Spices That Will Add Vibrant Flavors & Health Benefits to All of Your Fall Favorite Dishes
By Heidi Baldwin, MS, Holistic Health Coach
Fall is here— we can smell it in our kitchens. The smells of fall spices are undeniably comforting and delicious, but some of your favorite fall spices also have fantastic health benefits. Make sure to include these spices in your fall dishes for some brilliant flavors and extra health kicks.
Turmeric is one of the healthiest spices on the planet. It contains an active compound known as curcumin, whose long list of proven health benefits includes fighting off unhealthy cells and slowing down the signs of aging. Curcumin also contains strong anti-inflammatory properties, meaning that it is beneficial in reducing inflammation and alleviating symptoms of inflammatory diseases. As a bonus, turmeric also adds a beautiful golden color to your dishes. Make sure to add black pepper whenever you use turmeric as it significantly improves the body’s absorption of curcumin. One of my favorite ways to use turmeric is to mix it into quinoa with some coconut butter just before it is served!
This famous fall spice contains a vast number of various antioxidants. Antioxidants are key for fighting off those damaging free radicals that can cause chronic diseases. It also contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the primary hormone involved in blood sugar regulation. Therefore, cinnamon is a beneficial spice for individuals with insulin issues, but a healthy choice for everyone!
You can’t have staple fall dishes, like apple and pumpkin pie or eggnog, without nutmeg. However, this powerful spice also contains many important nutrients. It is rich with manganese, copper, and magnesium, but it also contains many other essential vitamins and minerals. Some studies have shown that nutmeg can relieve pain, such as the joint pain experienced by individuals with arthritis. It is also often used as a natural remedy for insomnia because it helps you fall asleep easier and get good-quality, uninterrupted sleep. Some people enjoy sprinkling a little cinnamon and nutmeg in their coffee!
Ginger is well-known for its digestive health benefits. It is widely used for treating nausea and other digestive issues, such as an upset stomach and acid reflux. Adding ginger to your meals or making a ginger tea after a big fall feast can help your digestive system process all that food with ease. If you’re experiencing morning sickness or nausea for any other reason, ginger will provide you with relief. It also has natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can help your body fight against infections while also controlling inflammation. Ginger on freshly cooked salmon is one of my favorite ways to eat ginger!
Cloves are high in antioxidants, which help the body fight off disease-causing free radicals. They are also well-known for their health benefits for the liver. The liver is a powerhouse organ with many responsibilities. One of its main jobs is to break down unwanted or old molecules and prepare them for excretion from the body. However, sometimes in the process of breaking down unwanted molecules, damaging free radicals are produced as a by-product. These free radicals can build up in the liver and impair its function. Cloves and other antioxidant-rich foods can help clear away these free radicals from the liver and keep it (and you) healthy.
Sometimes when I do not have the powdered spice form on hand of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or clove, I turn to my Young Living Vitality form of these oils. They are super easy to use, and offer most of the same benefits! Take some time to spice up your life this fall!