spice up your life!
As the Spice Girls once said (who still remembers them!) it's important to spice up your life! Here are three common spices that will all boost your health and add plenty of flavour to your food. Win-win - our favourite!
Paprika is a spice that's made from the ground, dried fruits of Capsicum annuum - a chilli pepper native to South America. It has many health properties which include; increasing your basal metabolic rate (how quickly you burn energy when you are asleep) helping you to burn calories. It actually stimulates the burning of fat due to the presence of the active component capsaicin, it aids digestion and is also said to have many benefits on the cardiovascular system. Paprika is used in many different cuisines, and is great with chillis, fajitas/burritos/tacos, chicken and is used in our nando's style chicken recipe, butternut squash, red pepper and sweet potato soup and Luci's simple chicken curry recipe.
Tumeric is the dried, ground root of the plant, which is a member of the ginger family. There have been many small studies into the health benefits of turmeric and its ability to reduce inflammation. Positive results have been found so far in a number of areas including; indigestion, ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcers, osteoarthritis, heart disease, cancer, bacterial and viral infections and uveitis (inflammation of the iris). Read more here. We use turmeric in our aubergine curry recipe.
Cumin is the dried seed of a plant. You can either buy it already ground or as the whole seeds. Cumin contains high levels of iron, a mineral that plays many vital roles in the body; it helps to keep our immune system healthy, it's an integral component of haemoglobin in red blood cells, which transport oxygen and carbon dioxide around the body and therefore, important for women during menses (periods). Traditionally, cumin has been used to aid digestion and some research shows that it is a powerful antioxidant - which means that amongst other things it may help to prevent cancer. We use cumin in our butternut squash, red pepper and sweet potato soup and aubergine curry recipe.
Curries, soups and marinades for meats and fish are some of the easiest ways to include plenty of spices in your diet. Not only can they make a bland meal tasty, all spices have their own unique health benefits, so try to include some in your food wherever possible.
Do you have any favourite recipes that include some of the spices above? If so let us know in the comments below.
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