Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's In Your Diet Wednesday? - The Healing Benefits of Spices

It's only been in the last few years that I have come to appreciate the power of food.  I was always aware of what tasted good to me but paid NO attention to what those foods did to my body....for better or worse. 

There are several spices listed below that are beneficial to the body and while this is an excellent list, it is extremely abbreviated.  There are literally thousands of natural ingredients that help you to heal and also maintain good health.  I use lime juice to get over upper respiratory infections when I have them.  Ask me how in the comments and I'll tell my secret....  You can also use Black Elderberry to treat the flu virus with amazing results.  There has been some very promising research with Turmeric in the treatment of Alzheimers.  It is literally up to your research! an informed consumer....and eat what tastes good!

Read this article from Yahoo Health....
Chances are you sprinkle cinnamon into your morning oatmeal or add a dash of oregano to pizza without giving the spices much thought. But did you know your favorite flavors can actually do your body good? According to Christina Suarez, master herbalist and owner of, while spices are only effective when eaten at least daily, each has its own specific health benefits. Read on to find out which additives can burn fat, ease a sore throat or help you get to sleep, and how you can incorporate them into your daily diet.

Fruit of the Elettaria cardamomum plant in the ginger family.
Health Powers: Eases belching, flatulence and indigestion; treats respiratory conditions like coughing, asthma and loss of voice; aids in the elimination of toxins through your skin.
Daily Dose: Stir a few freshly ground pinches of cardamom pods into a shot of OJ or your morning fruit salad, or mix it with white or brown rice before you boil it.
Photo by Shutterstock.

Fruit of the Capsicum annuum plant in the Solanaceae family, along with chile pepper.
Health Powers: Eliminates gas from the stomach and intestines; soothes sore throat, cold and flu symptoms; increases metabolism for weight control.
Daily Dose: Stir into a cup of hot chocolate or any sweet juice drink for a contrasting flavor kick.
Photo by Shutterstock.

Bark of a small evergreen tree.
Health Powers: Tames nausea and stomach ulcers; functions as a mild anti-inflammatory; increases insulin sensitivity to help focus fat burn.
Daily Dose: Stir into coffee/tea, yogurt, oatmeal or any boxed cereal.
Photo by Shutterstock.

Flower bud found at the base of an evergreen tree.
Health Powers: Soothes digestive tract muscles and is a potent antihistamine.
Daily Dose: Mix into your nightly ice cream treat or sneak into mustard spread.
Photo by Shutterstock.

Fruit of Myristica fragrans,an evergreen tree.
Health Powers: Improves digestion; eases the symptoms of menstruation; induces calm and sleep.
Daily Dose: Grate a small amount into applesauce or plain yogurt. (Note: It’s safe to grate the entire nut, which you can usually buy whole at the supermarket, but you never want to consume more than one nutmeg per day because too much of this potent spice can cause stomach pain, double vision and other uncomfortable reactions.)
Photo by Shutterstock.

Celery Seed
Seed of the Apium graveolens plant in the parsley family.
Health Powers: Flushes the liver of toxins; lowers blood pressure; combats water retention.
Daily Dose: Think salads—tuna, potato and egg all work—which can be tossed onto a bed of lettuce, eaten alone or spread onto bread.
Photo by iStockphoto.

Also known as cilantro; the leaves and seeds of the Coriandrum plant in the aromatic Apiaceae family.
Health Powers: Acts as a diuretic; eases seasonal allergies.
Daily Dose: Cook into couscous and quinoa, which you can store and eat with leftovers.
Photo by Shutterstock.

Seed of the Foeniculum plant in the aromatic Apiaceae family.
Health Powers: Calms bowel distress; supports milk production in nursing mothers; combats water retention.
Daily Dose: Add to canned minestrones and vegetable soups.
Photo by iStockphoto

Leaf of the Origanum plant in the mint family.
Health Powers: Loosens mucus; helps treat respiratory illnesses; and calms indigestion.
Daily Dose: Use in any tomato-based foods, like marinara sauces, pizza and soups.
Photo by Shutterstock.

Leaf of the Thymus plant in the mint family.
Health Powers: Relaxes the muscle tissue of the gastrointestinal tract; stimulates immune system.
Daily Dose: Toss into any meat-based dishes.
Photo by Shutterstock.

Root of the Circuma plant in the ginger family.
Health Powers: Reduces inflammation (joints, airways); detoxifies the liver.
Daily Dose: Mix in with oil-and-vinegar-based salad dressings.
Photo by Shutterstock.

Do you use any of these spices in your kitchen adventures??  Perhaps you have others that you enjoy? 

Tell us in the comments.........

This post is shared with the Hearth and Soul Hop...


Butterpoweredbike said...

Ok, Mr., I'm asking. What's the lime secret, please share! Isn't fun that pretty much anything and everything we eat has the potential to be medicinal? I know that my whole family has relied upon my elderberry elixir to get through the winter's trials. What a great primer to share with the Hearth and Soul hop :)

girlichef said...

Oh man, Jason...I love this post! So much great info right at my fingertips. This is so helpful, I'm so excited that you chose this post to share won the hearth and soul hop this week. =)

I like your new look here. Subtle change, yet noticeable!

a moderate life said...

Hey Jay-man! I think you told me your lime cure! LOL I really love this post too and it is so true that herbs are killer for home remedies! Thanks so much for hosting and posting on the hearth and soul hop! All the best! Alex

Christy said...

I am late to comment but I would love to know about the lime cure. I am always looking for easy natural ways to enhance our health. I put coconut butter, honey and cayenne pepper in at least one of my tea drinks a day and I always top my applesauce and toast and oatmeal with cinnamon - oh and my french toast is reallllllyyyy cinnamony! Great post jason - thanks for being such a great part of the hearth and soul hop!

Pia said...

Really Informative and useful post

Cook Healthy