Ayurveda is one of the world´s oldest science. It dates back to 3000 BC when India’s sages have established the roots and Ayurveda concept in the Vedas, which is the ancient book of knowledge.
Ayurveda is a holistic healing system based on the belief that our health depends on the balance between the mind, body, and spirit. It also considers health as our natural birthright and that a healthy, long life is available through proper diet and lifestyle, and herbal remedies.
There are 20 different types of Ayurvedic treatment, from massage (Abhyanga) to breathing exercises (Pranayama), yoga, and herbal medicines – depending on the individual’s health problems. After consulting with an Ayurvedic practitioner, the recommended therapy almost always includes a lifestyle change, especially diet.
Spices can turn an ordinary dish into a feast for the senses contributing to foods’ taste and flavor. What’s more, most spices also come with beneficial effects, so every meal that includes spices can become an experience in enhancing health and well-being. Many herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine have antioxidant effects, which means that they may protect against illnesses such as heart disease and arthritis.
Here are 10 of the healthiest spices that are commonly used in Indian cuisine, and it is time for you to start using them more often in your kitchen to benefit from them.
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Cinnamon comes from a tree’s inner bark (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) that grows mostly in India, China, and Sri Lanka. Cinnamon has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and has a powerful anti-diabetic effect.
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Turmeric is the spice in curry that gives its yellow color. The compound that gives the plant medicinal properties is curcumin, a remarkably powerful antioxidant, boosting the body´s own antioxidant enzymes. Curcumin is also strongly anti-inflammatory, to the point where it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. Use fresh turmeric roots or turmeric powder in teas or detox shakes daily.
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Ginger is a popular spice in many forms in herbal medicine. Research has sown that one gram of ginger is effective for many types of nausea, and it reduces the risk for colon cancer by decreasing colon inflammation in the same way as aspirin. Ginger tea, ground ginger or pickled or in fresh shakes there are many ways to use this wonder plant.
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Cumin can be used either as whole seeds or ground, raw or dry-roasted. It has been in Indian cuisine for centuries, and still today, the main producer is India. In Ayurveda, this common spice is used to treat different health problems due to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It is one of the best cures for indigestion and stomach pain as it helps reverse metabolic abnormalities.
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Fennel is perfect for digestion, according to Ayurveda. In India, eating a few fennel seeds after a meal is a common practice, sometimes mixed with sugar crystals. Fennel seeds are sweetish in taste, and ground fennel works very well in sauces.
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Coriander or cilantro has been used as a flavoring agent and medicinal plant since ancient times. The seeds and the leaves of this plant are used for treating many health problems. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-septic, anti-fungal, and diuretic properties. It is used to treat health problems like arthritis, stomach gas, urinary tract infections.
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Cloves are commonly used in the spice blends of North India. Like those found in cinnamon, certain compounds in cloves are also proven to improve insulin function. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Due to clove oil´s numbing effect, it is a great natural solution for toothaches. Just put a couple of whole cloves in your mouth, let them soften a bit, then bite on them gently with good molars and keep near the painful tooth for half an hour.
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The active ingredient in chili peppers is called capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce appetite and increase fat burning in many research kinds. It’s also used for treating muscle pain, shingles pain, and diabetes-related nerve pain.
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Fenugreek was commonly used in Ayurveda, particularly to enhance libido and masculinity. The latest studies have been shown to improve insulin function, leading to significant reductions in blood sugar levels.
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There are so many health benefits of cardamom, including gastrointestinal protection, cholesterol control, control of cancer, relief from cardiovascular issues, and blood circulation improvement in the body. Besides the fact that it gives food and sweets a delicious taste, cardamom is rich in vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin C, sodium, potassium, and calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc.