One of the wake-up calls to emerge out of the Covid-19 global health crisis is how essential it is to keep our bodies robust and resilient. Which is why it was no surprise to learn there’s been a 95% increase in the sales of turmeric and ginger over the last few months. And with good reason! Spices have long been used for their health, medicinal and beauty benefits. Here’re 5 superfood spices we recommend you keep in your pantry…
This brightly red colored spice is a member of the chilli pepper family and has a kick to it which explains why it’s a popular spice in Mexican, Creole and Southwestern American cuisine. Healthwise, Cayenne Pepper is commonly used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Just some of the known uses include boosting circulation, improving digestion, reducing aches and pains, and easing cold and flu-like symptoms. As Cayenne Pepper is high in antioxidant-rich Vitamin C, it is also said to support the immune system by helping remove free radicals.
CLEAR SINUSES : Blend Cayenne Pepper With Ground Ginger, Raw Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar With Hot Water.
Derived from the bark of the cinnamon tree, this sweet spice is a must-stock for every pantry. Culinary-wise, cinnamon is used as a condiment in both savory and sweet dishes including curries, baked apples, cakes and cookies. Medicinally, cinnamon is said to be loaded with antioxidants including polyphenols that are known to help to protect the body from oxidative damage. Cinnamon is also used to help the body fight infections, reduce the risks of heart disease and help lower blood sugar levels (some recommend that people with type 2 diabetes take a small amount (1/2 a teaspoon is plenty) on a daily basis.
WINTER WARMER : Sprinkle a little Cinnamon on your warming hot chocolate, chai tea, and even your morning coffee!
Who doesn’t love a clove or two of garlic to add flavour soups, pasta sauces and even a Sunday roast! Garlic is closely related to the onion, scallion, leek and shallot family and is thought to have countless health benefits (raw and cooked). It’s been used for centuries in folk medicine to help ward off flu and cold, soothe the throat and coughing and natural antibiotics.*Make sure you buy organically grown and unbleached garlic if possible.
COUGH REMEDY : Gargling warm water with sea salt and garlic will keep your throat warm and moist and help fight flu and cough.
Ginger is a potent and fragrant spice that originates in South East Asia. It’s part of the same family as Turmeric so you can imagine countless health benefits. Ginger is commonly used for improving digestion (Confucius was said to eat ginger with every meal), fighting infections like the common cold, is a known anti-inflammatory and then some. This fragrant spice is a key ingredient in so many culinary dishes including Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Indian cooking (masala chai anyone).
COLD & FLU : Place pieces of ginger root with slices of lemon with hot water in a teapot and drink throughout the day. It will keep you warm and hydrated as well as help fight infections.
This yellow-colored root is well known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds and is widely used in South East Asia in medicine, beauty and cooking. Turmeric is part of the ginger family that flourishes across South East Asia. It’s also commonly used in beauty preparations in Ayurveda as well as Indonesian spa treatments (hands up who’s tried a Lulur Lulur)? Turmeric is also one of the key ingredients in the Indonesian health ‘Jamu’ tonic. Lately, we’ve seen increasing evidence that Turmeric can help to reduce tumor growth and is being used to help prevent cancers.
JAMU HEALTH TONIC