There are certain foods and flavors that just go with the fall. Warm baked apple pies, spiced cakes and cookies and tasty ciders are staples throughout the country during this time of year when the days become shorter and the nights grow colder.
But did you know that aside from tantalizing your taste buds, the spices you crave most during the autumn months come jam-packed with health benefits too? So grate some ginger and grind up some clove and see what these fall spices can do for your health.
Ancient Egyptians valued the medicinal effects of this spice since 2000 B.C. Used as a cure for everything from coughing to arthritis, cinnamon’s healing properties come from the essential oils found in the bark.
These oils are known to have both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Furthermore, cinnamon can help control blood sugar spikes. Research has shown that sprinkling a little cinnamon on your snack can reduce its impact on rising blood glucose levels.
If you’re going to be traveling during the upcoming holiday season, you may want to keep some ginger on hand. For travelers with tummy trouble, ginger has been proven to reduce motion sickness and nausea and can calm an upset stomach. But aside from quelling digestive woes, ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory.
When 29 individuals suffering from arthritis-induced knee pain were given either ginger supplements or a placebo, the ginger users experienced significantly less pain and swelling than those using the placebo. Furthermore, ginger’s anti-inflammatory compound, gingerol, has also been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and boost immune function.
Cloves are perhaps one of the most nutrient-dense spices around. You would have to eat an entire half-cup of blueberries to garnish the antioxidant content found in just one half-teaspoon of cloves. This super-spice is also an excellent source of manganese, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, calcium and magnesium. And research has shown that the primary component of cloves’ essential oils, eugenol, is an extremely potent anti-inflammatory.
Feeling anxious about visiting relatives, gift-buying and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? Relax with an added pinch of nutmeg on your next dish. Research has found that nutmeg consists of anti-depressant properties and when used in incense, the aroma of nutmeg induces relaxation and soothes stress.
Need help sleeping? Adding ground nutmeg powder to a warm beverage has been shown to help induce sound shut-eye and lead to an overall more relaxed and peaceful state.
– The Atlternative Daily