Seasonings have been used since Biblical times to perk up the flavor of food. What’s new: research showing that some of them can enhance your health.istock/vicuschka
The USDA estimates that the average American consumes 3.3 pounds of
spices annually, but more than a quarter of that is black and white
pepper and mustard seed (in prepared mustard). Mustard seeds contain
lots of protective substances called phytochemicals, which may inhibit
the growth of existing cancer cells and help prevent normal cells from
turning into cancerous ones. The following herbs and spices also have some amazing attributes, including reducing risk of heart attack or cancers.
This herb of the ginger family provides the yellow color in curries.
It’s a powerful antioxidant and has been used in Indian and Chinese
medicine for centuries. Preliminary studies suggest it may help prevent
or even treat Alzheimer’s disease. In some Indian villages where
turmeric is popular, there are unusually low rates of Alzheimer’s. Turmeric also enhances immune function, improves digestion and may
reduce your risk of heart attack. Because of its anti-inflammatory
properties, scientists are studying curcumin, one of the most active
substances in turmeric, as a possible treatment for cystic fibrosis.