A recent study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that adding spicier foods and seasonings to one’s diet could have some lasting health benefits. According to this find, people who consumed spicy foods 6-7 days per week were 14% less likely to succumb to age-related deaths than those who ate spicy foods once or fewer per week; a statistic worth noting for those worried about their health in later years.
Many different types of hot peppers contain the compound capsaicin. This has been used for centuries as a form of medicine, dating back to Native Americans. Today, researchers have found that individuals who consume hot peppers fairly regularly show lower levels of insulin after consumption, suggesting that capsaicin could potentially lower one’s risk of type-2 diabetes. Additionally, heart health among men who ate hot peppers was shown to improve, as their resting heart rates lowered, and overall function increased. Capsaicin can also reduce inflammation, which can protect your body’s cells, effectively preventing cancer.
If your threshold for spice is not particularly high, there are a number of other seasonings that can give you the same health benefits as capsaicin, if not more. Replacing salt and excess fats with herbs and spices is a great way of maintaining blood pressure, and adding more minerals to your diet, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
Garlic and turmeric are two more spices that come with an array of health benefits, and are very easy to add to any meal. Garlic, as most people know, goes great with Italian dishes, stir-fries, vegetables, and more. The advantages this spice brings to the table are reduced risks of colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, and even breast cancer.
Turmeric is typically the main ingredient in curry powder and yellow mustards; an optimal replacement for mayonnaise and other condiments with high levels of fat. This compound also contains anti-inflammatory ingredients, in addition to boosting the body’s output of antioxidants.
Many green herbs like basil, mint, oregano, and rosemary contain flavonoids that protect cells from damage and prevent the growth of bacteria. The oils in these spices prevent this, and the marinades that these are often in can reduce the levels of compounds that grow cancer cells.
On the sweeter side, spices like cinnamon and ground nutmeg are both anti-inflammatory as well. Cinnamon contains gingerols, which can prevent colorectal cancer, in addition to lowering your levels of blood sugar. Adding these spices to your morning cup of coffee, baked goods, and even salads could provide you with these additional health benefits.
The foods and meals in which you can introduce these multiple spices are endless. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen. The ultimate goal is to harbor the advantages that these super-spices provide for your overall health.