Top health benefits of herbs and spices

Different
herbs
and spices
have been a staple in
several types of foods from across the world for centuries. These priced
commodities have often been at the centre of trade, wars and conquests. In
fact, the era of colonialism traces its routes back to the rapid increase in
demand for spices in European markets. With increasing globalisation, herbs and
spices that were once endemic to certain regions are now available practically
in any part of the world. In recent years, herbs and spices are coveted
commodities not only for their ability to augment taste of food, but also for
the health benefits they offer. Furthermore, previously unknown health benefits
of these substances are continuously being uncovered through advances in
research. A few of the top health benefits of herbs and spices include:

Boosting
Immunity

Herbs
and spices are known to boost the human body’s immunity due to a combination of
factors. Several herbs contain Vitamin C, which is a crucial ingredient to
improve the body’s immunity against diseases. Some herbs and spices that are
exceptionally rich in vitamin C include turmeric, thyme, parsley, dill and
cilantro. Besides Vitamin C, most herbs also have strong anti-oxidant properties.
Some such herbs include oregano, clove, peppermint, saffron, cinnamon, rosemary,
vanilla, honey and sage. Anti-oxidant properties help boost immune responses by
preventing oxidation of cells in the body that takes place due to the presence
of free radicals; such oxidation of cells can potentially block the body’s
immune response mechanisms.

Reducing
inflammation

Often,
the term inflammation and swelling are used interchangeably in cases of visible
inflammations on the surface of the skin. However, inflammations in internal part
of the body can potentially have much more harmful effects than those visible
externally. Furthermore, the effects of such inflammations are a lot more
severe in the case of patients who suffer from health conditions such as
arthritis; frequent inflammations are often also an enduring symptom of a few
health conditions. Several herbs and spices offer anti-inflammatory properties
that can help soothe the body and reduce inflammations and redness. In cases of
those with health conditions, this can also enable reduction in chronic pain. Some
such herbs and spices include ginger, cinnamon, clove, garlic, black pepper and
cayenne.

Helping
control blood pressure

Blood pressure related issues and heart conditions often go hand-in-hand, especially in elderly people. Furthermore, instances of high blood pressure and heart conditions have seen a steady rise over the past several decades due to lifestyle changes that have made day-to-day life more strenuous. Certain herbs and spices have proven to be adept at lowering blood pressure and consequently improving heart health. Some such herbs and spices include basil, flax seed, hawthorn, cinnamon, cardamom, garlic, celery seed and ginger.

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Conclusion:
All around benefits

The
above-mentioned lists are neither exhaustive in terms of the health benefits
nor in terms of the respective herbs and spices that impart the said benefits.
This is since herbs and spices are packed with vitamins, minerals and other
such substances that hold key health benefits in various aspects of body
health. Going by experiences from the past four or five decades, it can be said
with near certainty that a vast majority of these benefits are yet to be discovered.
As a result, herbs and spices are recommended regularly and in healthy doses
for people of all ages and from all walks of life.

FMI Blog

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