Food & Drink Health

5 spices and their secret benefits

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Spices are not only for making food taste delicious – follow our guide and see what else you can do with them.

Spices have tons of benefits beyond flavouring food and can be used in many interesting, and surprising, ways for you and your family.


Turmeric is commonly found in Indian and some other Asian dishes. It packs loads of flavour and colour. In addition to flavour, it is also boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, turmeric is great for your skin. Try mixing some turmeric with plain Greek yogurt for an at home face mask. (But make sure to do a patch test first.)


Ginger can be used for a variety of things. For example, it’s commonly used in teas. Moreover, ginger settles upset stomachs and can even be used as an ingredient in detox drinks as it aids in digestion. Most importantly, a special use of ginger is to fight morning and motion sickness.


A popular spice used in bakery, sweets and desserts, cinnamon is far more than just adding great flavour to your dishes. It’s been known to reduce blood sugar levels, strengthen cardiovascular systems and even build up immune systems. To pack some more cinnamon into your diet, try sprinkling it on top of applesauce or add some into your tea.


As a major ingredient in most poultry dishes, cumin is very popular. Some great benefits of cumin are that it can aid in digestion, fight against diabetes and can even treat food poisoning. One particular interesting parental use of cumin is that it can increase milk flow in nursing mothers. Plus, its versatility means that it can be added into virtually anything, so it’s very easy to start adding into your diet as well as your family’s.


A bit of cheat as mint is a herb, but it’s become such a popular addition to coffee, tea and chocolate that it’s worth mentioning. Mint has been known to treat nausea, indigestion, as well as aids symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Mixed with lemon and water, it can be used for detoxing or just to improve digestion. Mint can also help prevent of tooth and gum problems due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.