India – the land of spices, is known for its diverse and flavourful palate. The Indian cuisine occupies a unique position amongst others due to its affluent spices. The addition of spices offers a soothing aroma and unique flavour to the dishes. But what you might not know is how beneficial these spices are for maintaining sound health.
The spices are carefully picked and mindfully added to various dishes making everyday meal a health booster. Some of the Indian spices are used in the form of medicinal soups and drinks to cure several health ailments.
Let’s take a look at some of the Indian spices that play a crucial role in our kitchen, and the several health benefits they have in store –
This small, yellow – coloured, imperative spice of the Indian cuisine is a versatile ayurvedic medicine, used to cure several forms of ailments and to keep any form of health disorder at bay. Curcumin, perhaps the most important substance present in turmeric is what makes it a powerful and versatile ingredient. For all those Latte lovers out there, having a Turmeric Latte – a.k.a “Manjal paal”, “Haldi Doodh” every day, can give you a world of benefits.
- Turmeric is great detoxifying agent that enables to flush out all the toxins out of the body. It helps to cure nasty cold and flu, as it eliminates the phlegm and kills the fever-inducing bacteria and virus.
- The anti- inflammatory property of turmeric helps to cure cuts, wounds and boils. Just dabbing turmeric on the affected areas instantly soothes and heals the wound.
- Turmeric is a boon to improve your skin health, therefore, is a key ingredient in face-packs and salves, to cure all sorts of skin related issues like – acne, zits, pigmentation, inflammation etc.
- Being rich in antioxidants, turmeric boosts immunity and prevents oxidative damage.
- It also fights cancer, improves mental health, aids in weight loss and also eases menstrual cycle.
Green cardamom, also known as elaichi, is seasoned on top of sweets like halwas and kheers and is an essential spice to temper those spicy gravies and briyanis. It is also crushed and added to the Indian chai giving it a gentle aroma and strong flavour.
- This flavouring agent cures you from all sorts of digestive problems like – bloating, indigestion and heart burns.
- Cardamom is a rich of source of antioxidants that helps to cure cold and cough. The strong and intense oil present in cardamom melts the phlegm and eliminates it from the body.
- Chewing on a cardamom pod prevents motion sickness and nausea. It also helps to maintain blood pressure and sugar levels in the body.
- The sweet aroma of cardamom fights bad breath and can be used as a mouth freshener.
- Inhalation of this soothing aroma also helps in reducing stress and anxiety levels and lets you enjoy a peaceful sleep.
Rightly called the king of spices, black pepper, besides being flavourful, also imparts innumerable health benefits.
- These tiny, black peppercorns are a rich source of calcium, potassium, minerals, vitamins and iron.
- They help to cure respiratory problems like asthma and nasal congestion. The pungent flavour of black pepper in combination with a steaming hot cup of healthy tea or soup instantly relieves you from sinusitis pressure.
- The carminative nature of black pepper improves digestion, releases gas retention and softens the stool, thus, curing constipation.
- Black pepper’s anti-bacterial property, fights against infections, regulates blood flow in the arteries, thereby improving the heart’s health.
- Being a great antioxidant, it improves your metabolism, immunity and slows down the ageing process.
This spice known for its unique aroma and taste is used in almost all traditional Indian recipes. Asafoetida spices up any dish and instantly transforms it into an aromatic treat.
- Asafoetida relieves gas retention and eases up the digestion process. After a sumptuous banquet, a tall glass of buttermilk, with generous amount of asafoetida is consumed to keep acidity and other stomach related problem at bay.
- Another interesting quality of asafoetida is that, it boosts progesterone, which helps to prevent menstrual pain and regulates blood flow.
- The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of asafoetida help to alleviate all sorts of aches like ear ache, tooth aches and headaches including migraines.
- Consumption or topical application of asafoetida on the chest relieves you from respiratory problems like bronchitis, asthma, cough and cold.
One cannot miss the prevalence of ginger in the Indian cuisine. It can be cut, sliced, dried, pounded or juiced and added to various dishes and medicines.
- Gingerol the most important bioactive compound present in ginger has great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to fight cancer.
- Consuming ginger is an effective way to treat nausea. It’s a pregnant woman’s best friend to cure morning sickness.
- It also lowers intense blood pressure and sugar levels and regulates pumping of blood to the heart.
- The anti-inflammatory property of ginger fights infection, alleviates muscle pain and soreness and cures arthritis.
- Ginger is a significant ingredient to cure indigestion. You may find several restaurants in India that has ginger shots and soups for easy digestion.
- Antioxidants present in ginger reduce oxidative stress, enhances brain functions and prevents early ageing.
So the next time you toss those spices into your food, remember the goodness they offer and use them wisely to improve your health.