Spices not only flavour food but also warm and invigorate your body, and boost your body’s health and healing processes. Let’s kick-start our metabolisms with five of the best health-boosting spices to zoom us through these chilly months (plus keep scrolling for the most delicious vegan curry recipe and a reader discount code from the lovely people at Hello Fresh!)
Turmeric: This yellow fellow is not just for curry… you can sprinkle it on everything from salads to omelettes and even make it a superfood addition to your morning smoothie. Not only does it add a golden, spicy delight but it contains the active ingredient curcumin, which has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s super health benefits include… cell-protecting properties for the colon, skin and breast; effectiveness at treating arthritic pain; lowering cholesterol; offering relief from gastrointestinal complaints; the possibility of safeguarding against Alzheimer’s disease and to top it all off it’s an outstanding wrinkle fighter! Truly this is the spice for a long life!
Cloves: It’s time to rethink the clove! Cloves are the unopened buds of an evergreen tree; the main ingredient eugenol is anti-inflammatory so may help with arthritic pain and stiffness. As it has a warming temperament it can support digestion and oil of cloves is an acclaimed treatment for toothache; simply dip a cotton bud in the oil and apply to the aching tooth. A delightful tisane (medicinal drink) can be made by pouring boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of cloves and leaving to steep for a good 10 minutes.
Cumin: Cumin is a member of the carrot family and has graced this earth since Old Testament days. A rich source of iron and manganese it is thought to stimulate the secretion of enzymes from the pancreas, which in turn aids digestion and absorption of nutrients so it’s ideal for those suffering from bloating. It is very easy to incorporate into your diet – use it in curries; stews and soups to add warmth and heartiness to your diet. Try adding to homemade bread for a tasty Indian-inspired twist. For a simple but effective digestion tea simply steep 1-2 teaspoons of cumin seeds in a pot of water.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon, a wonderfully warming spice from the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree, contains the health-boosting compound cinnamaldehyde; this gives it its flavour and odour; which has blood thinning and anti-inflammatory properties. Also useful for improving circulation, lowering cholesterol and helping to stabilise blood sugar levels. So don’t just restrict it to the top of your latte but make a divine after dinner tea by pouring boiling water over a few cinnamon sticks in a pot or try sprinkling over porridge, fruits, yoghurt and, of course, crumbles!
Ginger: This warming spice increases peripheral circulation so even your extremities will feel the ginger glow! Ginger also contains antioxidants to protect against disease and the compound gingerol, an anti-inflammatory, can aid in reducing pain and swelling associated with arthritis. It’s renowned for its ability to balance digestive problems as it encourages the production of enzymes for good nutrient absorption. It’s the spice of choice for flatulence; nausea caused by travel sickness; pregnancy and hangovers.
If you’re taking part in Veganuary and want to utilise the power of spices in your diet, check out Deliciously Ella’s Coconut Thai Curry recipe exclusively for Hello Fresh! Plus, if you’ve been um-ing and ah-ing about giving Hello Fresh a try, then let us tempt you with £10 off your first box! Just click the link here!
Deliciously Ella’s Coconut Thai Curry
If you’re trying to curb your Friday night takeaway habit, then you’re going to love this nutritious alternative that’s just as scrummy (if not more so!). It’s super quick to make and ideal if you’re taking part in Veganuary.