Spices not only add an immense amount of flavor to foods, but also provide inherent health benefits that allow you to forego less-healthy seasonings like added sugars, salt, and saturated fats. Consider incorporating these spices into your cabinet for their delicious, versatile flavors and numerous health properties.
Turmeric The health benefits of turmeric are so powerful, yet often overlooked because of it’s complex unique flavor. It’s earthy, warm, slightly peppery and sometimes bitter. It’s your coconut curry’s best friend and it’s what gives many Indian and Middle Eastern dishes their rich golden hue. Turmeric has high amounts of nutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. The spice is especially rich in manganese, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium and vitamin B. Don’t shy away from using turmeric because of its seemingly limited uses – get adventurous and add a dash to soups, stews, poultry rubs, grains, or smoothies (why not?).
Cinnamon A natural blood sugar stabilizer, cinnamon is chock full of anti-inflammatory properties and nutrients. Just a little bit per day (think ½ teaspoon) yields a significant drop in blood sugar, and reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well. Cinnamon also reduces cellular inflammation—a key age accelerator. Aside from its anti-aging benefits, cinnamon is also easily incorporated into a variety of dishes, both sweet and savory. The warming, spicy flavor of cinnamon makes it a good complement to winter foods like stews, as well as spicy foods like curries. It’s also baked goods staple (think banana bread and granola).
Garlic Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, garlic not only tastes delicious but also has proven health benefits. Nutrition-wise, garlic is a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and selenium. The spice also has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties – making it ideal for boosting the immune system and treating cold symptoms. Garlic is extremely versatile: you can add it to salad dressings, soups, marinades, meats – the list is almost limitless.