INDIA: Spices not only enhance the flavour and taste of your food, but they are also good for your health too by giving you a boost of antioxidants. Antioxidants as a matter of fact are substances that protect cells from damage. “Spices are concentrated sources of antioxidants,” says Diane Vizthum, M.S., R.D., research nutritionist for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. They also add new flavours and aromas to food without adding fat, sodium, or calories.
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 or commonly called COVID-19 is still upending lives across the world, but people in India seem to be less affected as seen from the recovery rate which is much better than that of other countries. Also, the occurrence of the new variant COVID-19 in Europe and the USA is almost not reported in India.
And the reason for this is attributed to the fact that Indians use a lot of spices in their food for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties. The practice of mixing a spoon of turmeric in your glass of hot milk or having ginger and black pepper-infused cup of spiced-tea has long been used by seniors in India as a cure for the seasonal influenza virus, which, in certain ways is similar to the deadly coronavirus.
Ayurveda, a traditional medicinal practice also mentions the use of Trikaṭu spices, i.e. dry ginger, black pepper and long pepper that are known to work as a potent drug in respiratory function by helping get rid of excess mucous from the body. Addition of turmeric powder is believed to further boost immunity against influenza virus.
Spices were known in India as early as 2000 BCE when the country used to trade cinnamon and black pepper. The word spice comes from the Old French word espice, and is procured from the bark, fruit buds, roots, seeds or stems of various plants or trees and is primarily used for flavoring or coloring food. It is also used in medicine, religious rituals, cosmetics or perfume production.
Reasons to say ‘YES’ to Spices
It is scientifically proved that spices like garlic, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and cumin, as well as chili have immense health benefits. It is also proven now that eating spicy food regularly lowers mortality rates by 14%.
Here is a list of spices and their effects to compel you start adding a little spice to your food:
Cinnamon to Lower Blood Sugar
Turmeric to Fight Inflammation
Ginger to Relieve Nausea
Garlic to Boost Heart Health
Peppers to reduce the number of Tumors
Chilies and peppers for weight loss and a strong cardiovascular system
Turmeric and mustard seeds to reduce the risk of cancer
Various spices help in increasing your libido too as they are natural aphrodisiacs. A combination of saffron and ginseng can boost sexual performance. Spicy food also enhances serotonin levels, a feel-good hormone in the brain to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.