If you’re like me, herbs and spices scare you. Not knowing what to add to what, or worried it’ll change all your hard work and preparation at the last possible moment. Well the time has come to face the fear of them as they’re actually pretty cool and have endless amounts of benefits to our health.
I’ve always thought that herbs and spices being the same thing, but they’re actually very different to one another. Herbs are the leafy or flowering parts of plants, whereas spices are made from what remains of plants, and although there are a wide range of herbs to choose from to flavour your food, there are even more spices!
Spices are the dried parts of a plant other than the leaves, as like I said before, the leaves are actually considered herbs. For example; bark, roots, berries, twigs, seeds, or virtually any other part of the plant is a spice. The best thing about spices is that there’s so many to choose from, allowing you to make the same foods but flavour them completely differently to keep each meal exciting.
Benefits of cooking with Spices:
Cooking with spices comes with a huge collection of health-related benefits;
Improving the health status of your meals: Adding spices to your meals may help you to save on some of the salt, fat, and sugar you would otherwise add to amp up the flavor in your dish. This means you can also add spices to protect against health conditions associated with excessive sodium, such as high blood pressure.
You may find you actually eat less: Well-seasoned foods are more satisfying than those that ae simple and taste bland, leaving you to resist that dessert!
Boosts general well-being: Many spices contain anti-inflammatory properties which can boost immune health, and may even reduce blood sugar levels.
Rev’s Favourite Spices:
While all spices are likely to benefit your health in one way or another, Revolution Fitness have found that certain spices are more useful to us than some others. (Beware! Big words that you may not be able to pronounce are coming up!)
Cinnamon: Cinnamon contains ‘cinnamaldehyde’, which gives the spice its known healing properties. It helps fights inflammation and can even lower cholesterol. Most particularly, cinnamon lowers blood sugar by slowing down the body’s breakdown of carbs while improving insulin sensitivity.
Turmeric: Turmeric is commonly used in curries and contains ‘curcumin,’ which gives this spice its restorative properties. Curcumin reduces inflammation and may also protect against high cholesterol, stomach ulcers, and diabetes.
Cayenne pepper: Cayenne pepper’s active ingredient, ‘capsaicin,’ reduces appetite and has also been shown to increase fat burning! Chili powder contains capsaicin as well, making it another beneficial spice to add to your meals.
Black pepper: Black pepper may not seem too important but recent studies reveal that its active compound, ‘piperine,’ may interfere with the formation of new fat cells. This process is known as ‘adiopogenesis’ and can actually benefit weight loss!
Mustard seeds: Some studies reveal that eating just one teaspoon of mustard, can boost the metabolism by up to 25% for several hours afterwards.
Cumin: Recent studies suggest that cumin increases metabolism and due to it’s high iron levels, can increase our energy as well.
Ginger: Ginger is known to increase the metabolic rate while decreasing appetite, and regulating digestion.
Remember you can add spices to almost anything and not just savoury dishes. Try them in dressings, smoothies, juices and teas! I don’t know about you, but I’m defiantly going to experiment more with my meals and juices!