Spices are used to add flavor to food, Spices obtained mainly from plants, along with giving taste and color to food, are also extremely beneficial for our health, Spices are obtained from the roots, bark, fruits, seeds, and leaves of plants. Usually, we get confused about the practical difference between spices and herbs. Herbs are used for the treatment of many diseases and for garnishing food.
Traditionally, regions with warm climates are favorable for the cultivation of spices. Spices have also been very beneficial from a commercial point of view. The spice trade has a centuries-old history, spreading beyond the Indian subcontinent, East Asia, and the Middle Eastern regions to other parts of the world over time. Spices are also used in the treatment of minor and many major diseases in many other countries including India.
India is currently the world’s largest producer of spices. Out of the 109 types of spices listed by the International Organization For Standardization (ISO), India alone produces and exports 75 types of spices. India also exports products like chili, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, coriander, cumin, and oil from many spice plants, many mint products, curry powder, and spice powder.
Types Of Spices
Spices are classified on the basis of which parts of the plants are obtained. Following are the major classifications of spices based on vegetable origin.
- Aril: Pomegranate Seeds
- Bark: Cinnamon,
- Berry: Black pepper, white pepper, juniper
- Bud: Clove, Caper
- Bulbs: Onion, Garlic, Leek
- Flowers: Saffron, Marjoram
- Fruits: Chilli, cardamom, kokum
- Kernel: Nutmeg
- Latex: Asafoetida
- Leaf: Mint, curry leaves, bay leaves, rosemary, oregano, fenugreek
- Legume: Vanilla, Tamarind
- Seeds: Cumin, black cumin, fenugreek, coriander, fennel, poppy seeds, mustard
Spices and their nutritional properties
Spices have a natural flavor and aroma. They are also used in fixed quantities in food so that extra calories are not added to it. Many types of nutrients are also found in spices. Most spices are rich sources of minerals such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamin A, vitamin B6, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Many spices are also rich in antioxidant compounds such as polyphenols and flavonoids, which are extremely beneficial for health.
Health Benefits Of Spices
Spices have natural medicinal properties. Many spices are used to treat non-communicable diseases. In India, these spices are being used to treat diseases for centuries, while some developed countries have now started studying them. Here are some benefits that you can take benefits of by using spices in daily life.
Spices are beneficial in removing inflammation
It is natural for some parts to swell after an injury. Spices are used to relieve these inflammations. This has also been supported by several studies in recent years. A study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine in 2018 confirms that nutrients from spices such as cloves, coriander, garlic, ginger, onion, black pepper, and turmeric are helpful in reducing inflammation. Not only this but the use of spices is also considered beneficial in eliminating chronic diseases like arthritis.
Spices are helpful in the treatment of diabetes
Some spices have properties to treat serious diseases like diabetes. There are many spices like cinnamon, which definitely bring sweetness to the food, but this sweetness does not affect the blood. Cinnamon has many such properties that increase the amount of insulin produced in the body.
Fenugreek seeds and ginger have proved to be very beneficial in the treatment of diabetes. Both spices have properties to control blood sugar.
Consumption of spices is useful in weight loss
Many spices are rich in antioxidants, which increase the metabolic rate. These include spices such as chilies, cinnamon, fennel, fenugreek, cardamom, and black pepper. These spices effectively increase digestion power as well as flush out toxins from the body faster and more effectively. Even tea made from a mixture of these spices can help you in your weight loss.
Spices give relief from nausea and indigestion
Whether you are feeling frequent nausea due to an upset stomach or pregnancy, spices can give you relief from this problem. Spices like ginger, cardamom, cumin, fennel, and clove have antioxidant properties, using them not only provides relief from the problem of nausea, but they are also very helpful in relieving gas and bloating.
The use of spices is of great use for the heart
Spices are also helpful in improving heart health. Garlic contains an active compound called allicin, which reduces clogging of arteries and also helps in increasing blood circulation. At the same time, the curcumin found in turmeric is helpful in reducing the risk of a heart attack. Black pepper, cinnamon, and coriander also have properties to keep the heart healthy.
Give skin tone with the use of spices
Most spices have antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. With its daily use, you can bring a glow to your skin. Along with the use of these spices in the form of food, it is also advised to apply many spices to the skin. Turmeric is one of those spices when applied to the skin gives a glow. Cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel, ginger, etc. are also very effective in beautifying the skin tone.
Infections can be removed with spices
Antimicrobial properties are found in spices, due to which infection can be removed by using them. Spices like cloves, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, asafetida, and cumin can especially help boost your immunity and protect you from bacterial infections.
Spices are helpful in fighting cancer
Consumption of spices like turmeric, black cumin (shah jeera), ginger, garlic, saffron, and black pepper is recommended for severe diseases like cancer and tumors. These spices contain bioactive compounds like curcumin, thymoquinone, piperine, and capsaicin that help the body fight these diseases. A study published in the journal Nutrients in 2016 described how these compounds were effective in destroying tumor cells and inhibiting their spread.
Spices can keep food safe for a long time
Along with protecting the body from many diseases, spices are also helpful in keeping your food safe. Spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cumin, and oregano have antibacterial and antifungal properties that make them last longer, keeping food safe from bacteria (Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas fluorescens), pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and fungi) and mold. maintain usably. By using these spices while cooking food, you can also keep the cooked food free of infection and preserve it for a long time.
Spices increase sexual arousal
The medicinal properties contained in some spices have been proven to be very effective in increasing sexual desire. Many studies have shown that some spices are helpful in increasing such hormones in the body, which are directly related to sexual arousal. The saponins present in fenugreek are believed to be effective in increasing testosterone, which can increase libido in men. Similarly, fennel is helpful in increasing the level of estrogen. Saffron, nutmeg, garlic, and ginger along with increasing stimulation are also very useful for women who complain of a lack of vaginal lubrication. Ginseng is used in the treatment of many types of masculine weaknesses. Ginseng is the root of a medicinal plant found in China, Nepal, Canada, and the eastern United States.
Side effects of spices
Generally, there are no side effects of consuming spices, their use is considered safe. Spices are a storehouse of many medicinal properties, which only benefit the body. However, in many cases, its side effects have also been seen. This is mainly seen in situations when either the spices you are consuming in the form of food or drink are not cooked properly or they are not stored safely. In these cases, the following side effects can be seen.
Allergies can be caused by the side effects of spices
Cases of side effects caused by spices have been rarely seen. In some cases in the US, allergic effects were seen in some people consuming spices such as coriander, caraway, cumin, oregano, and thyme. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted investigations on several occasions. Complaints were received that peanuts were being used during the packing of spices to increase their weight. In such a situation, cases like anaphylactic were reported due to the presence of peanuts and spices.
Rashes can occur on the skin due to spices
Many spices have a warming effect and can cause conditions such as redness, burning, and itching when in contact with the skin. This problem is seen more with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. These spices are comparatively hotter.
Diarrhea caused by spicy food
Consuming very spicy food can cause problems like nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea. It totally depends on your digestion. Since spices create heat in the stomach due to their effect, digestive problems start.
A spicy environment can increase asthma
Breathing in a spicy environment can be aggravating problems for asthma patients. This can cause problems like coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest and throat. Mainly due to chili or black pepper powder, the possibility of this problem is more.
Patients with piles should avoid spices
Consumption of more spices increases the risk of many anal disorders like piles. However, there is an exception to this as well. In one study, researchers have called this a myth. In a 2006 study, researchers at the University Of Bari Aldo Moro in Italy gave capsules containing chili peppers for a week to patients with hemorrhoids. It was finally concluded that spicy foods (especially chilies) do not aggravate the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Spices can increase the risk of salmonella
In September 2019, the USFDA decided to remove some spices from the market. There were fears that salmonella contamination was increasing due to these spices. It is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestines. It is spread through the feces of an infected person.
How To Use Spices
Spices have many medicinal properties. By using it in daily life, you can not only improve the taste of food but also improve your health.
- By including spices in the food, you can easily take benefit of the properties present in it. Spices are available in the market in both whole and ground forms. The taste can be improved by adding a mixture of several spices to the food.
- The properties present in spices can also protect foods from spoilage for a long time. This method is often used to prevent the pickle from spoiling for a long time.
- Applying turmeric paste to minor injuries and wounds is also beneficial. The antiseptic properties present in turmeric help in the faster healing of wounds.
Uses and benefits of spices
Spices are full of health benefits. It is generally considered safe to consume them regularly without any side effects. Regular consumption of spices in food can help in boosting the immune system as well as fighting diseases like arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and infections. By the way, spices are available very easily and at low prices. However, spices like saffron sell are expensive. Before consuming, make sure that the spices you are using in food are completely pure and safe. Sometimes adulterated spices can also have a bad effect on your health.