Spices also provide a healthy and natural way to keep ourselves warm during the winter.
By Kavita Devgan, Consulting Nutritionist, Tata Sampann
India has a variety of spices spanning different regions of the country, most of which have different climatic conditions, each offering a distinct flavor and aroma. There are many spices that have wonderful antimicrobial properties which enhance their medicinal properties and provide resistance to fight against diseases. Spices also provide a healthy and natural way to keep ourselves warm during the winter.
It is the drop in temperature and rise in pollution levels that increases one’s chances of falling ill. However, the easiest way to avoid that is by following a healthy diet. There is no need to drastically change what you eat, but you definitely should raid your kitchen and check out the spice counter. There are some common spices which act as superfoods and keep you healthy as the temperature dips and pollution level rises.
Turmeric Health Benefits
Turmeric is another common ingredient that is extremely helpful in combating pollution as it has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that boost immunity and keeps various health conditions at bay. Get yourself a drink of piping hot turmeric tea or turmeric milk to see effective results. It is certainly not without logical reason that you will find this spice in pretty much every Indian recipe.
Curcumin, the primary compound found in turmeric, makes it an effective antioxidant, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory ingredient. It gives you relief from arthritic pain, prevents cancer and improves digestion. It is also very helpful in reducing bloating which might occur during winters.
Turmeric is one of the best remedies during winter as it offers several benefits:
- It clears congestion
- It works as a tonic to relieve congestion
- It soothes headaches and coughs.
That’s why it has been a bedrock of Ayurvedic remedies since ancient times and has helped umpteen people keep respiratory distress at bay. Always buy turmeric that gives you at least 3% cur cumin (the active ingredient in turmeric that delivers all the benefits).
Cinnamon Health Benefits
Cinnamon is one of the most common spices which is not just a great addition to your beauty routine but it’s good for your health too in the following ways:
- It reduces cholesterol levels
- It helps cure flu and cold
- It prevents arthritis
- It is believed to be high in immune boosting antioxidants
- It can also improve digestion.
It also helps in digestion by breaking down fats and reduces insulin resistance which can help you in reducing weight and prevents you from getting hunger pangs.
Cardamom Health Benefits
Cardamom is another such ingredient which can be very helpful to keep yourself healthy during winters. Benefits are:
- It improves your digestive system by stimulating the secretion of bile acid in the stomach.
- It boosts metabolism and has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- It also helps stop gastrointestinal diseases such as acid reflux, heartburn, diarrhoea, etc.
- It is good for your heart.
There is vitamin C in cardamom, which protects you against common cold and boosts your immunity.
Cayenne, too, is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and is considered as a metabolism booster spice.
So now that you have these spicy tips to keep you in the best of health this winter, what are you waiting for!? Go ahead and chill.
With over 20 years of experience as a weight loss and health consultant, the columnist is a well-known nutritionist and author of ‘Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You’ and ‘Don’t Diet!’