I can’t live without spices. As it turns out, there’s a reason I love the flavors they impart. Spices are good for life; health-enhancing parts of plants that cultures have used for centuries. I enjoy experimenting with spices in my cooking. To me, spices are magical ingredients that transport flavor and color, as well as health benefits to every day foods. Plus, there’s no need to use the salt shaker as much, if you spice up your food.
Just how healthy are spices? Research has shown the vegetables, fruits and spices can keep blood sugar levels stable and fend off type 2 diabetes, cancers and infections. Of course, there are literally hundreds of spices that you can use to enhance the flavor or your foods, however, I have my go-tos. My preferences are ranked by the flavors they impart and of course, having them handy helps.
There’s no doubt that spices are considered functional foods for health. They contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which keeps your cells, organs and joints in good working order. Spices contain the plant (phyto) nutrients that are optimal for health, plus a small amount goes a long way.
Drumroll, please . . .the three must-have spices for every day are . . .
Why cayenne? It’s blessed with capsaicin, the heat-filled compound that may fire up your metabolism a bit (not enough to lose weight, though. Darn!) Sprinkle it into chilis, soups, salad dressings and even in hot cocoa for a divine, warm flavor.
Why curry? It’s extra-special as it’s a blend of super-duper anti-inflammatory spices: turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, dehydrated garlic, ginger, black pepper and cloves. I call it the superspice!
Why smoked paprika? Also called Spanish paprika, it’s the sassy sister of ordinary paprika. It packs a kick by slowly roasting sweet red peppers over wood planks.
Try some of my fave spiced up recipes: