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Quick Tip: The Healing Power of Nutmeg

Not only is nutmeg delicious, it is loaded with amazing health benefits! Try adding nutmeg to your morning smoothies or oatmeal. You can also add it to a variety of baked goods, soups, and even salad dressings!

The health benefits of nutmeg

Spice up your Life – The Healing Power of Paprika!

More than just a colorful garnish, paprika is a delicious spice that boasts many health benefits! Paprika is originally from South America although it is commonly used in many Spanish and Hungarian meals. It’s taste can range anywhere from smoked to sweet to very hot! I personally love using the Smoked Spanish Paprika from My Spice Sage. Yum! Paprika is typically sold in powdered form and is actually a ground pepper similar to bell peppers and chili! This tasty spice is loaded with vitamin C, a nutrient that is important for keeping our immune system strong and aiding in the absorption of iron. Paprika also contains an antibacterial protein to help keep those “bad bugs” at bay. In addition to it’s antibacterial properties, paprika can aid in improving circulation in the body. This is important for maintaining a healthy heart and normalizing blood pressure. Paprika can also improve digestion by stimulating the production of saliva and stomach acids.

FAST FACT:

– Paprika is the national spice in Hungary and is enjoyed it a variety of dishes including goulash, chicken paprikash, cheese, eggs, fish and pasta salad.

– The capsaicin found in paprika has anti-inflammatory properties, which can ease arthritis and joint pain.

Spice up your Life – The Healing Power of Cumin!

Even though it’s a spice that is commonly used in a variety of recipes, many people are not aware that cumin boasts amazing health benefits! Cumin has a unique flavor due to it’s content of cuminaldehyde, a compound shown to have powerful medicinal qualities. Research has shown that cumin can help fight diabetes and prevent against cataracts. It’s also been shown to help our bones stay strong and it can aid in preventing osteoporosis. Cumin’s volatile oil and rich content of vitamin A and C make it a strong antioxidant, helping to prevent cancer and keeping our immune system strong. In India, researchers discovered that cumin was most effective in blocking the action of bacteria that cause food poisoning. I suggest you check out the cumin from MySpiceSage.com, a great website and resource for a wide variety of spices.

FAST FACTS:

– Cumin pairs nicely with allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and garlic. It can be used in dishes containing potatoes, tomatoes, black beans, and curries.

– Cumin seeds should be dry roasted before they are ground to really bring out their flavor.

References: Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal. Sterling Publishing Co, 2011. New York, NY.

Spice up your Life – The Healing Power of Wasabi!

It’s that little green blob you always find on the side of your sushi plate that REALLY spices things up! If you love spicy food, I’m sure that you are a big fan of wasabi. Wasabi has been a popular condiment in Japan for many years and it has been referred to as the “Japanese horseradish.” Interestingly enough, wasabi is actually in the same botanical family as the horseradish plant. Not only does wasabi offer a serious flavor kick, but it’s loaded with health-promoting properties. Studies have shown that eating this spicy green food can help with promoting healing from stomach cancer and breast cancer. It’s also been shown to have a positive effect on those who are suffering from colon and lung cancer. Wasabi has been used in helping people recover from food poisoning because it is a natural defender against E. Coli and bacterias that can cause illness and discomfort. It’s also been helpful in helping those with ulcers and high cholesterol. In another study, researchers found that wasabi contains compounds that can actually increase bone density, making it a good food for those who are worried about osteoporosis. Looking for ways to include wasabi into your diet? It pairs nicely with various meats, noodles, fish, and rice dishes. Check out the wasabi powder from MySpiceSage. You will love it!

FAST FACTS:

– Japanese researchers found that the ITCs in wasabi can stop the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.

– Wasabi goes great with garlic, parsley, sesame seeds, and onion. It also pairs nicely with coriander and bay leaves.

References: Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal. Sterling Publishing Co, 2011. New York, NY.

Spice up your Life – Fennel Seed

Fennel is a plant that has it all; it’s actually a vegetable, spice, and herb! The ground bulb is the vegetable, the sprouts are the herbs, and the flower that produces the seeds are the spice. The seeds are a big hit with many people because they go well with so many dishes. Many people are not aware of the amazing health benefits that fennel seeds offers. Did you know that fennel seeds have been shown to help with menstrual cramps? It’s also been shown to have a healing effect for colitis, glaucoma, heart disease, and high blood pressure. In an Indian study, researchers discovered that fennel seeds had a strong impact on boosting brain activity, making the seeds good for those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Fennel seed is very easy to incorporate into your diet because it compliments dishes with mushrooms, salmon, tomatoes, curry and chicken. The flavors in the seeds pair nicely with allspice, ginger, garlic, and coriander.

FAST FACT: In folk medicine, fennel was used to soothe digestive disorders including bloating and gas.

Spice up your Life – The Healing Power of Horseradish!

Do you love horseradish? It’s very popular, not only for it’s powerful flavor but for it’s healing properties! Horseradish is a weedy herb with a perennial root. It was originally cultivated for medicinal purposes instead of for cooking. Horseradish is a natural antibiotic and studies have shown that it can be very useful in healing bronchitis, ear infections, sinusitis, and digestive issues. It’s also been said to help heal frustrating urinary tract infections. If you ever get the flu or strep throat, horseradish has healing properties that can help speed up your recovery time. Horseradish pairs nicely with basil, fennel seed, celery, parsley and rosemary. You can incorporate it into your diet by using the leaves in salads, the root to flavor fish dishes and vinegar. Horseradish also works well in dishes with apple, beans, and potatoes. Check out the horseradish powder from MySpiceSage. Love it!

FAST FACT:

– Did you know that an estimated 85 percent of the world’s horseradish is grown here in the USA? It also stays here because Americans consume six million gallons of horseradish a year!

– Raw horseradish has no odor but if you cut into the flesh, the smell can open up your sinuses!

References: Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal. Sterling Publishing Co, 2011. New York, NY.

Spice up Your Life – The Healing Power of Turmeric!

Turmeric is a staple spice in India and is used in just about every dish. It has also been used for more than 2,000 years in India (and China) to help heal and prevent health issues. It owes it’s healing properties to the active ingredient called curcumin, a compound that is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Traditional healers have used turmeric to aid in digestive issues, improve blood flow, and to help rid nasal passageways of congestion. Turmeric has also been shown to have amazing abilities to help fight and ward-off cancer. It’s been shown to inhibit the activation of genes that trigger cancer, inhibit the spread of tumor cells, and enhance the cancer-destroying effects of chemotherapy and radiation. It’s also been shown to help heal asthma, liver disease, gout, acne, and arthritis. Indian women use turmeric in the form of a face mask to help keep their faces smooth and free of wrinkles. It’s also been shown to help heal topical wounds and rashes.

FAST FACT: Did you know that turmeric was once called the “poor man’s saffron” due to it’s brilliant yellow hue?

References: Aggarwal, Bharat. Healing Spices, Sterling Publishing Co, New York, NY. 2011.

Spice up Your Life – The Health Benefits of Saffron

Saffron has to be one of my most favorite spices to add to my dishes. I love it’s amazing golden-red color and the amazing way this pretty spice tastes. As I’m sure you have noticed, saffron can be a bit expensive! This is because it literally takes 80,000 crocus flowers and a quarter of a million dried stigmas to produce one pound of saffron! Good thing it is sold in little containers and in smaller quantities. Saffron is great to add to a variety of dishes including chicken, polenta, rice, soups, and curries. It also pairs well with the taste of cloves, nutmeg, cumin, and mint. Saffron contains properties that have been shown to help with depression, anxiety, and fatigue. It has also been shown to aid in relieving the symptoms associated with PMS including menstrual cramps. Saffron contains a powerful antioxidant called crocin and studies have shown that this can have a positive effect on boosting fertility in men. The higher the amount of crocin the darker the color of the saffron (and the better the quality).

FAST FACT: Saffron only works in liquids and it should be infused in warm water (or milk) before added to a recipe.

References: Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal. Sterling Publishing Co, 2011. New York, NY.

Spice up your Life – The Healing Power of Sage!

Sage has been a popular herb for many years in a variety of cultures around the world. It is a prominent feature in Italian cuisine and the Germans use it in a lot of their hearty dishes. In the Middle East, fresh sage leaves are added whole to salads. There are about 900 varieties of sage but only a few of them are used for cooking. Not only does sage have an amazing taste, it is loaded with health benefits. It’s been said that sage helps to promote a clearer mind and a better mood. Studies have shown that sage not only can aid in preventing age-related memory loss, but it can help people recall information faster. One study tested safe on people who have Alzheimer’s and they found that it may have reduced the agitation associated with the disease. In addition to these health benefits, sage has been known to prevent cold sores, eczema, fatigue, sore throats, and ulcers. It’s very easy to include into your diet because it goes so well in a variety of dishes. It pairs nicely with parsley, thyme, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic. Start adding some sage to your meals today and reap it’s amazing health benefits.

FAST FACT: German researchers discovered that topical lotion with sage as an ingredient had a big impact on healing irritant-induced skin rashes.