Herbs and spices are the essence of many cuisines around the world. With a multitude of rich cultures criss-crossing, there is scope for understanding and trying out herbs and spices. However, these herbs and spice we speak of don’t just belong in your kitchen for their ability to enhance taste. These materials that come from stems, barks, trunks, leaves, etc, have tremendous medicinal properties. They were used to cure illnesses back since ancient times and are still used a lot today.
Apart from providing flavor, herbs, spices, and seeds have immense health benefits. Here are a few that are commonly used:
- Sesame seeds –Who knew these little seeds could do wonders for your body? Sesame seeds contain natural oils that have the ability to reduce cardiac stress, help reduce blood pressure, reduce chances of diabetes, and improve bone health as well as digestion. It has protein that boosts metabolism. One of the compounds of sesame seeds, sesimol, is known to protect DNA from the harmful radiations of chemotherapy.
- Amarnath seeds –A plant that was worshiped in Aztec cultures for thousands of years, amaranth seeds are similar to maize and wheat. Its grains have great nutritional value, and is widely loved because it of its gluten-free properties. It contains abundant amounts of protein that is good for health, and has antioxidant properties that reduce inflammation, thus reducing one’s chances of gout, arthritis, etc. It contains Vitamin K, which is essential for maintaining cardiovascular health. It helps reduce bad cholesterol in the heart. One major use of amaranth seeds is for pregnant mothers, since folate deficiency can affect a newborn. The seed has properties that reduce one’s appetite, leading to a natural and healthy weight loss process.
- Cumin seeds –Who doesn’t love the taste of jeera in steamed rice, gravies and soups? Cumin is much more than its flavor. Primarily, cumin seeds are great for digestion. On the same note, cumin seeds have dietary fiber acts as a wonderful laxative for piles. One surprising thing you didn’t know about this seed is that it is a natural relaxant, which actually helps ease insomnia. It has a smooth effect on the brain, which makes it a stress-reliever. Apart from this, cumin seeds contain abundant iron, which helps patients with anemia. The iron is also essential for production of hemoglobin, which is required for a healthy blood flow in the body.
- Mustard seeds –Did you know that mustard seeds happen to hold importance in preventing cervical and colon cancer? Well, now you do. Mustard seeds help ease respiratory diseases and cure bronchitis. It helps control diabetes and lowers cholesterol. These seeds are also good for women going through menopause by improving their bone health. Believe it or not, but mustard seeds even have qualities that reduce the effect of poison in the body!
- Fenugreek seeds – They might not be liked by everyone owing to their bitter taste, but its health benefits may change your mind. Women, take note: fenugreek seeds help ease menstrual cramps. The chemicals they release are similar to estrogen, which curb mood swings, sweating, bouts of hunger and cramps in menopausal women. Aside from this, fenugreek seeds are good for the heart; they help diabetics, relieve stomach trouble, and are helpful for kidney problems.
- Coriander seeds –Sadly, they have been seen solely as a garnishing herb, but this paragraph is about to change that. Coriander seeds are effective in fighting bad breath and preventing mouth ulcers. They are also known to be helpful in lowering cholesterol levels, clearing fungal and other skin infections, and to reduce allergies caused due to various reasons. These seeds have antibiotic properties that help fight food borne viruses like salmonella.
These were few of the many herbs, spices and seeds we use every day that have the power to keep our body working like a well-oiled machine. Some other substances include cardamom, garlic, ginger, black pepper, turmeric, basil, and mint leaves.