Prevent Cold and Flu this Winter with Ancient Spice Remedies
With winter fast approaching its time to give your immune system a bit of a push in the right direction. Spices have amazing medicinal properties as well as the ability to improve the flavour of your favourite dish.
The best way to ensure your spices dont contain fillers (like sugar), synthetic anti-caking agents, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives is to choose organic. Some conventional spices may be fumigated with hazardous chemicals, use genetically modified ingredients and some are even irradiated, creating carcinogenic by-products to reside in the spices. Most organic spices are sterilised using steam.
Macro Wholefoods Market suggests organic cayenne pepper, organic turmeric and organic cinnamon to boost your immune system and provide you with some winter warmth.
Organic Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is native to Central and South America is arguably the most powerful spice. Its bright red colour indicates that it is rich in beta-carotene and Pro Vitamin A, which is also known as the anti-infection vitamin. It has the ability to clear mucous from the lungs and nasal passages, boost immunity and is a potent antioxidant.
In addition to helping prevent colds cayenne pepper is beneficial for your heart, digestive system, circulatory system, a good source of fibre, reduces blood cholesterol and contrary to popular belief about spices, helps prevent stomach ulcers.
Macro Wholefoods Market suggests that you add organic cayenne pepper powder to a cup of hot cocoa or spice up your avocado by filling it with chopped tomato, cucumber, garlic powder, lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Traditionally called Indian Saffron and harvested for more than 5000 years, turmeric is native to Southern India and Indonesia. The warm yet bitter spice boosts activity in the immune system and is high in anti-oxidants, which can neutralise free radicals. Turmeric is beneficial for overall wellbeing as it is an excellent source of iron, manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fibre and potassium. Research suggests it may help with inflammatory bowel syndrome, arthritis, cystic fibrosis, enhance liver function, prevents oxidation of cholesterol in the body and aids protection against Alzheimers disease.
Macro Wholefoods suggests combining grated organic fresh turmeric, ginger, maple syrup and lemon to infuse a healthy tasty tea. Or add organic powdered turmeric to any lentil recipes. And a delicious soup can be made from combining grated ginger, crushed garlic, ground turmeric, egg, water, salt and a little olive oil.
Cinnamon is a warm yet sweet spice that comes from the brown bark of the Cinnamon tree. It is an anti-microbial, meaning it helps inhibit the growth of bacteria, so much so that it can be used as an alternative to food preservatives.
The scent of cinnamon provides relief from the onset of cold and studies show it also improves brain function. Rich in manganese, dietary fibre, iron and calcium, this wonderful spice also may also help people with type two diabetes by improving the way in which the body responds to insulin.
Macro Wholefoods suggests sprinkling cinnamon on chicken noodle soup. Try seasoning your high carbohydrates with cinnamon as studies suggest it can lessen the impact on your blood sugar levels