They come in different colours: red, yellow, green, brown, black, etc. They add taste, colour and variety to human life and make us cringe when they are absent. Enter, the world of the wonderful Indian spices.
From the little rai, to the small round kaalimiri, from the exotic kesar to the all pervading haldi, spices will constantly be put on a pedestal in India. These establish your standard of perfection. As such, every cook worth his salt values the contribution of spices to the taste of his dishes.
Now, even the researchers are looking through the kitchen cupboard and finding to their surprise the substantial health advantages of a few of the most typical Indian spices. These point towards a tastier and a healthier life.
One such wonder spice is the cinnamon. These are long sticks, and rarely do you recognize its presence in the food, except if you are a culinary expert. This spice does its job, discreetly and economically, and is a lot more valuable than the taste it offers.
Cinnamon is good for the heart. Studies have shown that just half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.
It keeps diabetes mellitus under control. Several studies indicate that cinnamon can have a regulatory impact on blood glucose, making it valuable for people with Type 2 Diabetes.
In a report which was released by research workers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon decreased the growth of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
In a report published by the Copenhagen University, individuals given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder along with one tablespoon of honey each morning before breakfast had substantial relief in arthritis pain after one week and walked without any pain within thirty days.
It acts as a preservative. When added to food, it prevents bacteria growth and food spoilage, which makes it a natural food chemical.
Cinnamon should be taken in moderation to work effectively. It can have adverse effects if taken in excess.
Another such wonder spice is asafoetida or hing.
It is frequently used as a flavouring agent. The various health advantages and medical value of this spice makes it valuable in maintaining the overall health of an individual. It is useful in the treatment of respiratory problems like whooping cough, asthma and bronchitis.
Asafoetida is also considered helpful in the treatment of various problems concerning women like infertility, undesirable abortion, premature labour and extraordinarily painful and excessive menstruation. It is also beneficial in the treatment of impotency.