Asia has a long culinary tradition of creating complex and flavorful dishes that are better known for their rich taste rather than their health benefits. However, the use of herbs and spices are the ones that make the Asian cooking highly nutritious and healthy.
The amazing vibrant Asian spices are great sources of antioxidants and many even have anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants protect your cells by cruising around your body destroying free radicals.
Here are few of the commonly used Asian spices and some of the health benefits they provide:
- Caraway Seed
A spice known to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, caraway has been used for cold relief, toothaches, and to boost immune function. Additionally it helps digestion, settling the stomach, and relieves bloating.
This versatile spice is believed to counteract stomach acidity, stimulate appetite, ease nausea, cure bad breath, as well as relieve gas and bloating. Being known as the "Queen of All Spices" cardamom contains powerful antioxidants and it is quite frequently included in liver detox.
Cinnamon is a rich source of antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, eases digestion, and may even reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It also helps stimulate blood flow and it is known to be a herbal remedy for poor circulation.
The active compounds in clove provide anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It has anti-inflammatory effects as well and studies have been made for its use in aiding detoxification from environmental pollutants.
Cumin is a traditional herbal remedy and it is used as: diuretic, relieve diarrhea and bowel spasms, relieve morning sickness, as well as ease carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Fennel Seed
Fennel is loaded with powerful antioxidants and it contains fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin C. It is known to boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure, and help in the detoxification of the body. It also contains compounds that may help relieve smooth muscle spasms, which in effect, helps ease abdominal cramping and spasms. Fennel is also a mild appetite suppressant.
According to some research eating half to one clove of garlic a day can lower cholesterol levels. Also a recent study has found that garlic pills may actually lower blood pressure. Additionally, as shown by research, people who ate garlic every day for three months had fewer colds.
Fenugreekine is a chemical found in these seeds, and are believed to reduce blood sugar levels - they have been used as natural supplement for use with insulin. Fenugreek is a powerful expectorant as well, and it is used for natural remedies to ease congestion, allergies, and bronchitis.
Ginger is packed with a lot of active compounds, like gingerols, zingibain, bisabolenel, oleoresins, zingiberole. It is proven to naturally treat nausea from morning sickness, treat nausea related to motion sickness, and its anti-inflammatory properties help ease muscle and joint pain. Ginger is also used to cleanse and detoxify the body, stimulate circulation, and ease bronchitis and congestion.
Turmeric is a vital ingredient to the mix of spices known by most of us as curry. Its main antioxidant - curcumin - is a highly important ingredient for liver detox, and it is also a natural arthritis treatment for its anti-inflammatory effects. According to the latest scientific studies, turmeric may also be a promising help in your diet that fights belly fat by inhibiting the growth of fat cells.
These are all great spices to use in your diet, however when using them as part of your daily diet for a certain health problem, make sure to consult your doctor and get proper advice.
How often do you use these ingredients in your diet? Please share with us in the comments section below.