The spices that add flavour to many of our favourite dishes, also have some unexpected health boosts that you may not have known about.
Starts at 60 spoke to Ian ‘Herbie’ Hemphill, owner 0f Herbie’s Spices, about which of the jars in our spice racks could benefit us the most.
“Over recent years there has been a lot of interest in the health benefits of using spices in our daily meals,” he said. “Spices are naturally strong in colour and for their size they pack a greater than average amount of antioxidants when compared to fruits and vegetables.”
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And if you’re looking to drop a few kilos, you might want to consider adding some serious spice to your meals as it has been revealed that all of the sweating you do while eating spicy dishes is actually good for you. According to a study in the New York Times, consuming a spicy plate of food increases the rate by which your body burns calories by up to eight per cent.
Spicy foods such as turmeric also boost the production of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin, which may help to ease depression and stress. They’re also jam-packed with nutrients such as vitamin A and C, as well as a handful of vital minerals.
Turmeric has long been considered a powerful spice. It’s credited for preventing and fighting diseases, improving memory and attention span and even for helping when it comes to preventing aches and pains.
Not only are they nutritious, spices can also help you live longer. A 2015 study in China found that those who eat spicy foods nearly every day may lower their likelihood of death by 14 per cent.
Ian recommends adding turmeric or ginger to any seafood dish, suggesting: “Simply rub onto the surface of the seafood before grilling or barbecuing.”
And if you love digging into a fresh garden salad, he advises adding some dried oregano leaves sprinkled on top. “When dressing a salad, rub some dried oregano leaves in the palm of your hand and sprinkle over the salad with a little sumac,” he explains.
Ian also recommends rubbing a salt-free or no-added salt spice blend on chicken or red meats before cooking.