If your cupboards are full of expensive superfoods as you think they’re the only way to stay healthy – it’s time to have a rethink. The secret to a long and healthy life may be a lot closer than you think, and unlike Kale and Goji berries it’s a damn sight cheaper. So what’s the secret? It’s simple – spices.
How to beat colds and flu
Garlic is enriched with the germ fighting phytochemicals allicin and ajoene which can help your body to avoid colds and flu.
- Top tip – Allicin is only really effective when it’s been cut so make sure you chop or crush garlic before adding it to your food.
Ease period pain
Fennel seeds are full of essentials oils which help to relax muscle spasms. As period pain is generally the result of strong contractions in your womb, fennel seeds are perfect as a natural pain killer. They can also be eaten to help with other cramps such as digestive or muscular.
- Top tip – strong fennel tea is great for getting the spice into your system.
A great way of burning fat
Cinnamon is a sweet tasting spice that helps to regulate your blood sugar. If you’re craving something sweet cinnamon is perfect and will avoid you reaching into the cookie jar. It also works at improving your insulin resistance and helps to metabolise fat.
- Top tip – add a teaspoon to porridge, smoothies or baking for a extra kick. You’ll get your sweet kick and cut your sugar intake at the same time.
Relieve the discomfort of nausea
Nausea is probably one of the worst feelings in the world and there’s not much that can help relieve it. Ginger however is one of the few natural reliefs that can help to calm nausea. Whether you’ve got a bug or you had a few too many the night before, the fast acting compounds called gingerol will soon help you feel better.
- Top tip – you can grate it into soups, stir fries or porridge. If you can’t stomach that add 1cm of sliced root ginger into 500ml of hot water.
Turmeric has yellow pigments such as curcumin which have an anti-inflammatory effect.
- Top tip – you can add it dried or fresh to asian dishes, smoothies or juices.