Spices to Find Love

212Access August 22, 2012 1

Spices to Find Love

by Amber Castello

Do you worry people on Match.com will no longer believe your profile that says you are 29 years old? If you worry about looking old, like every other New Yorker older than 22 years old, head to your kitchen pantry. Inside that tiny little space are spices and ingredients that can keep you looking young and feeling healthy.

And these are spices even the lazy bachelor will likely have. Spices like black pepper, ginger, garlic and cinnamon can help get rid of pain, keep you looking young, curb your appetite, fight infections, boost your metabolism. Now if we can only find something for hangovers. Read on to see which spices you need to start adding to that frozen Trader Joe’s turkey breast.

Black pepper is one of the most common spices found in American diets, and most people do not even know the benefits of it. It is a natural detoxifier and can help with digestion. Black pepper oil is excellent in relieving pain according to aesthetician Mandy Epley of Jillian Wright Clinical Skin Spa in New York.

“It creates a warming effect, which stimulates blood flow to the skin, as well as to the supportive tissue below,” says Epley.

Ginger helps your entire body and in many different ways. Ginger helps calm nausea, eases upset stomachs and digestion. It can also be used as a cold and cough suppressant. Add ginger to non-fat yogurt to make an after workout snack more exciting. It helps in soothing sore and over worked muscles. Doctors say it also keeps you looking young.

“It’s being used more and more in anti-aging skin-care products, due to its antioxidant properties,” says Epley.

Turmeric. I know what you’re thinking…what’s that? It’s a bright orange, antioxidant rich spice, which contains curcurim. Studies have shown that it can do everything including stopping the growth of cancer cells.

“It’s one of the highest antioxidant spices out there,” according to registered dietician Dawn Jackson Blatner.

Don’t be afraid to add turmeric to sauces and soups to liven them up. It adds flavor and a golden-yellow color to many dishes. Turmeric also helps with blemishes. It can be applied on the skin to help reduce redness and inflammation. With more people worried about organic and natural ingredients these days, turmeric will not be hard to find.

Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices and can be very beneficial to health. It can be used for help with nausea, colds, and indigestion. Consuming it is easy and is the common ingredient in chai tea. You can grind it into a powder and add it to virtually anything. In addition to these internal benefits, cinnamon is also known to kill bacteria and help prevent infections.

“If you cut yourself, grab cinnamon out of the kitchen cupboard and sprinkle a bit on the wound,” says Epley.

Garlic is considered to be one of the healthiest foods you can eat as well as the go-to herb for curing regular ailments. Adding garlic to a regular diet can improve cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol. A study published in the Journal of Hypertension, showed that the blood pressure of volunteers was reduced by 1-5% after taking garlic supplements. In the long run, this small reduction can reduce the chance of a stroke by 30-40% and heart disease by 20-25%. It doesn’t take a lot. Just one clove of garlic a day will improve your health.

Cayenne pepper is a great spice for heart health. It also is helpful for alleviating allergies, muscle cramps, improving digestion, and can even help with healing wounds. Because of cayenne’s heat factor it can actually raise the body temperature a bit and opens up the respiratory passages. If you’re trying to lose weight, cayenne pepper is the perfect thing that can aid in your diet since it can reduce appetite. If you’re not a fan of hot salsa, start slow when adding cayenne pepper to your foods. It definitely packs the heat.