6 Warming Spices You Should Be Using

The specific category of spices referred to as “The Warming Spices” have been around for ages. They have been used for multiple different reasons, from cooking and baking to medicine and herbal remedies. The reason they are called ‘the warming spices’ is exactly why you would think. They have the capability to increase your internal body temperature and improve blood circulation, thus giving you a sense of warmth during the chilly winter months. Previously, the warming spices (including cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, cardamom, turmeric, and cayenne pepper) had been used for their health and wellness benefits. Today, most of western society uses the warming spices for their bold taste and spice when mixed into food dishes.

The category of ‘The Warming Spices’ includes several different herbs and spices, not exclusive to the six I have included below. From cinnamon to cayenne pepper, each spice has such a different taste profile yet they contain some common health benefits such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. I guess there is a reason why cinnamon in oatmeal just makes sense to help maintain a healthy heart.

If you are looking to add more of these warming spices to your diet, the best way is to make sure your spice cabinet is up to date. If you’ve had spices sitting in your cabinet for years, you might notice the taste is not as prominent as it once was. Well, the same goes with the bioactive health benefits. Furthermore, buying fresh turmeric or ginger root is relatively cheap in the grocery store- simply use a zester or cheese grater to break down the root. Whether you buy fresh or pre-ground spices you can still attain the health benefits by adding them into your meals at home. Below, I have included some of The Healthy Chew recipes that include some of the warming spices.

Happy cooking and AVO good life, friends!


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Cinnamon Spice

Cinnamon contains a high source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help fight oxidative stress, infections, and viruses in the body. These polyphenols are similar to those in berries, red wine, and of course our favorite- chocolate. Cinnamon also promotes a healthy heart by reducing high blood pressure in the arteries and improving the body’s blood circulation. It can help lower total & LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Furthermore, cinnamon helps to fight diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity and stabilizing blood sugars.

1 Tbsp = 4 grams of fiber, 68% DV manganese, 8% DV calcium, 4% DV iron

Healthy Chew Recipes To Try:

“Cinnamon Pumpkin Waffles”

“Cinnamon Waffles with Blackberry Mint Syrup”

“Skinny & Naked Cinnamon Rolls”

Crunchy “Fig & Apricot Granola”

“Oatmeal Apple Pie Bars”


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Ginger Spice

Interestingly enough, the ginger root is part of the plant family that also includes turmeric and cardamom. It contains antioxidants such as shogaols, zingerones, and gingerols, which act as anti-inflammatory agents in the body. Turmeric has also been used to treat upset stomaches, indigestion, and nausea. Simply smelling the spice has been shown to reduce nausea symptoms in some people. It’s also found to be beneficial for people who have delayed gastric emptying and can help those who have bloating and constipation. Furthermore, it has been used for treatment of stomach ulcers.

Healthy Chew Recipes To Try:

Asian Cashew Chicken

“Spicy Sesame Stir Fry”


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Black Pepper

The bioactive compound, “Peperine” in black peppercorns help to activate the spice turmeric by allowing the body to absorb the benefits. Black pepper can also aid in digestion by allowing the stomach to release hydrochloric acid, reduce heartburn, indigestion, and gas. Regular consumption of black pepper can aid in stabilization of blood sugars, helping diabetics with insulin resistance. Furthermore, black pepper contains phytonutrients that are also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.

1Tbsp= 1.7 grams fiber, 18% DV manganese, 13% DV Vitamin K, 10% DV iron

Healthy Chew Recipes To Try:

‘Roasted Butternut Squash Soup’

Simply Roasted Veggies

My Famous Guacamole

Farm to Table “Sautéed Veggie & Bacon Risotto”


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Cardamom Spice

Also known as the “Queen of Spices” and commonly used in Indian dishes, this spice comes from seed pods. One of the many benefits of cardamom include the antibacterial phytonutrients for fighting bad breath and to help prevent cavities. Like cinnamon, it can also to be used to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels to help maintain heart health.

1Tbsp= 1.6 grams, 80% DV Manganese, 4.4% DV iron


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Turmeric Spice

Arguably one of the most beneficial spices for health, the active compound, “curcumin” has long been studied for it’s medicinal properties. Some of the many health benefits turmeric has been credited with include the role in antidepressants, anti-inflammation, antioxidants, pain reduction, reducing insulin resistance, promoting weight loss, and reducing oxidative stress. Turmeric also contains iron, manganese, potassium, vitamins B6 and C. This spice is a powerhouse of health benefits but one would need to consume it daily in order to attain them.

Healthy Chew Recipes To Try:

“Chicken Turmeric Curry with Jasmine Rice”

Farm to Table “Sautéed Veggie & Bacon Risotto”

“Not Your Momma’s Chicken Salad”

“Savory Sausage and Veggie Paella”

“Spicy Sesame Stir Fry”


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Cayenne Pepper

Part of the Capsicum genus, cayenne pepper contains several health benefits related to digestion and blood circulation. Cayenne pepper contains Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system to fight the common cold and other viruses. It also contains Vitamin A & E, which contains antioxidant properties to help reduce inflammation and fight free radicals. Furthermore, it also contains anti fungal properties.

1Tsp= 1 gram, 44% DV Vitamin A, 8% DV Vitamin E, 7% DV Vitamin C

Healthy Chew Recipes To Try:

Fiesta Shrimp and Farro Salad

Slow Cooked “Chicken Tortilla Soup”

“Savory Sausage and Veggie Paella”

“Not Your Momma’s Chicken Salad”


 

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Gaia Golden Milk $14.95

 

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Simply Organic Ground Cinnamon $3.18

 

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Feel Good Organic Turmeric Powder $8.49

 

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McCormick Gourmet Organic Ground Ginger $5.98

 

 

-Stephanie Rackley RDN


References

  1. “Antioxidant capacity of 26 spice extracts and characterization of their phenolic constituents” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16190627
  2. “Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/
  3. “Gastric acid and digestive physiology.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21889024
  4. “Piperine’s mitigation of obesity and diabetes can be explained by its up-regulation of the metabolic rate of resting muscle.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27799519
  5. “Curcumin and obesity.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23339049
  6. “Effect of curcumin on diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain: possible involvement of opioid system.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24315931
  7. “Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents differ in their ability to suppress NF-kappaB activation, inhibition of expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and cyclin D1, and abrogation of tumor cell proliferation.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Nonsteroidal+anti-inflammatory+agents+differ+in+their+ability+to+suppress+NF-kappaB+activation%2C+inhibition+of+expression+of+cyclooxygenase-2+and+cyclin+D1%2C+and+abrogation+of+tumor+cell+proliferation
  8. “CAY-1, a novel antifungal compound from cayenne pepper.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12627807
  9. Draxe.com

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