to include in your diet was hopefully beneficial to you!
Read here for more info on why you’re craving spice!