I often talk about the antioxidant benefits of fruits and vegetables. But another great way to infuse your food with anti-aging and disease-fighting nutrients is through herbs and spices! These food “enhancers” also enhance your life, packing a lot of vitamins, minerals and health benefits in just a pinch. I rounded up the latest research to help you Spice Up Your Health:
To reduce inflammation: Inflammation is a key contributor to heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and joint pain, so reducing inflammation is important to your health. According to a study cited in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the herbs and spices that best reduce or suppress inflammation and protect against DNA damage are:
Of all the spices listed above, turmeric is a health superstar! That’s because it contains curcumin, an antioxidant compound found in the root of the turmeric plant. Years of studies continue to show that turmeric helps to:
• Protect brain function
• Reduce the risk of memory loss
• Aid digestive and cardiovascular health
• Improve the immune system
• Prevent the growth of certain cancer cells
• Improve liver function (your body’s natural detoxifier.)
• Reduce cholesterol level
• Reduce joint pain and improve flexibility (especially in arthritis sufferers)
• Serve as a natural antibiotic, inhibiting the growth of bacteria
What’s the best way to get all the health benefits of turmeric? Scientists note that combining black pepper with turmeric increases the amount of curcumin your body can absorb.
So mix the two spices when you’re cooking with turmeric!