The Health Benefits of Spices and Herbs

There are so many health benefits of spices, making them an important food to be consumed daily. In fact, it has been demonstrated that spices and herbs are able to prevent and treat over 150 diseases, including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease. The reason why they offer so many health benefits is simply because they are super-rich sources of phytonutrients (nutrients from plants). Some of the phytonutrients include their 'volatile' (rapidly evaporating) oils that contribute to the spices' unique aromas.

In fact, many people believe that spices and herbs are just as important as fruit and vegetables as a part of a healthy diet because of the unique phytonutrients they contain and that aren't available in normal, 'everyday' foods.

Certainly the health benefits of spices and herbs has been demonstrated over thousands of years, even as far back as 2,600BC! For many centuries spices were more highly valued than gold! Wars have been fought over them, new lands have been discovered in search of them, and enormous wealth has been created by the people who controlled them! In fact, by the 18th century, spices and herbs had become one of the commodities of world trade!

Health Benefits of Spices

Before they were money though, spices and herbs were medicines! Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, coriander and black pepper are all considered to be some of the oldest spices in recorded history and each of them offer a range of health benefits.

Studies exploring the link between diet and health have shown that populations eating a diet rich in spices and herbs have a far lower incidence of disease. For example, India, a country well-known for its generous and regular use of spices, has an incidence of colon cancer three times lower than the United States. India also has very low rates of Alzheimer's disease. Many people believe that their high intake of turmeric is a major contributing factor.

Greece has a traditional diet that is rich in onions, garlic and rosemary. They also enjoy a very low rate of heart disease. Spain is the country consuming the most saffron and they have some of the lowest levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Here are just a few of the unique phytonutrients offered by spices and herbs (that aren't available in any other food source) as well as the diseases they prevent:

  • Curcumin
    Curcumin is only found in turmeric and has been shown in numerous studies to have potent anti-cancer effects. It has also been shown to fight dozens of other diseases. It is one of the most researched spices and herbs.
  • Diosgenin
    Diosgenin is only found in fenugreek and has been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent as well as being able to specifically destroy cancer cells.
  • Eugenol
    Eugenol is unique to cloves and provides it with its distinctive aroma. It is a powerful, natural pain killer.
  • Gingerol
    Gingerol, the main active ingredient in ginger, help to significantly reduce all forms of nausea, from sea sickness to morning sickness and everything in between!
  • Anethole
  • Anethole is found in both fennel and anise. It helps to relax menstrual cramps and can quiet a baby with colic.
  • Thymoquinone
    Thymoquinone is unique to the Indian spice, black cumin. It is a powerful immune booster.
  • In Australia, most people don't use these spices and herbs regularly in their meals (they are used in virtually every single meal in countries like India). Therefore, it is virtually impossible to obtain the health benefits of these spices and herbs. As a result, BCN has brought out a great product, MultiSpice, that contains a combination of turmeric, fennel, fenugreek, ginger, clove and cinnamon in an easy-to-use vege capsule that can be easily consumed every day to ensure you get all the health benefits these extraordinary spices offer!

    MultiSpice is available from health food stores and pharmacies everywhere!

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