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In the first part of our spice guide, we talked about six different popular spices that are used in Indian cuisine and the health benefits they bring. Those six spices are far from representing all that the Indian spice community has to offer - India has got many, many more spices to offer.
In this part, we’ll look at some other spices India uses in its cuisine and their benefits. All of these spices are easily available and affordable. They are really common, after all. You can really spruce up a dish with a few spices included and a combination of spices, such as they are used in making a particular dish, will often lead to an impressive portion of our daily nutritional requirements being covered.
Here are some more spices and the benefits they bless us with:
Cinnamon is a truly unique spice that has found its way into both savoury and sweet dishes. You’ve got entire groups dedicated towards promoting the goodness of cinnamon.
And why not? Cinnamon possesses so many advantages. Its primary advantage, or so we feel, is its ability to regulate blood sugar levels, even when consumed in really small amounts. You can simply sprinkle some cinnamon powder over your oatmeal and there you have it! A fabulous combination of ingredients that work very well together in controlling your blood sugar problems.
Cinnamon is also brimming with antioxidants, which is a substance that green tea is often associated with. These substances eliminate harmful free radicals in your body, which cause a whole host of problems. Among all the foods that offer this anti-oxidant advantage, cinnamon ranks near the top, beating even India’s beloved garlic.
The clove has a long history in India, its use dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. It is still in use today and this must tell you something about its worth.
Interestingly, cloves are packed with carbohydrates and fats, unlike some of the other spices we have talked about. And of course, it also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals, the latter especially.
As with many spices, cloves help the body digest its food betterbecause it stimulates the production of certain enzymes which play a role in the process. The real interesting point is that cloves have been studied in cancer research, as some believe that it might positively affect lung cancer in the early stages. Other benefits includes liver protection, as it eliminates free radicals, and antibacterial properties.
Coriander is a much loved spice, with its use coming in traditional dishes as well as potato chips. You won’t find many places coriander hasn’t charmed its way into. It has a staggering and diverse number of benefits.
Coriander is a spice that can help treat skin disorders, including eczema and fungal infections. This is because of its antimicrobial properties. Coriander is also great in treating diarrhea and can even be found in some medications. This treatment extends to nausea and vomiting. The research continues in this particular aspect of coriander.
Fenugreek isn’t used quite as much as some of the other spices but it’s a notable spice nonetheless.
Ayurveda prescribes fenugreek to breastfeeding mothers because it is believed that fenugreek increases the production of milk. Other benefits includes heart-related ones like a reduction in bad cholesterol and cardiovascular illnesses. Diabetes is also considered by fenugreek, as it regulates blood sugar levels.
Not bad for one spice, right? And that’s not all. Fenugreek contains many more benefits which, if we were to list here, would make this article much too long.
Of course, this doesn’t conclude the list of spices used in India. We will continue posting more such articles about quintessential Indian ingredients - of which there are many.
We highly recommend including some of these spices in your everyday cuisine. They’ll quickly make a difference in your life, both in terms of flavour and health.
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