Healthy spices nutrition facts

Spice up your taste buds with healthy spices in your diet!

spicescurry leaf plant
Healthy spices!Curry leaf plant.

Spices not only just excite your taste buds but are composed of an impressive list of phyto-nutrients, essential oils, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that are essential for our wellness. Spices have been in part of our food since centuries, and now become integral part of our life. Thanks to the European explorers, whose contributions in spreading them from their place of origin greatly help spices popular all over the world!

List of healthy spices along with illustration of their nutrition facts and health benefits:

      anise seed
    Anise seed
   bay leaf
     Bay leaf 
   Black pepper
       caraway seeds  
         ajwain seeds  
  Carom (ajwain) seeds
         cayenne pepper 
  Cayenne pepper
        green chili peppers 
   Chili peppers  
       cinnamon quills
        coriander seeds 
  Coriander seeds
    fennel seeds 
    Fennel seeds
      fenugreek seeds 
  Fenugreek seeds
         jalapeno pepper
  Jalapeno peppers
      mustard seeds 
  Mustard seeds
Nutmeg and Mace
       white poppy seeds 
    Poppy seeds
     sichuan peppers
Sichuan peppercorns
        vanilla beans 
   Vanilla beans

Spices can be categorized botanically as follows:

  • Leaves of aromatic plants:  Examples include bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, etc.
  • Fruits or seeds: Examples include fennel, coriander, fenugreek, mustard and black pepper etc.
  • Roots or bulbs: Examples include garlic, galangal, turmeric, ginger, etc.

Why Spices in our diet?

  • Spices contain an impressive list of plant-derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties. They have been in use since ancient times for its anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-flatulent properties.

  • The components in the spices have been found to have anti-clotting action, prevent clogging of platelets in the blood vessels, thus helps easing blood flow, preventing stroke and coronary artery disease.

  • The active principles in the spices may augment the motility of the intestinal tract as well as increases the digestion power by stimulating copious gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions.

  • Throat gargling with tepid thyme water can help relieve sore throat and bronchitis symptoms. Thyme is also being used as an anti-septic mouthwash in the treatment of caries and gingivitis.

  • Decoction of certain healthy spices is taken by mouth for the treatment of colds, influenza, mild fevers, indigestion, stomach upset, and painful menstruation.

  • Spices are also known to have natural anti-helminthes (control worm infestation) function in traditional medicines.

  • The essential volatile oils in certain spices work as a rubefacient (soothes skin around the site of application and improves the local blood circulation), increasing the flow of blood to make the skin feel warmer. They are being applied as a popular home remedy for arthritis and sore muscles, used either as a poultice or in hot baths.

  • Spices essential oils are being used in aromatherapy as well as de-odorants in the perfume industry.

  • Spices contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

Culinary uses of spices

Spices can be aromatic or pungent in flavors and peppery or slightly bitter in taste. In order to keep their fragrance and flavor intact, they are generally added in the cooking recipes at the last moments since, prolonged cooking results in evaporation of essential oils.

  • Spices are being used in the preparation of season soups, barbecue sauces, pickling and as a main ingredient in a variety of curry powders.

  • Spices along with some seasonal herbs are being used to enhance the flavor and taste of vegetable, chicken, fish and meat dishes.

  • Some healthy spices like cloves, coriander... etc., are also been used in flavor drinks.


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