In the initial days of trading, Sri Lanka was known as a “Spice Island”
What prompted us to touch on the subject of health benefits of spices, was an article in the Sunday times of 18th November 2012, titled “The Dye is cast on the Fabric of Taste”, which is frightening to say the least.
Today most people have pushed the use of preparation of meals at home, thus pushing away the use of spices to take a back seat. This phenomenon is due to the birth of a vast number of fast-food outlets and wayside mobile outlets that sell all types of cooked food. If we stop to think, how these foods are prepared, under what conditions and the quality of spices used, our findings would surely be “distasteful”, with the use of sub-standard and non-edible food colouring used in the preparations.
At Lanka Spice, all our products are carefully chosen, with the support of a well equipped laboratory facility.
Spices have gone hand in hand with the long history of cultural heritage, its use in foods to enhance taste and its health benefits. Spices can be used to totally or to a degree replace less desirable ingredients such as salt, sugar and added saturated fat in, marinades and dressings, stir-fry dishes, casseroles, soups and curries.
Today one should change dietary habits, by pushing away curry sauces towards the old gentle mélange of spices.
Spices that reduce Bad Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a problem that is faced by many people today. One form of Cholesterol is derived from the food we eat, thus increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Spices such as Cinnamon, Turmeric and Ginger are those that help reduce levels of Bad Cholesterol.
Cinnamon has been used in a vast number of cultures for different medical problems. Today Cinnamon still plays a vital role in many health claims from treating diabetes to cancer.
According to Reader’s Digest., a Pakistani study found that 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon daily can reduce bad cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes by nearly 30 percent and cut total cholesterol by 26 percent.
Powdered cinnamon could be used in baking or as a flavouring to cooking. A little cinnamon sprinkled on toasts, desserts, fruits, or drinks like coffee or hot cocoa makes your item of food or drink taste better.
Furthermore, cinnamon also helps treat diabetes. At times cinnamon is found in capsule form which works wonder with the lowering of diabetes and cholesterol.
A remedy which I personally use is 1 tsp of cinnamon powder mixed with 1 tsp of honey and stirred into one cup of herbal tea, does wonders with your cholesterol, you will feel the difference after two or three cups of this herbal tea.
When considering cholesterol lowering foods, don’t forget the health benefits of turmeric.
Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and the flesh is a bright orange color. Turmeric is used to flavor curries, especially vegetable curries (or white curries). Turmeric is not just a culinary spice, turmeric possesses many health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Early studies have revealed that turmeric can lower bad cholesterol and total cholesterol in the body. Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, acts as a messaging molecule, directing genes in the liver to increase production of messenger proteins to rid the body of bad cholesterol. Although turmeric is currently most notable for its antioxidant, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties, there has been recent talk about its ability to lower cholesterol.
It is better to obtain the pure form of turmeric to enjoy the highest levels of curcumin. Use curcumin to flavor curries, lentil soup, stir-fry, and as a seasoning for meat and fish.
Ginger delivers more than flavor to food, desserts and drinks. Initial studies showed that ginger may lower cholesterol levels and prevent blood from clotting. Spice up your food with grated ginger or steep slices of ginger in boiling water for a refreshing ginger drink. Ginger adds fresh flavor to stir-fry, soups, marinades and sauces.
The list of spices that have medicinal values are extensive and this is just a glance at how you can stay healthy.
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