Spice Up Your Life: The Surprising Health Benefits of Adding Medicinal Plants and Spices to Your Diet

When we think of adding flavor to our meals and drinks, herbs and spices may not be the first things that come to mind. Especially in 2023, where artificial sweeteners and flavors can be found in even the most "natural" of ingredient lists. However, these culinary additions do more than just make our food taste delicious. A study published in the journal Food Chemistry found that certain medicinal plants and spices have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit our health in a number of ways.

The study tested 20 different plants and spices, including ginger, garlic, turmeric, and cinnamon, for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. The researchers found that all 20 plants and spices exhibited antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to varying degrees.

Ginger, for example, was found to have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, making it a promising candidate for preventing or treating chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease. Garlic, another spice with powerful antioxidant properties, has been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as lower the risk of certain types of cancer.

Turmeric, a bright yellow spice commonly used in Indian cuisine, contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory compound that has been shown to alleviate symptoms of arthritis, improve brain function, and even reduce the risk of heart disease. Cinnamon, another popular spice, has been shown to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes and reduce inflammation in the body.

But it's not just these four spices that have health benefits. Other spices and herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, and thyme, also contain powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can benefit our health in numerous ways.

So, how can you incorporate these medicinal plants and spices into your diet? One easy way is to add them to your meals. For example, sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal or add fresh ginger to your stir-fry. You can also brew them into teas or create your own spice blends to use in your cooking. Of course, this is the direct inspiration behind Fera tea, we tested hundreds of different blends of tea to get the most function and flavor.

In conclusion, adding medicinal plants and spices to your diet is an easy and delicious way to boost your health. Whether you're looking to reduce inflammation, lower your risk of chronic disease, or simply add more flavor to your meals, there's a spice or herb out there for you. So, why not spice up your life and give them a try?

Citation: Ghasemzadeh, A., Jaafar, H. Z. E., & Rahmat, A. (2015). Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of selected medicinal plants and spices. Food Chemistry, 167, 115-121. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.06.047