Where did the spices come from?

Spices are incorporated while cooking in order to add colors and flavors to dishes. They are also used to garnish. Spices could be leaves, fruits, bark or seed of the plant. Spices do have an interesting history. They have been around since the 6th century; however it took quite a while to spread across all the continents.

Spices can be traced back to 2000 BC. With cinnamon and black pepper, the trade of spices grew in South Asia and the Middle East. Herbs and peppers were quite popular in the eastern part of the Asia. The herbs used for mummification in Egypt grew in demand by the other parts of the world.

The earliest written records regarding spices are gauged from Indian, Chinese and Egyptian cultures. By 1000BC medical systems based on herbs were found in China. Thus, spices garnered even more attention. The ancient epic of India ‘Ramayana’ mentions cloves. Indian spices were heavily in demand during this time and were valued more than gold.

Now that we know that these spices came into existence long before us, we also know that spices are capable of depositing essential nutrients into our body. Let’s have a look at top 5 most nutritious spices and their benefits.

Chili Pepper - Chili pepper is best known for boosting your metabolism. A boosted metabolism is vital for your immunity. It works towards boosting the immunity against ulcers. The presence of a compound named capsaicin makes it nutritionally rich. Consuming Chile pepper is largely beneficial to your body.

Turmeric - Chili powder and turmeric are often used together. Turmeric is a spice that is warm so, it is especially helpful to someone suffering from a cough. Apart from that, turmeric is known for reducing inflammation. Since the early days, the healing property of turmeric has been well known and has been used in ancient Indian medicine.

Ginger - We tend to remember ginger when we catch a cough & cold, however, that is not it’s only good property. A good intake of ginger in your body can aid in coping with arthritis. It also soothes the upset stomach and facilitates easy digestion. It can also reduce nausea to a great extent.

Cinnamon - Cinnamon is yet another popular spice that is often added to dishes to enhance the flavors. Cinnamon is excellent at stabilizing the blood sugar level. Hence, it is highly beneficial to a diabetic patient.

Saffron - Saffron is largely termed as the mood lifter. Since ancient times, saffron has been used in making tea and also while cooking rice. Saffron can help in dealing with depression and the mood swings that PMS brings.

These were the top five spices that come with loads of benefits and should be incorporated into your everyday diet. Here are some ways you can incorporate them:

Add them in veggies - While cooking rice or vegetables adding spices is an easy and tasty way to get your daily does of spices.

Milk - When it comes to turmeric, it is best to consume it with milk. Take lukewarm milk and add a pinch of sugar and a teaspoon of turmeric. Take it before you sleep or you can also consume it as the first thing in the morning.

Mix it in tea - The best way to consume ginger is by mixing it into brewing hot tea.

Besides the above mentioned, there are multiple ways to consume the spices as per the different customs, cuisines, food habits and cultures.

Author's Bio: 

Sonal Khakhar is a founder of Aahanas Naturals. She has continued with the heritage of preserving traditional family recipes, and tweaking the inherited recipes further with her knowledge as a Nutritionist. For more info visit http://www.aahanasnaturals.com