Importance of Spices in Food
Indian food is loved world over by people of different nationalities. What makes it so popular is the way it is cooked; cooking Indian cuisines is nothing less than an art. It requires the right ingredients chopped and sautéed over fire and then cooked on a simmering flame with the right amount of herbs and spices. Indian food is not just rich in taste but also has an aroma that can whip up anyone’s appetite. The aroma in the food comes from spices which are used in every Indian household for centuries. They are an integral part of every dish and are loaded not just with flavors but also health benefits. Not many are aware that the reason why Indian food apart from being extremely delicious is also very healthy is because of the spices and herbs in it that have therapeutic health benefits. Some of the beneficial uses of spices and herbs used in everyday dishes are:
1) Turmeric: Turmeric has been used for centuries not just in food to give it a yellow texture but also by Ayurvedic doctors for its healing properties. Turmeric when used in food can retain the beta-carotene in certain foods. A main ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is a strong antioxidant and has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Recent studies have also shown that turmeric is helpful in correcting depression symptoms. Due to its strong anti – inflammatory qualities it is highly beneficial to Arthritis patients and unlike medications, it doesn’t pose any threat to liver and other organs. Its most widely accepted property though is its function as a painkiller.
2) Cinnamon: Another commonly used ingredient in Indian household, cinnamon is also used in a variety of other global dishes. These bark shaped spices have a lot of medical benefits. They are very useful for those suffering from diabetes as they can lower fasting blood glucose and reduce cholesterol. Cinnamon also has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. In ancient times when there was no safe way to store food for a longer period of time and food could get easily spoiled, recipes were flavored with this particular spice. Even in case of common cough and cold, having cinnamon tea can be very comforting and healing.
3) Mustard Seed: They are culinary oil seeds that apart from enhancing the taste of a dish also have a lot of health benefits. The magnesium content in mustard reduces migraine and helps relieve the tormenting pain. Including mustard seeds in your dishes can also relieve you of respiratory congestion; it is also beneficial for asthma patients.
Indian food contains the above and many other spices and herbs that are included in everyday food. This makes it one of the most healthiest foods available.
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