Depending on your palate, you can increase the amount of spice called for in most recipes, which are often tempered for American tastes, and increase the benefits. For more on the healing power of spices, see “5 Healing Spices“, and for reader ideas on how to incorporate these spices — and more — into your meals, visit ELmag.com/spices4health.
A 2013 study concluded that turmeric can be as effective as Prozac for treating depression. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory and cancer fighter, capable of arresting tumor growth and destroying certain cancer cells.
A 1/2 teaspoon daily helps control blood sugar, numerous reports find. It may also decrease cholesterol, prevent strokes, and have an anti-cancer effect. Cinnamon’s scent has been shown to amp up brain function.
The seed of the coriander, or cilantro, plant has been used to battle type 2 diabetes and lower cholesterol. It also contains an antibacterial compound that fights dangerous food-borne bacteria, reports a 2011 study.
Capsaicin, the spicy ingredient in cayenne pepper, can help with weight loss by revving up your metabolism and suppressing hunger, many studies show. The red-hot spice also improves circulation.
Ginger can ease motion sickness, pregnancy or chemotherapy-related nausea, and indigestion. This powerful anti-inflammatory is also used to help treat arthritis, headaches, and certain heart conditions.
This spice contains a vitamin C punch, boosts the immune system, and has antimicrobial properties that thwart viruses. It’s also been shown to regulate blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, and encourage a good night’s sleep.