5 Culinary Spices with Healthy Benefits

by Melissa Chichester

Without herbs and spices, food would be bland, boring, and flavorless. Imagine a juicy piece of chicken without a perfectly made marinade, or a family recipe without the top-secret ingredient, most likely an essential spice! As much as we rely on spices to set our cuisines apart from the rest, spices have many health benefits, too. 

Turmeric

Do you love Indian food? If so, you’re already enjoying what turmeric has to offer. Turmeric is just one of the spices that give curry its pungent and peppery flavor. As part of the ginger family, turmeric has been used for more than 4,000 years for its benefits.** Turmeric contains active compounds called curcuminoids, which are plant-based antioxidants that provide antioxidant support for overall well-being.**

Recipes with turmeric:

Saffron and Turmeric Golden Milk Recipe
Turmeric Roasted Root Vegetables Recipe
Crispy Turmeric Roasted Chickpeas Recipe
Zesty Turmeric and Honey Shot Recipe

Cinnamon

Did you know that at one time, cinnamon was as valuable as gold, silver, and ivory? Cinnamon is a versatile spice used to enhance the taste of savory and sweet dishes all over the world. Cinnamon can be used in everything from baked goods to meats, and in drinks such as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Cinnamon also has health benefits. It may have antioxidant properties, and it is known for its use in supporting sugar metabolism.** In addition, cinnamon may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels already within a normal range.**

Recipes with cinnamon:

Cinnamon Honey Pecan Bars Recipe
Apple Cinnamon Smoothie Recipe
Apple Cinnamon Protein Blondies Recipe

Black pepper 

Black pepper is one of the most popular spices around the world. There’s a reason it sits alongside the salt shaker at most dinner tables and at restaurants. Pepper gives instant kick and flavor to thousands of dishes. Extracted from black pepper fruits, black pepper has been used in traditional Ayurvedic health practices for centuries.**

Recipes with black pepper:

Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup Recipe
3 Easy Zoodle Sauce Recipes
Spicy Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe
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Ginger 

Ginger is part of the turmeric and cardamom spice family and another spice in many Indian dishes and other culinary traditions. Ginger was one of the first spices exported to Europe during the spice trade, and today it remains popular to punch up the flavor in candies, tea, baked goods, and more. As a supplement, ginger supports digestive health and helps with occasional motion sickness.**

Recipes with ginger:

Cranberry and Ginger Tonic Recipe
Moringa Mule Superfood Mocktail Recipe
Three Vegetable Broth Recipes that Are Nutritious

Cayenne pepper 

Cayenne peppers are also known as chili peppers or red hot peppers. These peppers are native to the Cayenne region of French Guiana on the northwest coast of South America. The name “Cayenne” is derived from a Tupi Indian name. Today, cayenne peppers grow all over the world, including in India, Mexico, the United States, and most tropical regions. It has been used for centuries as a spice, and as a holistic health tool. Cayenne also naturally contains capsaicin, which gives cayenne peppers their hot and spicy taste.

Recipes with cayenne pepper:

Pressure Cooker Skinny Southwest Chicken Soup
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