GNcareers, from Gulf News

Spice is nice for a healthier you

Spice is nice for a healthier youImage Credit: Supplied

Be it Thai, Arabic, Mexican or Indian food, spicy food of all sorts has suffered a bad rap for causing acidity, gas and even for being unhealthy. However, the reality is that much of the essential ingredients of traditional ethnic cooking today are chock-full of antioxidant-rich spices beneficial to your health.

From Bolognese sauce to korma, the basis of many dishes is garlic. Garlic is rich in protein, vitamins A, B and C, and helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure and offers protection against stroke, heart disease and prevents blood clot formation.

In Southeast Asia, ginger is used in most chicken and fish dishes. It is packed with antioxidants known to protect against diseases such as atherosclerosis, asthma, colds, constipation, eye disorders, and urinary incontinence.

Cardamom, an essential of Middle Eastern and Indian cooking, have small black seeds which contain oil that helps stimulate digestion and relieve flatulence. These also help in detoxifying the body.

Turmeric, used in Asian dishes, is a well-known anti inflammatory agent which can help in the treatment of osteoarthritis by reducing inflammation and pain in joints.

Cinnamon is another spice which is abundant in manganese, fiber, iron and calcium, and has been known to help lower blood sugar levels and help boost cognitive function.

Chili pepper, widely used in various cuisines, helps regulate body temperature on hot days as capsaicin, the component that makes chili hot, raises perspiration levels on very hot days.

Handy Hints:

• Turmeric can help in osteoarthritis treatment.

• Cinnamon known to help lower blood sugar levels.

• Cardamom has detox properties, aids in digestion.

Source: Special to Classifieds