The common herbs and spices used for seasoning, carries loads of health benefits, apart from curbing hunger pangs and boosting metabolism, say researchers.
A pinch of this, and a dash of that, used as seasoning, or to add flavor in foods, such as cinnamon, ginger, oregano, yellow curry powder, red pepper, are equivalent to fruits such as blueberries and pomegranates, in their high anti-oxidant content, it has been found.
The amount of disease-fighting antioxidants, in a teaspoon of cinnamon, is equivalent to a full cup of pomegranate juice or a half cup of blueberries. The antioxidant compound found in cinnamon, ‘polyphenols’, are known to regulate blood sugar levels, and fight inflammation that increase risk for diabetes and heart diseases.
It is also interesting to note that spices might come to the rescue when you wish to control the fat and calories in your diet too. For instance, studies suggest that seasonings such as cayenne pepper, paprika and chilli powder helps curb hunger pangs and boosts metabolism by making it easier to carry on with a weight control diet.
Ginger, which is a well-known natural remedy for soothing stomach upset, contains an active ingredient called gingerol, which works like an anti-inflammatory drug such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Oregano contains the highest antioxidant levels due to its rosmarinic acid content. The antimicrobial powers of oregano helps fight bacterial growth and inhibits ulcer causing bacteria.
The powerful antioxidant compound, capsaicin, found in Red peppers, apart from spicing up the meal, increases satiety, so one tends to eat less, while mild sweet red peppers even helps boost metabolism, helping to burn more calories.
Yellow curry powder, a blend of turmeric and other spices, contains Curcumin, the bright yellow pigment that helps fight heart disease and boost brain health, a possible protection against Alzheimer’s disease.
However, the best way to make use of these wonderful spices that could contribute to a healthy diet, is to replace other seasonings that are high in fat, salt or sugar, with these spices, as herbs and spices are found to be calorie free and salt free. These seasonings, apart from enhancing fragrance and flavor of foods, also play a vital role in improving overall nutritional value of the meal.