January 7, 2019
As yet another holiday season concludes, a few herbs and spices get pushed to the back of kitchen cabinets all over the country. Aside from their taste-enhancing nature, they also tend to envelop homes in an aroma that is associated with the holidays, family get-togethers, winter cheer, and relaxation, and bonhomie. There is another benefit of using these seasonings year-round, and that is the additional nourishment that they provide to your brain, such as the following examples.
Cinnamon – It usually starts making an appearance in food items as soon as fall sets in. Cinnamon lattes, apple and pumpkin pies, and cinnamon rolls are all holiday treats that most of us look forward to all year long. Cinnamon is excellent for your brain as well. It has antioxidant properties that help curb oxidative stress and, therefore, leads to an improvement in cognitive abilities. By reducing down internal inflammation, cinnamon also helps protect the brain from damage.
Nutmeg – An age-old home remedy for stress-induced insomnia, advocated by grandmothers all around the world, is warm milk with a sprinkle of nutmeg. A spice grown predominantly in Indonesia, nutmeg has potent anti-depressant qualities that help elevate your mood and alleviate anxiety.
Cloves – A spice that is known to help relieve inflammation as well as reduce bacterial and fungal infections, cloves are an absolute must when baking holiday favorites like spice cakes and fruit pies. Cloves have a high antioxidant quotient due to a compound called eugenol which makes them excellent at sharpening your memory and combating stress.
Ginger – Chockfull of antioxidant properties, ginger neutralizes harmful free radicals, therefore, protecting brain cells from damage. While delicious in cookies, caked and teas, ginger also enhances your ability to focus and concentrate.
Cardamom – These little black pods that come encased in a green shell are great when it comes to adding flavor to chai lattes and rice puddings. They are also excellent at improving arterial health. As a result, they help lower blood pressure and avoid strokes.
While holiday feasts are usually synonymous with gluttony and weight gain, there are many hidden health benefits that come along with such treats especially when the recipes are generously laced with spices and herbs listed above. Don’t save these delicious spices for the holiday season, enjoy their flavor and benefits year-round!
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