Health Benefits Of 38 Important Spices From Around The World

Health Benefits Of 38 Important Spices From Around The World

Spices play a significant role in the way we cook and consume food around the world. Every spice has its own flavoring and essence, and its addition or omission can literally make or break a dish. There are many spices we use in our day to day cooking, these include popular ones like cumin, black pepper, turmeric and coriander seeds. Spices are known to have several health benefits; in fact it’s the addition of a bouquet of spices, that make traditional indian home-cooked food one of the healthiest meals eaten around the world. Spices come with notable nutritional values and provide some major health benefits.Here’s a list of 38 different spices which you should start adding to your meals for healthy living.

1. Anise: Star anise is usually used for culinary purposes in Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian cuisines. Star anise is a rich source of two important antioxidants namely linalool, an essential oil, and vitamin C that protects the body against cellular damage caused by environmental toxins.


2. Allspice: It is a kind of berry that combines flavors of pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon for a power-packed flavour dose. It helps in digestion, has anti inflammatory properties, improves circulation, promotes dental health, enhances immunity and promotes heart health.

3. Ajwain:Ajwain is also known as carom seeds. Carom seeds are often chewed for medicinal purposes. Despite a partially bitter taste, ajwain or carom seeds provide a whole host of health benefits. Ajwain promotes digestion, cures stomach ache and helps relieve tooth pain. These seeds are rich in calcium, proteins and fibre too.

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Carom seeds are often chewed for medicinal purposes.Photo Credit: iStock

4. Black Pepper: A pinch of black pepper when added to any recipe enhances the flavor manifold. Black pepper, also known as the king of spices, promotes weight loss, helps relieve cold and cough, improves digestion, boosts metabolism and treats many skin problems. In fact, a glass of haldi doodh becomes much more therapeutic with a pinch of black pepper. Click here to find out how.


5. Black Cumin: Black cumin seed oil helps in preventing asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues. Contains antioxidants, beneficial acids and b-vitamins that balance the immune system.


6. Cumin: This seed has a bitter taste which is an essential part to Middle Eastern cuisines. It has the ability to aid digestion, improve immunity and treat skin disorders, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis and anemia.


7. Clove:Cloves are antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic. They’re a powerhouse of antioxidants and are rich sources of minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and vitamins and minerals.

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Cloves are antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic.

8. Coriander: It is also known by the name cilantro or dhaniya. Coriander comes packed with essential health benefits. It is not only beneficial when consumed fresh, adding coriander seeds to your daily food can also be very healthy.


9. Chili Pepper:Chili peppers are healthy for you and provide you with various health benefits, apart from a spicy kick to your food. When added to your diet, these can be a good source of vitamin C, aids weight loss, lowers blood pressure and relieves congestion.


10. Celery Seeds: Native from the Mediterranean region, celery seeda are also used as tea. It treats menstrual problems, lowers anxiety, treats your joints problem, lowers uric acid in the body and lowers inflammation.

11. Cinnamon:Cinnamon is a favourite household spice which has been used throughout the world for ages. It has large number of antioxidants which protects body from body diseases and have many anti-inflammatory. Cinnamon forms a part of many exotic dishes and is currently trending because of its ability to reduce a tummy bloat.

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Cinnamon is a favourite household spice which has been used throughout the world for ages.

12. Cayenne: It is grown in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of India, Africa, United States of America and Mexico. It has various health benefits, it aids in digestion, stimulates blood circulation, has anti bacterial properties and helps in weight loss too.


13. Cassia: It Is usually sold as a form of cinnamon. It used in cooking and has many healthy benefits which helps the whole body run properly, it also helps in boosting the immune system, maintains healthy digestion. It is also known as an effective antidepressant which keeps your body and mind relaxed and at peace.


14. Caraway Seed: They are a good source of dietary fibre. They are used as tea and as a seasoning. It contains various essential vitamins like A, E, C as well as a number of B-complex vitamins. They remove harmful free radicals from the body. It is known to be a really effective treatment for cough.


15. Cardamom: Also known as elaichi, cardomom hails from India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Indonesia. It is the world’s third most expensive spice. A rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C, calcium, iron, and zinc, this spice promotes heart health, helps in digestion, enhances oral health, helps in diabetes, helps fight depression, fights asthma, prevents blood clots and treats skin infections.


A rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C, calcium, iron, and zinc, this spice promotes heart health, helps in digestion, enhances oral health​

16. Dill: It is used for culinary and medicinal purposes for ages now. It has many vitamins and minerals which are beneficial for the body. It has many health benefits which includes, aiding digestion, managing insomnia and as a quick cure to hiccups. Dill is also known the regulate menstruation and helps take care of our oral health.


17. Frankincense: It is a type of sweet gum. It has been used for centuries for its healing properties. It is also used in aromatherapy which provides you with many health beenfits as it helps you to cure chronic stress, reduces pain and boosts immunity.


18. Fennel: It is native to Southern Europe and grown all over Europe, Middle-East, China, India, and Turkey. This spice is a rich source of dietary fiber. Its powerful antioxidants helps in removing harmful free radicals from the body and promotes a healthy being, it helps fight aging and other degenerative neurological diseases.


19. Fenugreek: Cultivated in North Africa, the Middle East, Egypt and India, this ingredient has many medicinal uses. It improves digestion, is known to increase libido in men, promotes milk flow in mothers, helps those suffering from eating disorders and also reduces inflammation.

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It improves digestion, is known to increase libido in men​. Photo Credit: iStock

20. Garlic: It is widely used in cooking and it has been used as a medicine in ancient times because of its anti-microbial properties.


21. Ginger:Ginger is known to have originated in China and has a place in many Chinese traditional therapies. It has been used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold. Ginger is an important ingredient in the traditional kadha recipe too.


22. Horseradish: It is a bitter spicy root. It is has antioxidants properties which help to reduce skin damage.


23. Juniper Berries: They are are a type of hot chili pepper. They are usually used to detoxify the body and promotes healthy digestion and skin health. They also has natural antiseptic and antioxidant properties.


24. Licorice: It is native to the Mediterranean region, and also found in southern and central Russia. It has various benefits which include helping in digestive issues, stomach ulcers, colic, heartburn and any ongoing inflammation in the stomach.


25. Mace: Mace is the outer coat of the nutmeg seed and is quite similar to nutmeg in actual taste and flavour. Mace aids your appetite, helps manage stress and enhances blood circulation. It also acts as a fragrance, has anti inflammatory properties and protect your kidneys.

26. Mustard: This seed comes from the ground and has a spicy flavor. Native to the temperate areas of Europe, mustard helps reduce pain, stimulates appetite and relieves symptoms of arthritis

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This seed comes from the ground and has a spicy flavor.

27. Nutmeg: It is a popular spice used in cooking across the world and it is also famous for its health benefits. In ancient times, nutmegs were used for numerous remedies to improve health. It improves bad breath, helps detox the livers, helps you to sleep well and is known to improve the texture of your skin.


28. Paprika: Peppers are used both in whole and powdered forms. Powdered paprika has many benefits and its flavor is quite mild. A rich source of anti inflammatory agents, paprika helps lower blood pressure and promotes eye health.


29. Peppercorns: peppercorn is the most widely used spice in the world. Its a rich source of vitamin K, manganese and iron. It aids weight loss, is a good ingredient for diabetic people and balances blood pressure.


30. Saffron:It comes from a flower and has bright yellow color and a very distinctive aroma. It is often used in cooking to give its color and essence to the food. It helps manage asthma, aids in menstrual problems and soothes dry skin.

saffron helps in fighting cold

It comes from a flower and has bright yellow color and a very distinctive aroma​. Photo Credit: iStock

31. Savory: It quite similar to mint but with an exquisite flavor. It has antiseptic properties, cures throat, aids in digestion.


32. Sumac: Antioxidants make sumac once of the most healthy spices to eat. Antioxidants help neutralise the effects of free-radical damage that could lead to many severe illnesses in the long run, including cancer. Anti-oxidants also help delay the signs of aging.


33. Star Anise: It is small seed which is star shaped. It comes from evergreen tree. It has licorice flavor. It has antioxidant properties which has vitamin c, and has anti fungal uses and improves women’s health.


34. Sesame: This seed has a nutty taste. It has cholesterol lowering compounds, helps balance hormones, and crucially boosts nutrition absortption.

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This seed has a nutty taste.

35.Tabasco Pepper: It is a type of hot chili pepper which is used to make hot sauce. It fulfils your vitamin c needs. It has almost zero calories. It helps control metabolism, cures arthritis, and prevents soar throat.


36. Turmeric: This spice is packed with antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is good for your brain, relieves arthritis, prevents cancer and has healing properties.


37. Jalapeno Pepper: They are a type of chilli pepper you can use them either fresh or dried. They are rich with antioxidants, cures muscle aches.


38. Galangal: It is mainly found in South-East Asia and is used as a spice to flavor food products. It is native to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Eating galangal helps relieve the pain in the stomach and abdomen because of inflammation or other diseases.


How any of these spices have you not eaten so far? Its time to try them and broaden your flavour palate!


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