The Superstars Among the Spices

Monday, 04. May 2015

The Superstars Among the Spices

Spices are tasty, that's why they are so popular. Not only are they delicious, they also have many beneficial properties. Spices contain many healthy ingredients. 

Said ingredients include the category of secondary metabolites. This includes essential oils, spicy or sweet flavors and dyes. The last category includes the flavonoids that stimulate the immune system and protect cells. Sharp and bitter flavors also contrast to stimulate the digestive system.

Not all spices are alike, however. There are a few particularly potent spices that are not only flavorful, but are nutritional powerhouses as well. The following is a selection of these super spices and their features:

Basil, also called kingsfoil, is one of the anti-inflammatory herbs. It is used mainly in the Mediterranean region to fight loss of appetite, digestive problems or pharyngitis. Basil has a high content of the minerals potassium, magnesium and calcium and contains vitamin A and vitamins of the B group.

Cloves are derived from the clove tree and come from Southeast Asia. The dried flower buds taste and smell pungent, sweet and spicy. Due to the very high proportion of essential oils, cloves have strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. They are therefore often used to treat dental and gum problems. They also assist the body in digestive problems.

Cumin is an Asian plant with a fresh, spicy, aromatic flavor and often lends its character to Indian cuisine. The essential oils and flavoring has a positive effect on digestion and detoxification. Cumin also contains a lot of iron and vitamins A and C.

Turmeric , also known as Yellow ginger, belongs to the ginger family and is native to southern Asia. Turmeric is responsible for the yellow color typical of curries. Turmeric has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, the anti-cancer effects of this spice has been demonstrated in several studies, and it also reduces bone resorption. Since curcumin is not water soluble, it is absorbed from the intestine only in very small amounts. In combination with black pepper, this capacity can be improved.

Rosemary contains many essential oils and antioxidants. It is attributed concentration-promoting effects. It supports digestion and stimulates the circulation.

Thyme is a strong, bitter spice. It was used in ancient times to stimulate the mind and spirit. In the Middle Ages, it was used as a medicinal plant, especially in the treatment of respiratory problems or even with a sore throat. It helps with digestive problems and has been attributed positive effects on the immune system.

One should never forget that any dish can become extraordinary with the addition of the right spice! Do something good for your body and your taste buds!