Keep it spicy: 8 healthy spices

Like veggies, they contain thousands of healthy phytonutrient compounds, including antioxidants. But, spices are calorie-free and require no prep. Pop the tops on these eight pronto

If you’ve ever tried chia seed pudding, you know that superfood doesn’t always equal superdelicious. Before you buy another bag of something that looks as if it belongs in a bird feeder, consider this: Just a pinch of oregano can turn even grilled cheese into a disease-fighting dish. “Technically, spices are vegetables in concentrated form,” says Wendy Bazilian, RD, the nutrition adviser for the Golden Door Spa & Fitness Resort in Escondido, California. “Like veggies, they contain thousands of healthy phytonutrient compounds, including antioxidants.” But spices are calorie-free and require no prep. Pop the tops on these eight pronto.

Curry powder

Keep it spicy: 8 healthy spices
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Every curry powder blend is different, but a mainstay in all of them is turmeric. Turmeric is a wonder spice — it’s hugely anti-inflammatory. In fact, its powerful anti-inflammatory agent — curcumin — is 50 times more potent than vitamin C. Studies have also shown that curcumin has the potential to inhibit the growth of certain breast cancer cells. Plus, curry is like a party for your palate.

Rosemary

Keep it spicy: 8 healthy spices
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Cooking meat at high temperatures can produce harmful free radicals. Incredibly, marinating meat in a mixture containing rosemary has the potential to reduce the formation of free radicals by as much as 84%. Not only that, but rosemary’s aromatic qualities can heighten a meal for all of your senses.

Cinnamon

Keep it spicy: 8 healthy spices
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Believe it or not, this spice can help to regulate blood sugar levels. For those with pre-diabetes, it is well known to reduce fasting blood glucose levels and can be extremely beneficial in insulin management for the insulin resistant. Research has shown that consuming half a teaspoon a day can actually reduce the risk for diabetes and heart disease within only 6 weeks.

Ginger

Keep it spicy: 8 healthy spices
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Traditionally used to relieve colds and stomach troubles, ginger is rich in inflammation-fighting compounds, such as gingerols, which some experts believe may hold promise in fighting some cancers and reducing arthritis pain. In a recent study, people who took ginger capsules daily for 11 days reported 25 percent less muscle pain when they performed exercises designed to strain their muscles (compared with a similar group taking placebo capsules).

Another study found that ginger extract injections helped relieve osteoarthritis pain of the knee. And ginger’s reputation as a stomach soother seems deserved: studies show ginger extracts can help reduce nausea caused by morning sickness or following surgery or chemotherapy, though it’s less effective for motion sickness.

Oregano

Keep it spicy: 8 healthy spices
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Vitamin K is a hard-to-find nutrient for many people, but a teaspoon of oregano actually has 6 micrograms. It’s also loaded with antioxidants. Some research has shown that oregano essential oil can actually effectively ward off the stomach flu.

Nutmeg

Keep it spicy: 8 healthy spices
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Incredibly, nutmeg has strong antibacterial properties. It also has many anti-inflammatory compounds that have the potential to stifle tumor growth and reduce your risk of certain cancers.

Cayenne pepper

Keep it spicy: 8 healthy spices
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Capsaicin may boost your body’s metabolic furnace, helping you to burn more calories. The heat can also induce you to eat less and crave less fatty, salty foods. Therefore, cayenne pepper is thought to assist in healthy weight and appetite management. Sprinkle some on some avocado deviled eggs for a tasty, super healthy lunch!

Cumin

Keep it spicy: 8 healthy spices
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Iron deficient? A tablespoon of cumin seeds provides 22% of your RDA! It’s also excellent in refried beans or when making homemade taco seasoning. Grind the seeds fresh for the greatest potency.

So, keep it spicy

Source: Fitness Magazine and care2