Cooking With Spices 101: 4 Easy, Healthy Spices You Can Eat Daily

Your spice cabinet is not only a resource for elevating the flavor of your food, it's packed full of health benefits that increase the nutrition of your food. Throughout the day, we may get our fare share of salt and pepper, but don't forget the spices as well! If you're not used to incorporating spices into your cooking, you may have no idea where to begin. That's why you should test out these amazing four spices. Chock full of health benefits, you can easily incorporate them into your daily diet. And you may just find a new flavor combination you can't go a day without!

Cinnamon

This warm, woody spice not only tastes amazing in baked goods, but it aids the body in staying healthy. This anti-inflammatory antioxidant has long been sought after for its medicinal value. It soothes a sore throat, increases circulation, can help with indigestion, and gives the brain a much-needed boost.

The health benefits can be enjoyed cooked or raw, whole or ground. To add more cinnamon into your day, put a dash in your tea or coffee and try it in your stews. While it tastes great in baked goods, sweets tend to not be the healthiest of foods. If you find your sweet tooth requires satisfaction, sprinkle some on a baked apple for dessert.

Chili

If there is one thing chili is praised for other than the heat factor, it's the weight loss factor. Studies have confirmed that chili aids in weight loss. Capsaicin found in chili boosts the metabolism and increases fullness. Beyond making us slim, chili reduces inflammation, reduces blood cholesterol, boosts immunity, and clears congestion. Anyone with a cold has found the benefits of consuming capsaicin to clear up mucus. The hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it has. So make it spicy! But not too spicy, otherwise unwanted burning side effects will occur.

Dash some cayenne on your salad, add some chili flakes to your pizza, and put a heaping of chili powder in your soups. I enjoy making chili oil out of chili flakes and drizzling it on pizza and ramen. It gives a subtle kick of the capsaicin that is highly enjoyable. Not only will it taste great, but you'll reap all the benefits.

Ginger

The pungency of ginger is amazing. It elevates food, giving layers to a dish. It also can cure an upset tummy. For centuries, ginger has been praised for helping digestion. Its bioactive compound gingerol is responsible for most of its medicinal properties. Muscle pain and soreness can be relieved by its anti-inflammatories while it fights against heart disease.

If you aren't sure where to begin with using ginger, try it in a tea. I find that adding it to my morning cup of hot water and lemon is the easiest way to incorporate it into my day. Fish, soups, stews, juices, and curries are other great ways to try and begin cooking with ginger.

Turmeric

The secret is out, we love turmeric and turmeric loves us! Turmeric's active ingredient curcumin is an antioxidant our body loves. A natural anti-inflammatory, turmeric can aid indigestion, soothe heartburn, and protect the brain – amongst a slew of other benefits. Turmeric is one spice we should all be adding to our daily diet.

A mug of golden milk is an easy way to get your turmeric fix in on a daily basis. I personally enjoy adding it to a smoothie of banana, spinach, and almond milk. It has a creamy, fresh taste that is my favorite morning pick-me-up. Use it in soups, stews, stir-fried veggies, roasted potatoes, or even on naan. Turmeric mixed with chili powder on a piece of naan heated in a small amount of olive oil is a nice side to salads and soups alike.

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