Indian cuisine continues to stand out from the crowd, mainly due to chefs complete passion for utilising a plethora of different traditional spices in their dishes. Although we experience from just one bite the impact that spices can have on the taste of a dish, we often forget to appreciate the health benefits of Indian spices. Your body will most definitely thank you each time you opt for indulging in your favourite curry or aromatic dish.
Health Benefits of Indian Spices
Spices are the foundation of every traditional dish, with the correct balance, you can enjoy not only a delicious taste and a vibrant colour but also a range of different health benefits. From helping the digestive system to controlling diabetes, you will be shocked by the never-ending list of ways Indian spices can help to enjoy a healthier life.
Cardamom is commonly used in both Indian food and drink, taking the limelight in many different dishes along with the traditional Chai tea. The spice originates as a shell, which needs to be broken to extract the inside green pods which hold all the health benefits.
Cardamom pods help the digestive system and have many anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to reduce bloating and a lack of appetite. Not only do pods help the body internally, but they are also often served at the end of the meal to chew similar to a mint, as cardamom removes bad breath and freshens the palette.
Cumin is one of the most popular spices within Indian cuisine and is likely to be used the majority of dishes you sample.
Due to its antiseptic features, cumin is fantastic for helping to fight the common cold we all tend to catch during the colder months and works towards boosting your immune system. A large amount of iron found is found in cumin, which is why it is excellent for helping the immune system and boosting metabolism.
Iron is vital in maintaining healthy transportation of oxygen throughout the body. It is an essential component found in the red blood cells, which are used to carry oxygen from the lungs around the body.
Cinnamon is found in almost every type of cuisine around the world and is great for adding a twist to both sweet and savoury dishes. After starting as a bark-like spice, cinnamon is then ground into a powder and used in food.
Through years of research and experimentation on several different individuals, studies from Diabetes.co.uk show that consuming just 1g of cinnamon daily can help to manage and even reserve type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes causes the blood sugar levels within the body to rise to an unhealthy level impacting the eyes, heart and nerves.
Cinnamon improves diabetes by helping the digestion of sugar become easier meaning that the blood glucose level within the body becomes more manageable and regulated.
If you are served a dish that it bright yellow or orange in colour, it is more than likely that it is packed with turmeric. Turmeric is a key antioxidant and antiseptics; it has been used for hundreds of years to heal and improve several different health issues.
One of the most significant health benefits that come alongside turmeric is its suspected ability to kill cancer cells and reduce tumours. For those who rely on natural solutions to banish disease, it is thought that turmeric can be used as a natural remedy not only to lower the risk of cancer developing but also increased the body’s natural ability to fight cancerous cells. This is because turmeric promotes the body’s ability to become immune to imbalances and changes, so starting to use turmeric in food early, will lower your overall risk of cancer in the long run.
For 10 amazing health benefits of turmeric, take a look at Conscious Lifestyle Magazine.
When it comes to ginger, there are various different forms in which you can buy the spice, which makes its uses endless. Some of the most common forms in ginger include powdered, crystallised, pickled and dried, of course along with fresh roots.
One of ginger’s main components are gingerols, which is a trailed and proven anti-inflammatory. Gingerols replicate inflammatory cytokines, which are basically the little chemical messengers in the immune system that tell the body that there is a problem and that it needs to be resolved. Due to its benefits, ginger is often recommended for those who have arthritis as it helps to make mobility more comfortable and with less pain.
Ginger, in particular, the root, is also a popular go-to for pregnant women who are suffering from daily morning sickness. It works towards reducing nausea, dizziness and vomiting, so if you suffer from motion sickness, ginger may also work towards your advantage.
Saffron is the most expensive spice to buy as each stigma needs to be individually handpicked from a lily. The stigma is the middle of the flower that catches pollen; this is extracted, sieved, cured over heat and only then will it be available for purchase.
Inside saffron, crocin can be found, which not only forms the golden orange colouring but also triggers a programmed death cell within cancerous cells. Crocin is able to inhibit cells and start to break down the disease. If taken in a healthy body, saffron can slowly begin to build and strengthen the immune cells that are able to fight off cancerous cells, lowering the risk of future issues.
For more health benefits of Saffron, head over to NDTV Food.
Clove spice is made from dried aromatic flower buds, which can also be made into an oil. It is filled with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which are often used in cosmetic products, perfumes and toothpaste. For hundreds of years, Indian healers have used the extracts from clove spices to create natural medicine.
Utilising Indian Spices
One of the best ways to utilise spices to your advantage is through incorporating them into your favourite dishes; it means you can not only enjoy the delicious tastes but also make the most out of the health benefits.
If you’re unsure on how to use spices in various dishes, why not take a visit to our Indian restaurant Milton Keynes and let our professional head chef do the hard work!