There’s a reason that turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger were used heavily in traditional medicine. In addition to adding pizzazz to any dish, they also have some great healing properties that modern medicine is currently studying. Here are a few things you didn’t know about these awesome spices.
Turmeric, also known as the golden spice, dates back nearly 4,000 years where it was used as a culinary spice in India. It was often used to add a warm, pepper-like flavor to dishes, but because of its deep, yellow color it was also utilized for dye. Today, Western medicine has started to study its uses as a pain reliever and healing agent.
In addition to aiding in your daily value of manganese, iron, potassium and vitamin C, it’s active ingredient, curcumin, gives turmeric powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Multiple studies have shown that it can be effective at preventing inflammation in the first place, but that it also provides improvement in pain associated with knee osteoarthritis.
Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, its content of antioxidants can contribute to healthy digestion. Several recent studies have shown that the main ingredient, curcumin, has antidepressive effects.
Turmeric can be easily used in curry, homemade dressings, or even as a barbeque rub. You can also take it in capsules, or add it to a mango smoothie!
Cinnamon compliments both sweet and salty dishes, and can even be used with drinks (I even add a bit to my morning coffee sometimes). While its interesting flavor profile is great in many dishes, it has a long history as a tradition medicine. Native to China, cinnamon was used to treat a variety of ailments including coughing, arthritis, sore throats, and wheezing.
Today, the effects of cinnamon are being studied on those with type-2 diabetes. It has been shown to have beneficial effects on blood markers. Some studies have even shown that it reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) while keeping good cholesterol (HDL) stable. Because of these effects, it’s also being studied a a potential reducer of heart disease.
Cinnamon is so easy to add to the diet. Throw it in smoothies, coffee, green tea, or oatmeal! Or you can get almost a full gram of it in these Cinnabähn bars which combine the bold, robust taste of cinnamon with the decadent taste of pure maple syrup and buttery ghee.
Ginger is yet another spice that has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties and interesting flavor. It is currently used for everything from palate cleansing to fighting nausea. A few studies have shown that it can be useful for preventing nausea after surgery and for reducing the severity of Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in patients. It’s also thought to support the digestion of food.
Ginger is a great addition to smoothies and juices as its tartness helps mask some of the bitter greens. Add it to veggies stir-frys or use it to give a bit of spice to hot tea or coffee. It’s also the star of the new MariGold Ginger Coconut bars which are reminiscent of the ginger chew but without all the sugar.