We use spices in cooking because they help to enhance the flavours and tastes of everything from vegetables to meat. But it turns out that spices are also packed with health benefits, too.
In addition to boosting your immune system and suppressing coughs and runny noses and common illnesses like cold and flu, some spices go one step further, settling upset stomachs and stimulating circulation.
Great for all the busy mums and working women who need a daily boost of immunity, consider sprinkling a magical dusting of healthy spices through your daily meals – here are 10 of the best ones.
Packed to the rafters with antioxidants, cinnamon can relieve indigestion, nausea and help alleviate diarrhoea, all while keeping blood sugar levels steady. Dust half a teaspoon on your porridge each morning for an extra-warming start to the day.
Start your day right with this nutritious bowl of goodness, featuring cooked cereal cereal with a cinnamon-infused apple butter topping.
Coriander can actually act as a natural antibiotic and has been found to be quite effective against salmonella. It boasts cholesterol-lowering properties too, reducing “bad” cholesterol while increasing the “good” stuff. Plus, it’s fragrantly delicious; crush some up and tuck in to some pasta or curry dish.
This easy curry recipe is a great one-pot solution for busy weeknights, and packed with spices. While it doesn’t feature coriander seeds specifically, you can totally add some in!
High in iron and vitamin C, introducing a hit of cumin to your cooking can support a healthy immune system – something you’ll be thankful for especially when it comes to the cold and flu season. They can be added into Indian or Malay dishes, from satay to stews.
Here’s another fussfree one-pot meal featuring ground cumin, in addition to other spices. Best served with flatbread or rice.
Widely used in Indian cooking, turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties that are 50 times more potent than vitamin C or E. It’s also heaving with antioxidants, and can be used as an antibiotic ointment on superficial wounds.
Take your salad to the next level with this recipe that features spices like turmeric, garam masala and pepper, as well as healthy couscous and cauliflower.
Put a pep in your step with a pinch or two of the spicy stuff; commonly used to stimulate circulation and improve digestion, cayenne can also help clear mucus congestion and soothe scratchy sore throats and coughs.
These spicy morsels make for a delicious light snack or appetiser. Best served with a salad on the side.
This one is for the liquorice-lovers out there. Calm upset stomachs, supress coughs and runny noses and even increase appetites by incorporating this sweet, aromatic spice into your cooking.
This recipe uses spices instead of sugar to create a rich depth of flavour, making it suitable for diabetics, or those looking to curb their sugar intake.
Get ready for this super-spice, foodies. With up to seven times the vitamin C levels of the humble orange, chillies fight sinus congestion, aid digestion and can even relieve migraines, muscles, joint and nerve pain. Get the whole family on the chilli bandwagon with some fried rice with sliced chillies or the following pasta recipe.
Add some spice to your next pasta night with this quick and easy dish.
Ginger is a handy spice to have on hand when queasy, as a lot of expectant mothers can attest. But as well as settling upset tummies, it can also relieve muscle pain by reducing inflammation. Treat yourself to a cup of morning tea with a couple of slices of fresh ginger root added in.
This version of fried Hokkien Mee comes with delicious ginger beef and crunchy snake beans – so yummy! Add lots of chilli if you’d like to spice up the dish.
Not just for adorning your baked Christmas ham, cloves can soothe upset stomachs and aid excess wind. They can also be used to ease coughs and expel phlegm; keep a jar of cloves handy this cold and flu season.
You don’t need to wait for Christmas to indulge in some glazed ham. This delicious dish is perfect for parties too.
Another nifty little spice that does wonders for tickly throats, aniseed can help clear up congestion, too. And once it’s done its work on your cold or flu, it might even give your libido a lift thanks to some aphrodisiac-like properties.
Text: bauersyndication.com.au / Additional reporting: Sean Tan & Elizabeth Liew