By Veronica Peterson, Editor, Healthy & Green Living
They’re pretty, delicious and drumroll please…they’re good for you! Yes, I’m talking about the secret our forefathers knew way back in the day. Spices have untapped health benefits and have recently been stealing the scene as powerful cancer preventatives and fighters. Below are five you might want to consider adding to your diet.
1. GarlicNo surprise here. The stinking rose is one of the most potent weapons in preventing cancer, particularly colon cancer. Containing the photochemical allicin, garlic stimulates the production of cancer-fighting enzymes. Daily garlic consumption can lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels by 10 percent and has the added benefit of keeping vampires at bay.
2. GingerFor centuries, grandma has been prescribing this knobby little root for an upset tummy but we now know that it holds anti-inflammatory properties, shows promise in treating cancer, osteoarthritis and, when used topically, rheumatoid arthritis. It can be used as an appetite stimulant, and a treatment for nausea, whether legit (flu) or not-so-legit (hangover).
3. CinnamonBesides being a yummy addition to coffee, cinnamon protects against Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Derived from tree bark, this wonderful spice stimulates the bodies circulatory systems. Just half a teaspoon taken daily lowers blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It also counteracts congestion, may be useful treating osteoarthritis and improves blood circulation.
4. TurmericWho can resist the gorgeous yellow color of this cancer-fighting spice? Lately turmeric has been the darling of the spice world as researchers have discovered that, not only does it fight cancer, but contains an entire spectrum of other health benefits, including inflammation-fighting compounds called curcuminoids. These compounds may help prevent Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. When used topically turmeric has been known to help heal skin infections.
5. Cayenne PepperArriba! Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, yet another cancer preventative. When used in mass it can cause heartburn but a little sprinkled onto everyday foods should be enough for you to see the benefits. Cayenne peppers are full of beta carotene, other antioxidants and immune boosters and helps to build healthy mucous membranes tissues – our first level of defense against bacteria and viruses.