Spices are a great way to season food without extra sugar or salt. What’s more, research suggests that many spices may offer a variety of healthy benefits, from fighting inflammation to helping prevent Alzheimer’s. Load up on these classic flavors in your holiday dishes for a healthier season!
Nutmeg has long been used as an at-home health remedy to treat indigestion and, when applied topically, to treat acne. It’s relatively high in magnesium–a mineral which has been proven to help treat insomnia in elderly patients, and which may help improve duration and quality of sleep. Macelignan, another compound found in nutmeg, has been shown to have a neuroprotective effect, which hypothetically means it may help stave off Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Just be careful, as consumed in too large of quantities (like, downing a whole shaker quantities) nutmeg can be toxic!
For many, the warm scent of cinnamon is synonymous with the change of seasons. This fragrant flavoring has been linked to several health benefits. Studies suggest it helps lower blood glucose levels in diabetics and pre-diabetics, making it a potentially important tool in helping high-risk patients manage their glycemic levels. Manganese, a mineral found in cinnamon, plays an important role in overall blood sugar regulation. Cinnamon’s antimicrobial properties help with oral health and fighting bad breath, and in preventing bacterial growth in food and beverages.
While ginger’s usefulness in helping relieve nausea and indigestion is widely known, it’s worth noting that this spice offers a number of other benefits too. It’s been shown to help relieve and prevent allergies. Ginger also offers anti-inflammatory benefits, and has been shown to effectively ease joint pain in arthritis sufferers.
Keep in mind that the amount of these ingredients typically used in recipes is relatively small–incorporating them in isn’t necessarily a magic bullet. It is, however a great–and tasty–step toward a diet that makes you feel better. For more tips tailored to your metabolism and needs, we encourage you to request an appointment with our wellness experts.