Now that we are officially in the thick of the fall & winter season that means we have also entered into cold and flu season. I wanted to share with you four spices & supplements that I use almost every day that have incredible health benefits and help fight of viruses.
1. Ginger: This impressive spice is well known for aiding in gastrointestinal relief. It contains active enzymes which relieves digestion, nausea and motion sickness. It is known to help prevent and fight cold symptoms including coughs and sore throats with its immune boosting properties.
How to Use: There are many awesome green teas on the market that contain ginger or you can add some fresh ginger into your tea yourself. I also love to add fresh ginger into my morning smoothies for an added boost of flavor. Ginger is also a great spice to mix into mashed sweet potatoes or sprinkle over roasted squash.
2. Garlic: This well-known spice packs serious health benefits most people are unaware of. Garlic is an antibiotic and detoxifier. It is immune enhancing and has anticancer properties. It also aids in lowering cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure.
How to Use: Garlic is easy to incorporate into your diet by adding it as a spice to meats, vegetables, soups, and salad dressings. I personally love to buy cloves of garlic and slow roast them in the oven alongside my vegetables for added flavor.
3. Turmeric: This secret spice has too many health benefits to even list. Studies keep coming out with more and more research leading to prove that this spice can prevent and slow many diseases including different types of cancers and leukemia. Turmeric is a detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-bacterial agent. It is known to significantly detox the blood stream and liver. It has also been known to improve depression symptoms. In recent studies it has shown to speed the healing of wounds and help remold damaged skin areas. Another important side effect is its power to reduce joint pain.
How to Use: Turmeric is a little bit harder than the rest to add into your diet. It packs a little heat and has an interesting kick. The easiest way to try it, is using it as part of your seasoning on meats and vegetables. You can also sprinkle it into your smoothie or cup of tea. When first trying turmeric I recommend starting slowly and adding more depending on your tolerance to the flavor.
4. Spirulina: This type of algae contains so many nutrients and is becoming more prominent in the health food scene. Spirulina is known to enhance speed, endurance, and mental ability. It contains nine essential amino acids, enzymes and probiotics, and most importantly, it is a complete protein! It actually offers 3x as much protein as beef by weight. Spirulina is an excellent source of a healthy amount of good fat and iron as well.
How to Use: This algae can be bought in tablet or powder form. It is commonly found in the green powder mixes you can buy in health food stores as well. It can be taken as a supplement or added into smoothies, yogurts, and oatmeal. Spirulina is starting to show up as a flavor in many nutrition and protein bars and granola as well. Look for it as one of the main ingredients the next time you are cruising through a Whole Foods or Natural Market.