Did you know common cooking spices could help diabetes, fight fungal infections and potentially even prevent cancer growth? Delicious spices have been used traditionally in the East for hundreds and thousands of years, not only for their taste but as medicine too. Here in the West, we are only just discovering some of their exotic secrets.
Turmeric is a common spice, used for flavor and colour in many Eastern dishes. It contains the active plant chemical ‘curcumin’, which has high antioxidant activity, stops free radicals from aging or damaging our cells and skin, can decrease pain, inflammation and swelling, and is thought to have a great role to play in treating cancer. Dr Timothy Moynihan from the Mayo clinic says that laboratory studies have found curcumin to “prevent cancer, slow the spread of cancer, make chemotherapy more effective and protect healthy cells from damage by radiation therapy.”
Cinnamon, yes-simple cinnamon you sometimes add to porridge or on top of fancy coffees, has been used for centuries to relieve nausea and diarrhea. It helps circulation and can warm the body. It improves the digestion of fats. It can be used to stabilize blood sugar in diabetes, and can help with weight loss as well as fighting fungal infections.
Hot and spicy cayenne pepper has many health properties, whilst being high in Vitamins A, bioflavonoids, and containing more Vitamin C than an orange, it can kill many fungal and bacterial infections, and can strengthen capillary walls and decrease blood clots. Cayenne is great for fighting off a cold or sore throat and has been seen to be very valuable in treating arthritis, psoriasis and type II diabetes. It also activates turmeric, so having them together is always good.
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