It is common knowledge that the earth and nature itself has bestowed us with bountiful gifts in terms of food for life and enrichment. However, as is typical human nature, we found other ways to obtain our food, none of them anywhere close to the nutritional value of our planet’s produce. As of late though, attention appears to be slowly but steadily shifting back to healthy living, which is encouraging to see. And one of the best ways to introduce this within your household, is via different cooking strategies. After all, you are what you eat as they say, so it only makes sense. This also includes what you use to cook, and here is where the benefits of using herbs and spices comes into play.
A lot of herbs and spices come loaded with anti-oxidant properties, which make them excellent ingredients in your daily cooking. As we are increasingly exposed to free radicals which are in turn responsible for a host of health ailments, it is more important than ever that we take care of ourselves. Cinnamon for example, is one such spice. In fact, it is known to have the highest level of antioxidants of any spice around. It is not only delicious in curries and pastries, but also cakes and desserts.
Improves Gut Health
A majority of people are not aware that the gut is like your body’s second brain. It dictates how you think, feel and function, and drives your emotions as well. If we are so careful with the brain, why not exercise the same with our gut? Loading it with processed foods is not going to help anything. Considering curry powder vs turmeric, the latter is known for its gut-friendly properties, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. This also means that your digestive system will be well maintained, provided of course you use these spices religiously. Basil too is known for being good for the gut.
Again, most spices have anti-bacterial properties however nutmeg is particularly known for it. This is actually very useful for oral hygiene, seeing as how our mouth is ripe for the accumulation of bacteria. An ingredient in nutmeg called macelignan is what is especially responsible for this, known to curb the formation of plaque by upto 50%, which is quite impressive. Plaque is what leads to tartar, which then leads to tooth decays and cavities inevitably, and as such needs to be stopped in its tracks as soon as possible.
Layers of Flavours
Aside from all the above health benefits, cooking with herbs and spices results in absolutely delicious concoctions. You can add them not only to savoury dishes, but also desserts which really adds an extra layer of flavour. Both Asia and the Middle-East are known for their exotic spices, which explains why their cuisine is so lip-smackingly good. You only need a little at a time, so it is definitely worthwhile stocking up on the lot and setting aside a spice rack for yourself. It will certainly stand you in good stead in all your culinary pursuits!