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Spicy Life

Spicy Life
Here we run through some of the impressive health qualities that our favourite spices have to offer, confirming why all of these spices should exist, within reaching distance, in your kitchen cupboard!
1. Turmeric

Turmeric has had lots of attention recently as a result of its proposed medicinal qualities – and it’s true! Research has shown that as a result of its curcumin content (a potent polyphenol) turmeric may help to tackle oxidative stress and inflammation throughout the body.

How to use it: Whilst high dose supplements aren’t always necessary, research has shown that turmeric is actually absorbed best when used in combination with black pepper – another healthy, antioxidant-rich, spice in its own right! Therefore, our advice is to use these ingredients together during cooking, perhaps in the base of a curry in combination with some healthy fats such as ghee or coconut oil to help increase the absorption even further!

How to use it: Buy ready-made ginger tea bags or grate some fresh ginger into a mug of warm water, with a slice of lemon and an optional blob of honey, to make a comforting drink.

2. Ginger

Ginger is renowned for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Traditionally it has been used to help settle digestive complaints, but some new research suggests the anti-inflammatory potential may be even greater than we once thought, with the potential for this warming spice to help settle period pains1.

3. Cinnamon

Preliminary research has suggested that having as little as 1g of cinnamon per day (less than ½ a teaspoon) could help to improve blood glucose levels, and even have positive effects on cholesterol balance2.

How to use it: Cinnamon powder is a great addition to help jazz up your morning porridge; simply add ½ a teaspoon at the end of cooking to add a lovely flavour, and reap those health benefits!

How to use it: Simply add a couple of pods to a pot of rice as it cooks on the stove, to add a lovely subtle flavour. Remember to remove the pods before serving.

4. Cardamom

Cardamom may be a lesser known spice – but it certainly doesn’t fall down in the health-potential stakes! Research suggests that regular cardamom intake could help with everything, from recovery after infections3 to managing high blood pressure.4

Spicy fact: Can spice really beat congestion?
Research suggests that capsaicin, the active ingredient found in chillies which gives them their characteristic heat, may help to ease sinus pain, reduce inflammation, and release blocked mucus5 – so, if you’ve ever had a runny nose whilst eating something spicy, this is proof of this process working!

Our congestion busting recipe:
Spicy sweet potato wedges | Serves 2
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika power
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Herbamare Spicy (contains black pepper)
  1. Slice the sweet potatoes into rough wedge shapes.
  2. Mix the wedges in a bowl with the olive oil, turmeric, paprika, garlic and a sprinkling of Herbamare.
  3. Bake in a pre-heated oven, at 200°C for 40 minutes, giving them a shake at the half way point to avoid sticking.

1. Chen CX et al. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2016
2. Khan A et al. Diabetes Care, 2003
3. Jamil B et al. Frontiers in Microbiology 2016;
4. Verma SK, Jain V. Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 2009
5. Couroux PR et al. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunlogy, 2019

Herbamare Spicy Sample

Ingredients: Sea salt, vegetables and herbs (chilli powder* (3.1%), black pepper* celery*, leek*, cress*, onion*, chives*, parsley*, lovage*, garlic*, horseradish*, basil*, marjoram*, rosemary*, thyme*), and kelp. *

Certified organic
Allergy and intolerance information. Free from MSG, gluten, lactose, milk protein, additives and preservatives. Allergens shown in bold.

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Spicy Life