Health and taste – Magic of Indian spices
The Common spices that we use in our kitchen are actually not common when health benefits associated with these are taken into account. Every spice has a very unique taste and completes the dish as only salt cannot do the magic to satisfy our taste buds. Even scientists are now curious to explore the Indian kitchen to find out more health benefits linked with each spice. But consume these in moderation to reap the maximum health benefits, as excess of everything is bad. Some popular spices that are used daily or frequently in Indian kitchens are mentioned below:
List of Popular Indian Spices
Turmeric is used in almost every Indian recipe whether north Indian or south Indian. It has immense anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It has the ability to detoxify liver, helps in preventing many kinds of cancer, acts as natural painkiller, and speeds up the healing of internal wounds.
Cardamom has a very distinct flavor and that is why most of the Indian sweet dishes like Kheer, and even the tea that we drink daily are incomplete without cardamom. It is highly recommended to control bad breath. As per traditional Ayurveda, cardamom is used for curing digestive system disorders and very helpful in curing acidity, gas and flatulence.
Red Chilli (Lal Mirch)
Red chilli adds a hot flavor to food and so should not be used in excess. Beta carotene in red chilli has antioxidant effect just like fruits and helps in preventing lung cancer caused by smoking.
Since ancient times it has been known the Clove cures almost all kinds of dental problems especially tooth ache and sore gums. Clove is used for seasoning and preparing garam masala. It is also used for treating digestive problems, cough and cold.
Cumin seeds are used for their aromatic odor and as a flavoring agent in rice, Indian curries and dal. Cumin seeds keep our immune system healthy. Egyptians even used cumin seeds for mummification process. Fibre content in these seeds has anti fungal and laxative properties. To kill summer heat, drink cold lassi (made by diluting curd) with cumin powder, made by grinding roasted cumin seeds and salt. Cumin also helps in fighting flu, cures anemia and digestive disorders.
Mustard oil is well-known at every Indian home and you can find a bottle of mustard oil in bathroom for the same purpose. Mustard is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, calcium, iron, B-complex vitamins, vitamin E etc. Health beneficial minerals are also found in mustard that keep the bones and teeth strong, produce red blood cells, and help in performing cellular metabolism efficiently.
Black Pepper (Kali mirch)
Black pepper is used for garnishing and helps in fighting and curing cough, cold, and other such infections. It aids in digestion and muscle pain. It is a spice with diuretic properties and helps our body to sweat properly. With this we get rid of harmful toxins. Mild anorexia can also be cured with black pepper.
Asafoetida is used for seasoning and has remedial properties for whopping cough and stomach ache. It corrects digestive disorders, effective in curing respiratory problems like asthma and also cures mood swing problems. Hing is also given to an opium addicted person as asafoetida is considered as opium antidote.
Cinnamon looks like a bark of a tree and has a very refreshing flavor. It is beneficial for diabetic patients and gives relief from diarrhea, common cold, menstruation tension and weak blood circulation.
Black Cardamom (Kali Elaichi)
It is a commonly used spice in pulao. Use of it reduces flatulence and eases out digestive problems.
These colorful spices make the food tasty and add variety to it. Addition of just one spice brings a tremendous change in the taste of a dish. Use these to stay healthy and for delicious food.