The Many Benefits of Spices
Add some spice to your life and you may be improving your nutrition! Cinnamon, turmeric, allspice, ginger and black pepper are just some of the spices researchers claim may help protect against various diseases. Combining these spices with Kretschmer Wheat Germ will not only enhance the taste of your food, it will also benefit your well-being.
The holidays are a time when we pull out spices we ignore the rest of the year. Because spices lose their flavor over time and should be replaced every year, this is a good time to go spice shopping. Buy small amounts, look for “best by” dates and store in an airtight container away from heat, moisture and sunlight.
Below are some of our favorite spices along with their possible nutritional benefits and ways to use them with wheat germ:
Cinnamon: For centuries, people have used cinnamon for medicinal purposes as well as for flavoring food. It contains antioxidants, may help with muscle soreness after exercise and is even being studied for its ability to help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes. Start your day with a slice of whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter, honey, cinnamon and wheat germ. Try our Apple Cinnamon and Wheat Germ Coffee Cake, a crowd pleaser after a holiday meal.
Turmeric: The beautiful golden yellow spice often found in Indian food comes from the plant Curcuma longa. It obtains its stunning yellow hue from curcumin, a phytochemical believed to be responsible for most of the disease-fighting powers of turmeric. Boasting anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral and antifungal properties, turmeric has been used for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes. Now, according to a review in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, it is being studied to determine whether it can help fight cancer, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other illnesses. Try this easy Thai Vegetable Curry with Wheat Germ to warm you up on cold day.
Allspice: This Central American spice is associated with Thanksgiving and Caribbean dishes. It contains antioxidants; is used as an anti-inflammatory, fever reducer, pain killer and germ fighter; and is now being studied to see if it can help protect against cancer. It’s delicious in pumpkin pies: Try replacing pumpkin pie spice with allspice in this pumpkin pie recipe, or sprinkle some on your baked chicken or in your chili.
Ginger: Often used to soothe stomachaches and nausea, ginger may also be helpful to people with autoimmune and inflammation disorders because it contains gingerols, an anti-inflammatory. For a delicious fall soup, serve this Butternut Squash Soup with Wheat Germ and sprinkle in a teaspoon of ginger. Or bake these Pear Ginger Muffins with Wheat Germ to have with your morning coffee or tea.
Black Pepper: According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, piperine, a component of black pepper, may help block fat cells and help treat obesity. It has been used to treat cholera, diarrhea and other stomach-related issues. Black pepper goes well on almost every savory dish and even tastes good in some desserts!
What’s your favorite spice and how do you use it in your food?