The spices we use in our festive foods could have some surprising benefits. Here are three great spices and their awesome qualities.
Cloves are one of the best sources of antioxidants, which help fight off health-damaging free radicals. Plus a study in the Journal of Lipid Research showed that the oil from cloves
can inhibit COX-2, a protein that sparks inflammation. There’s a bonus too: cloves act as a natural breath freshener.
Cinnamon’s benefits don’t end there. It can also perk up your grey matter. A study in the North American Journal of Psychology revealed that a whiff of the spice, or chewing cinnamon gum, stimulated the cognitive process and improved scores in working memory and visual-motor response speed.
A US study showed that cinnamon may contribute to the alleviation and prevention of insulin resistance and other signs of metabolic syndrome—an array of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. After consuming cinnamon and/or its water-soluble extracts, participants with those conditions showed beneficial effects on glucose, insulin levels and sensitivity, lipids and blood pressure.
Ginger is used to soothe upset stomachs and fight motion sickness. Now, Canadian researchers have reviewed the key studies for treating nausea and vomiting brought on by pregnancy, and recommend ginger as a “safe, effective and inexpensive solution”. We wonder if the Duchess of Cambridge has tried this?
A new take on turkey stuffing...
Try adding chopped roasted walnuts, diced apple and a large pinch each of cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg to your favourite recipe.