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The Best Delicious Herbs and Spices With Powerful Health Benefits

 Herbs and Spices

The use of herbs and spices has been very important throughout history. Its many medicinal properties have been celebrated, long before its culinary use.

Modern science has now shown that many of them do indeed carry remarkable health benefits.

What are the important herbs and spices?

Here are the world's healthiest herbs and spices, backed by research:

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a popular spice, found in all kinds of recipes and baked goods.

They contain a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for the medicinal properties of cinnamon (s).

Cinnamon has strong antioxidant activity, helps fight infections and has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood (s, s, s).

But where it is very effective in its effect on blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon can lower blood sugar through several mechanisms, including by slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive system and improving insulin sensitivity (s, s, s, s).

Herbs and Spices

2. Sagebrush

Sage got its name from the Latin word salvere, which means “to save.” It had a strong reputation for its healing properties during the Middle Ages, and was even used to help prevent plague.

Current research suggests that sage may be able to improve brain function and memory, especially in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease is associated with a decrease in the level of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger in the brain. Sage prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine (s).

Studies have shown that sage can improve memory function in healthy people, both young and old (s, s).

Herbs and Spices

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3. Mint

Peppermint or mint has a long history of use in folk medicine and aromatherapy.

As with many herbs, it is the fatty component that contains the factors responsible for the health effects.

Several studies have shown that peppermint oil can improve pain management in irritable bowel syndrome (s, s, s).

Herbs and Spices

4. Turmeric

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow colour. It contains several compounds that have medicinal properties, the most important of which is curcumin (s).

Curcumin is a remarkably powerful antioxidant, helping to fight oxidative damage and boosting the body's antioxidant enzymes (s, s, s).

This is important, because oxidative damage is thought to be one of the main mechanisms behind aging and many diseases.

Curcumin is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, so much so that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs (s).

Studies show that it can improve brain function, fight Alzheimer's disease, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and relieve arthritis (s, s, s, s, s).

Herbs and Spices

5. Basil

Not to be confused with regular basil or thai basil, holy basil is considered a sacred herb in India.

Studies show that holy basil can inhibit the growth of a range of bacteria, yeasts, and molds (s, s).

One small study also found that it can boost immune system function by increasing certain immune cells in the blood (s).

Holy basil is also associated with lowering blood sugar levels before and after meals, as well as treating anxiety and depression related to anxiety (s, s).

Herbs and Spices

6. Chili

Cayenne pepper is a type of hot pepper (chili pepper) used to prepare spicy dishes.

The active ingredient in it is called capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce appetite and increase fat burning in numerous studies (s, s).

For this reason, it is a common ingredient in many commercial weight loss supplements.

One study found that adding 1 gram of red pepper to meals reduced appetite and increased fat burning in people who did not eat peppers regularly (s).

However, there was no effect in people accustomed to eating spicy foods, suggesting that tolerance to the effects can build up.

Herbs and Spices

7. Ginger

Ginger is a popular spice used in many forms of alternative medicine.

Studies have consistently shown that one gram or more of ginger can successfully treat nausea.

These include nausea caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy, and seasickness (s, s, s).

Ginger also appears to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can help manage pain (s).

Other research found that a combination of ginger, cinnamon, mastic, and sesame oil reduced the pain and stiffness experienced by people with osteoarthritis.

It was just as effective as treatment with aspirin or ibuprofen (s).

Herbs and Spices

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8. Fenugreek

Fenugreek was popularly used in Ayurveda, especially to enhance sexual desire and masculinity.

While its effect on testosterone levels is inconclusive, fenugreek appears to have beneficial effects on blood sugar.

It contains the vegetable protein 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which can improve the function of the hormone insulin (s).

Several human studies have shown that at least one gram of fenugreek extract per day can lower blood sugar levels, particularly in diabetics (s, s, s).

Herbs and Spices

9. Rosemary

The active ingredient in rosemary is rosmarinic acid. This substance has been shown to suppress allergic responses and nasal congestion.

In a study of 29 people, doses of 50 and 200 mg of rosmarinic acid were shown to suppress allergy symptoms (s).

The number of immune cells in the nasal mucus also decreased, as did the congestion.

Herbs and Spices

10. Garlic

Throughout ancient history, the main use of garlic (garlic) was for its medicinal properties (s).

We now know that most of these health effects are caused by a compound called allicin, which is also responsible for garlic's distinctive smell.

Garlic supplements are well known for fighting diseases, including the common cold (s, s).

For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplementation appears to reduce total cholesterol and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10-15% (s, s, s).

Human studies have also found that garlic supplementation causes a significant decrease in blood pressure in people with high blood pressure (s, s, s).

In one study, it was as effective as a blood pressure lowering medication (s).

Covering all the amazing health benefits of garlic is beyond the scope of this article, but you can read about it here.

Herbs and Spices

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