Herbs and spices not only add flavor to your food, making it that much more enjoyable, but they also provide some great health benefits.
Turmeric, a staple of many Indian dishes, has anti-inflammatory properties and works as an antioxidant.
Peppermint is beneficial for a wide variety of stomach ailments, from heartburn and indigestion to nausea. It can also help those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Cayenne pepper may help relieve stomach aches and gas.
Spices are absolutely wonderful, and can make a dramatic difference in not only the flavor of food but its health benefits. Not every often where you get a double win like this in health The typical mantra that most of us use is that if tastes good then spit it out as it could not possibly be good for you. But with spices this just doesn't have to be true.
I also find it amazing that not only do we get a flavor boost, but many of the spices will actually improve our health.
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, and it can also reduces triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels. Herbs such as oregano, dill, garden thyme, rosemary and peppermint are packed full of antioxidants, and garlic can help boost your immune system.
Some of my favorite spices are the hot spices. So I think it’s great news that cayenne pepper in particular is such a healthy food. The active ingredient in cayenne pepper, called capsaicin, has been found to reverse Type 1 diabetes in mice, for example -- an astounding breakthrough that the medical community keeps quiet about. Jamaican healers use it to treat diabetes, although I don't believe it should be relied upon for primary control. Capsaicin also has cancer-fighting benefits.
However, in spite of the many benefits of turmeric and its component curcumin, I am not very fond of curry. That brings up an important point, as you really do want to honor what your body tells you. If any food or spice does not taste good or "feel right," stay away from it -- no matter who is telling you how good it is for you. Your body is a far better judge of that than anything you will ever read.