Winter comes with its share of cold temperatures and vulnerabilities. As such, we have mastered the use of winter spices to keep our bodies at an optimal level and reinvent our culinary prowess. Commonly known as warm spices, the collection of ingredients helps flavor your food while reducing excessive sugar and salt. Besides the taste, they have many health benefits to the body. Here are some of the benefits associated with winter spices.
Cinnamon is a spice that comes from a tree bark. It has a good level of essential oils and gives your food a sweet aroma. Research shows that it has blood sugar control, especially if your body has trouble digesting high-carb foods. It also enhances your cardiovascular system and creates a neuroprotective shield for your heart. You can add it to warm drinks or add it to baked goods.
While most winter spices have antioxidants, cloves have the highest levels. It contains eugenol, an essential oil used as a flavoring in medicine for decades. With a high level of antioxidants, it possesses anti-inflammatory characteristics that will help your intestinal health and gut tract relax. If you have been experiencing intestinal gas, diarrhea, or stomach aches, this is the right spice to use this winter.
The most common use of ginger in winter is to suppress colds and flu. Drinking ginger water or spiced tea will impart antimicrobial properties to your system to soothe a sore throat. You can also add lemon, which is rich in Vitamin C.
This winter savory spice also aids in weight loss and can help you reduce body fat by preventing overeating. Your energy levels will be well maintained during winter, thus minimizing the generation of fat in your system.
Nutmeg comes in a nut-like form surrounded by mace. Since it is a popular ingredient for baking fruit cakes, you can find it in most grocery stores during Christmas. Researchers have found that nutmeg helps minimize inflammation in joints and abdominal pain.
As you know, winter comes with very low temperatures, sometimes dropping below zero. This means that people suffering from pre-existing conditions such as arthritis are at risk of experiencing more pain. If this is you, nutmeg will alleviate the pain and calm you.
Chai masala, or masala tea, is a popular beverage in India. It has a very rich Indian spicy aroma and taste. Apart from keeping you warm, chai masala for winter has many benefits for your body. Masala tea combines cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and even black pepper. Every manufacturer has their ingredients, meaning no two are alike.
With all the ingredients in the masala tea, you get to reduce inflammation due to the ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties. Other ingredients, such as cinnamon and clove, boost your immunity against illnesses and viral infections during this cold season. Try this spiced winter tea and keep your heart rate and blood pressure at an optimum.
Popularly referred to as red gold, saffron has gained a reputation for being the world’s most expensive spice. Its high price comes from its extensive harvest work from the Crocus Sativus flower.
Taking tea with saffron is a mood booster and soother as it helps wade off winter blues or winter depression. The spice has proven effective in treating mild depression while keeping you warm this season.
Headaches are not uncommon during winter. In fact, you may have more migraines and flare-ups than in the other seasons due to the lack of quality sleep and minimal sunlight. Your body may also have low blood sugar and stress, which can be terrible.
For head cakes, you can add fresh ginger and cayenne to your daily drink. You can also mix powdered cayenne into sunflower oil and rub it on the back of your neck to eliminate tension. Remember to first test it out to determine whether your skin is sensitive.
Spatz : our recommendations of spices for this winter
Evidently, the spices for winter do more than just flavor your food. Most contain generous antioxidants that combat infections and illnesses associated with cold weather. The best thing is that most are available at a store near you. As with any foods or ingredients, you must gradually introduce them to your body. Listen to how your body responds to the spices and ingredients. If you are on any medication or issues arise with the use of the spices, get in touch with your doctor for advice.
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