Our world is blessed with so many spices, herbs, and seasonings. They may not be the main ingredients to some of our foods, but they create a more aromatic smell and delicious taste. In the USA, there are about a billion of spices consumed per year.
What kind of spices are the healthiest? Which ones are more appropriate to use in particular dishes? Can you combine two or more spices in one dish?
Each and every spice has their own nutritional value. Some are hotter and spicier in flavor, while others are a bit sour or sweet. Not all can be stirred in to any dishes, because they have to make a blending taste. In fact, they are the secret as to why such foods become so appetizing.
Somehow, it can be tricky to figure out the right spices and seasonings to use if you are not familiar with it. So, start learning the various types of spices accessible these days for local and international cuisines. Some of the common and most favorite spices are listed below.
#1 – Black Cumin
Black cumin comes from either bunium bulbocastanum or nigella sativa, which are both herb plants. It’s also known as black seed, fennel flower, nutmeg flower, Black caraway, and Roman coriander. It has medicinal properties that are able to alleviate headache, aid digestion and flatulence, relieve toothache, and reduce allergies. In most cases, this is used to sprinkle on green salads. You can also make a sauce with lemon juice.
#2 – Black Pepper
This tiny seeds are very common in many dishes, especially in Asian cuisines. It has a spicy flavor, but not as chili. It can aid in soothing rheumatism, flatulence, and nausea. This is added in different types of foods from stews to soups or seasoned in salads and spaghetti.
#3 – Cayenne
Cayenne is another popular type of spices used for various dishes. It has a distinctive spicy flavor, and normally a red pepper kind that’s related to other hot peppers, such as chili pepper and jalapenos. It may be hot to the taste bud, but can help relieve cluster headaches, pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and ear infections. There are also properties that reduce the risk of osteoarthritis, aid in weight loss, and treat psoriasis
#4 – Celery Seeds
From celery plant, this kind of seed is adaptable in many traditional and favorite foods of vegetarians. Some of the benefits are that it’s able to relieve pain and soothe symptoms of arthritis. It is also diuretic, which helps in eliminating wastes and preventing kidney stones.
#5 – Chili Pepper
The ‘king’ of spices is chili pepper, although some variants have lower degree of spiciness. This is usually red, but when it’s still green it can still be spicy and used for flavoring. It’s believed and proven to decongest, soothe pain, treat peptic ulcers, and cure common respiratory issues, such as colds, sinusitis, and bronchitis.
#6 – Cinnamon
When it comes to aroma, and among my favorite spices, cinnamon is a very excellent choice. Its taste is usually sweet. It’s commonly added as special ingredient to many pastries and desserts. You can also add to your glass of smoothie or milkshake. This kind of spice has antibacterial properties. It is also powerful to cure diarrhea.
#7 – Clove
This is also sweet and aromatic, and usually added to many popular baked foods. What it does to the health is that it relieve toothache, nausea, and vomiting.
#8 – Coriander
Also known as cilantro and Japanese parsley, coriander is a favorite spice to many people, even those non-vegetarians. It has a tang flavor that makes a dish more mouth-watering. There are proven anti-microbial properties present in this spice. Headaches, flatulence, and digestive problems are among the conditions it can treat.
#9 – Cumin
This type of spice is normally bitter. However, it’s still among the popular used in a variety of dishes, most especially Middle Eastern cuisines. This is diuretic and helpful in many digestive problems, which include flatulence, muscle spasms, and diarrhea.
#10 – Dill
With this kind of spice, you can use its leaves or seeds for seasoning. It’s mostly added in salads, soups, and stews. It contains properties that treat colic, mild bowel disorders, flatulence, and other digestive issues. In women during pregnancy, it is able to enhance the production of milk.
#11 – Fennel
To add sweetness to your dish, fennel should be a great pick. Like most spices, it can aid in flatulence, intestinal colic, and muscle spasms. It also stimulates lactation in women.
#12 – Fenugreek
If you haven’t, fenugreek has a taste similar to maple syrup. So, yes it can act as sugar if you like to add some sweetness to your food. Among its health benefits are treating fever, tuberculosis, and dyspepsia.
#13 – Frankincense
Another sweet spice to add to your meal is frankincense. This has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It’s also used to treat acne and wounds. Scars are also erased with this. One more use is that it helps get rid of insects.
#14 – Garlic
Among the healthiest foods on earth, garlic is considered a spice. It has many antioxidants that help reduce the risk of cancer, and other properties that reduce high blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and treat respiratory conditions.
#15 – Ginger
Like garlic, ginger is a very common spice to many dishes. It has a mild sting that can add potency for a more flavorful food. This is a great natural cure of cold, sore throat, and cough.
#16 – Jalapeno Pepper
Similar to cayenne and chili pepper, jalapeno pepper is very hot and spicy. It make take awhile before you get relieved from its spiciness, but it has long-term health benefits. It has anti-cancer properties, acts as topic analgesic, relieves muscle aches, reduces arthritis symptoms, and aids in weight loss.
#17 – Licorice
Licorice has similar appearance like cinnamon, but there are differences that can easily identify which is which. It also has a sweet flavor. For its health benefits, coughs, sore throats, ulcers, and flatulence are among the conditions that licorice can cure. It’s also a cleansing agent for the colon.
#18 – Mustard
This spice is usually taken from the seed of the mustard plant. In most occasions, it is grinded to become paste. It sounds like a sweet flavor, but actually contains spiciness.
#19 – Nutmeg
Mostly paired with cinnamon, nutmeg is a sweet spice that is added in pastries, cakes, cookies, and other baked goods. It has properties that soothe diarrhea, colic, and dyspepsia.
#20 – Onion
Onions are usually paired with garlic, but this kind of bulb can be also sprinkled on top of certain dishes. What this ingredient can do is to treat colds, alleviate hemorrhoids, and cure some skin conditions. It’s also diuretic and antiseptic in nature.
#21 – Paprika
Paprika is normally in a powder form. It’s taken from the paprika pepper, and its flavor can be sweet or spicy. This spice contains antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
#22 – Saffron
Saffron is actually a flower, which is beautiful and light purple in color. The auburn part is used as spice. This is good for curing flatulence and aiding pain during menstruation in women. It also has antispasmodic properties.
#23 – Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are a type of spice that is nutty and delicious in flavor. You can sprinkle this on top of your buns, granola, salads, and other meals.
#24 – Tamarind
Tamarind has a sour taste, so it’s not spicy at all. It can aid in digestion problems, treat wounds, and alleviate sore throat.
#25 – Turmeric
Turmeric looks like ginger, but once you start slicing or peeling, you’ll see the inside yellow. This is why it’s also called as yellow ginger, but be careful because it can stain, yet very effective in adding color to your dish. For the taste, it is a blend of spiciness and bitterness. What’s more is that it has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
#26 – Vanilla
Vanilla extract is another common food ingredient, and usually added tot many desserts. This can be also used to flavor dishes from stews to soups.
You may also have heard Asian spices, Mediterranean spices, Indian spices, Moroccan spices, etc. Well, these are just instances where particular spices are mostly used and added to traditional or local dishes. Regardless, the spices listed on this page are full of flavor that can create better taste and smell to your meals, which makes you more enticed to sit on the table and enjoy eating.
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