With Valentines day just around the corner, adding a little spice to your life might well be on the cards this week! But can getting creative in the kitchen and adding spice to your meals and drinks actually make them more healthful, as well as more delicious?
For optimum health it is often said we should eat a rainbow of colourful foods, and herbs and spices are no exception to this. From the routes of Ancient India, many artisans used spices not only for eating, but also for fabric dyeing, due to their vibrant visual appearances. But they not only considered the use of the various raw spices for their colour, but also for the health benefits. For they believed that the spices used to dye the natural fabrics would be absorbed through the skin, creating positive health benefits to the person wearing them.
Whilst fashion and textile processes have moved on considerably since those days, we are embracing more each day, the powerful antioxidant properties of spices within modern day cooking.
And so we've explored the top 3 spices that could have positive benefits on your health....And have put together the perfect Valentines Day three course meal recipes that you are sure to fall in love with!
Menstrual cramps affect up to 90% of younger women . Taking just one quarter of a teaspoon of ginger, three times a day could relieve the severity of menstrual pain as much as traditional pain relief tablets. And taking an eighth of a teaspoon of ginger, twice daily, a week before your period starts, could help relieve some of the symptoms of PMT. The effectiveness of this pain relief during trials however, increased month after month therefore it is understood that to gain the most benefit, this practice should be done on a regular monthly basis.
A spice usually found in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, Fenugreek has been linked to improving muscle strength and the ability to increase weight-training output. Fenugreek may also possess certain therapeutic properties in helping to fight cancerous cells within the body.
Turmeric is mostly recognised for it's anti-inflammatory benefits. Possibly one of the most potent spices widely available, even an amount as small as one-eighth of a teaspoon has been shown in trials to protect cells from DNA damage when exposed to free radicals. And can also play a role in speeding recovery of healing post surgery and reducing inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. But if it's so potent, how much should we actually consume? Dr Greger, founder of nutritionfacts.org , recommends taking a quarter of a teaspoon of dried turmeric a day to gain the health benefits from this spice.
Valentines Dinner to Spice up your Life and your Health
Adding spices and herbs to your diet can give you considerable health benefits and will significantly boost your intake of anti-oxidants. However, be aware that certain spices if taken in large quantities can also have an negative impact on your wellbeing. Especially take care if you're pregnant, and always follow the advice of your doctor and consultants.
For more information you can read: How Not to Die by Dr Greger