Naturally occurring flavors found in the berries, dried bark, roots, twigs and seeds of many plants can turn bland food into a culinary delight. In addition to making the daily diet more palatable, the health benefits of spices are widely regarded as useful in combating the causes and symptoms of many physical issues.
These substances differ from herbs because they do not include plant leaves. All have the ability to inhibit damage caused by free radicals, or destructive compounds formed at a molecular level. Free radicals may cause cell disruption as a result of a reaction to tobacco smoke, herbicides, air pollution, or even as a natural response to bacteria.
The destructive molecular changes they cause are normally neutralized by the actions of antioxidants, which help reverse any damage. Many plant products naturally contain large amounts of these chemicals, which are also said to contribute to better cardiovascular condition, help balance blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and improve overall circulation.
The age of European exploration made many previously rare flavorings more accessible. They were widely used for a variety of physical issues, ranging from flatulence to the symptoms of coronary disease and stroke. Chili peppers, for example, help open respiratory passages, improve memory, and may help ward off certain kinds of cancers.
Ever-popular cinnamon fights high levels of cholesterol and elevated blood sugar, helps combat bacterial invasion, and acts as a sedative. Savory garlic has anti-fungal and bacterial characteristics, and also helps maintain healthy blood pressure readings. The tang of mustard eases the pain of arthritis and soothes sore throats.
The health benefits of spices go beyond helpful additions to recipes. They are even a satisfying and less damaging substitute for salt use, which may contribute to high blood pressure in some individuals. Using enjoyable flavors in cooking can even discourage overeating, reducing the chances of becoming obese.
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