6 ways to quite literally spice up your life.

Lets get spicy. No, Brad, keep your shirt on!! Not that kind of spicy!! We’re talking about cooking up some fall dishes that do NOT lack in the flavour department. Some of our favourite spices on the rack have handfuls of remarkable health benefits. So tell your bland mashed potatoes to hit the road because fall is here and we’re ready to wake up your taste buds!  

 

Cardamom:

This spice is related to ginger and can be used in the same kind of ways. It has peppery and citrus notes. It can be used in curry, gingerbread, pancakes, masala chai tea and pairs well with fruits for marinades. Here are the health benefits to eating cardamom:

  1. Relieves muscle outbursts such as stomach and intestinal cramps and even hiccups!  
  2. Prevents blood clots by restraining platelets and the sticking action that happens to the artery walls.
  3. Cardamom is known to detoxify the body. Because it’s rich in Vitamins like A,B,C and riboflavin, it has abilities to help clear excess chemicals in your blood.
  4. Can help asthma patients and people who are suffering from whooping cough.
  5. Cardamom can promote hair growth. This is because it nourishes your hair follicles and scalp.  

If you want some cardamom recipe inspiration, you need to try our Chai Spiced Truffles. I mean come on, chai is obviously the official flavour of fall. 😉  

 

turmeric:

If you follow health and wellness gurus on Instagram you’re probably already turmeric savvy. If you’ve heard about it’s extreme healing abilities, we’re here to to tell you that turmeric lives up to its reputation. The spice is great in curries, stews, smoothies, rice or tea! Once you read what it has to offer, you’ll be sprinkling the orange powder on everything!

  1. One of the most powerful healing compounds in turmeric is curcumin. It’s believed to be anti-cancerous
  2. The curcumin in turmeric has also been linked to lower rates of brain disorders. This includes depression and Alzheimer’s. 
  3. Some studies show that turmeric can enhance your memory.
  4. Turmeric can reverse some factors that contribute to heart disease.
  5.  Turmeric has many anti-aging benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties, it also increases the antioxidant space in your body! 

Is there anything Turmeric can’t help with? Well maybe it can’t file your taxes or have dinner with your in-laws, but you don’t really know until you try, right? Check out our Golden Mylk recipe that features the all star spice. 

 

Ginger:

Ginger tea when you’re sick is the answer to all of your woes. If your symptoms are anything from sore throat to dry cough or nausea and headaches, fresh ginger tea will make you feel like a million bucks. I also love throwing frozen ginger in my smoothies for a kick of flavour and if you grate it up it’s amazing in a stir fry! Fresh ginger also works well as a base ingredient in soup broths. Now let’s cut to the chase and move on to the benefits:

  1. Ginger can successfully be used as a morning sickness remedy, partly due to it’s ability to treat nausea. This includes nausea after surgery and chemotherapy too.  
  2. In one study ginger proved to reduce day to day muscle pain for those who do moderate weight training exercises.
  3. Goodbye indigestion. For those who suffer with chronic indigestion, you may want to add more ginger to your diet. It’s been argued that many indigestion issues come from a prolonged emptying of the stomach. Studies showed ginger increased the time it took for the stomach to empty. Now for people without any digestion issues, this doesn’t mean much. But for those who suffer from chronic indigestion and other stomach related complications, over time this could make some of your pain disappear.
  4. Ginger powder has proved to drastically reduce menstrual cramping for some women.
  5. Ginger helps improve circulation and blood flow because of the vitamins and nutrients it contains. Some of these include chromium, magnesium and zinc.  

If you ever feel under the weather you need to try our Recover Tea. It can help clear your sinuses and sipping on this spicy tea might even make your sore throat feel better! Caution: There’s a good chance it will make you feel super cozy and relaxed. 

 

Nutmeg:

Try baking your fall vegetables in nutmeg and coconut oil, or add a pinch of nutmeg and some lemon juice to your bowl of fruit salad. Nutmeg is more traditionally used in North America to add flavour diversity to desserts. Try adding some into your pastry dough, sprinkling on top of pies or other baked goods when they’re fresh out of the oven. Here are the benefits that come along with Nutmeg’s flavour:

  1. Nutmeg can detoxify your liver and kidney. This spice is a tonic, and essentially helps rid your organs of built up toxins.
  2. Nutmeg is also known to dissolve and prevent future kidney stones. This leads to healthier organs that function better.
  3. Get a good night sleep with nutmeg. It’s recommended to drink a warm decaffeinated beverage such as milk or tea before bed with a small amount of nutmeg powder mixed into it. This is because the spice has a large amount of magnesium in it, which re This will prompt you to feel sleepy and ensure you have a more relaxed undisturbed snooze!
  4. No need to put your thinking cap on, because nutmeg can improve your mental alertness and concentration. It does this by minimizing or eliminating stress and fatigue. In turn this could be a suitable remedy for those who suffer from anxious thoughts.
  5. Nutmeg promotes skin health by removing blackheads and healing acne scars. A simple face mask to try is adding a small amount of nutmeg powder to honey, and using that as a face mask. Try our recipe here:

Spice up your smoothie with our PureFood Pumpkin Spice Smoothie.  

 

Cayenne:

Try a pinch of cayenne in your homemade hot chocolate. You can also sprinkle the spice on top of baked yam fries, chili, soups, stews, eggs or make your own spicy dips by adding powdered cayenne into the mix! Cayenne is very spicy, so start off with a small amount at first, then gradually make your way up to the big leagues. Here are the perks to eating this hot pepper:

  1. One scientific study concluded that cayenne could potentially stop the development of fungal organisms. Fungus be gone.
  2. Migraines and headaches will be a thing of the past. This might be linked to the fact that the spice can prompt a pain response to a different area of the body. This means your brain’s attention is distracted and diverted from the existing head pain. Try sipping on some cayenne infused hot chocolate the next time you have a headache.
  3. Obviously you know by now cayenne peppers are hot and potent with spice, so as a natural reaction to the heat your body produces saliva. This is great for prolonging your oral health and aiding with digestion.
  4. The spicy red pepper relieves joint pain. Capsaicin is a dynamic pain represent, and the natural substance is found in Cayenne. There are even creams which are used externally on the skin to provide joint pain relief. However when the pepper is eaten on a moderate to regular bases, it’s proved to have the same effects.
  5. If you’re looking for a natural way to maintain a healthy weight, this hot pepper might be able to assist you. It’s scientifically proven to curb appetite and it can provide a hefty boost to your metabolism.

Turn up the heat with our Candied Cayenne Squash recipe. 

 

Cinnamon:

I add cinnamon to my smoothies, warm beverages, oatmeal and basically anything I eat in the morning. It’s the saviour to all things in the breakfast family. Example: You have oats and apples in the morning. Well, bake or saute your apples in pure maple syrup or honey and add some cinnamon into the mix. BOOM. You now have a sweet (healthy) dessert for breakfast. You can also try sprinkling the spice on top of popcorn, baked yam fries or yogurt. Soak some quinoa in coconut milk, cook it up then sprinkle on the sweet spice. Besides the natural warm/sweet flavour enhancement, cinnamon also offers these health perks:

  1. It’s full of antioxidants (one study found cinnamon has more antioxidants than oregano and garlic!
  2. Due to it’s high level of antioxidants, cinnamon can actually be used as a food preservative. This is great for keeping fruit salads fresh!
  3. Cinnamon has proven to help lower blood cholesterol levels.
  4. Cinnamon can help manage type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown the spice forces muscles to remove sugar from the bloodstream. The sugars are then converted into energy.
  5. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. This is especially useful for those with arthritis or circulation problems.

Want some cinnamon breakfast inspiration? Make our Oat my goodness! Porridge. It’s got a healthy dose of cinnamon, and tons of plant based goodness. 

 

Once you start adding spices to your cooking routinely, you’ll notice your food will have an exceedingly better taste, and you’ll feel super satisfied! Start adding a pinch here and there, and you’ll be a spice master in no time. If we missed your favorite spice, or if you have a great recipe that includes one of the spices we mentioned, let us know on our Facebook page!

 

Stay spicy.

 

References:

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-cinnamon/

http://www.organicauthority.com/health/11-health-benefits-of-cinnamon.html

https://sunwarrior.com/healthhub/15-health-benefits-of-cardamom

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/health-benefits-of-cardamom/

http://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_bbs/222/

https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger/

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-benefits-of-ginger-that-you-didnt-know-about.html

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/7-health-benefits-nutmeg-provides.html

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/nutmeg.html

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/benefits-of-cayenne-pepper/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/442473-the-effect-of-cayenne-pepper-on-arthritis/

http://contributors.healthline.com/fitness/how-does-cayenne-pepper-help-you-lose-weight

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9991/6-health-benefits-of-cloves.html

https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric/