If you’re tired of seeing life in white and black, or in other words, salt and pepper, I invite you to take a culinary journey full of color and flavor with a rather inspiring article inviting you to put spices in your meals and your life. Let me show you how to heal by spicing up your dishes!
In Ayurveda, nutrition is THE key to balanced health, both physical and mental. It is about using fresh seasonal and local foods that are from organic farms. The nutrients we eat are converted into energy and information by and for our bodies.
The secret of an optimal diet for us lies in its diversity; diversity in food, taste, and color. Nature offers us all we need but the question is do we know what we actually need?
According to recent scientific research, our lifestyle is at the root of most of the diseases that modern society suffers from. By lifestyle I mean of course the choice of our food, both in terms of product quality and preparation, as well as our full awareness, or the lack thereof, during the time of eating, our sedentary and urban lifestyles, and the ambient stress that has become a part of the way we function.
Today, I would like to talk to you about spices and how these are not only used to prepare delightful dishes but can be especially utilized for their therapeutic virtues in Ayurveda, allowing you to stay in good health.
Each spice will give off a different flavor to our dishes and learning how to mix them together makes us real apprentice doctors.
Before letting you know of the secrets of each of the main spices, you must also learn how to respect their preparation, so that their gustatory and therapeutic values can be fully revealed to you. We will always add our spices to a fatty substance, a vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter), at a medium temperature, so as not to burn them before mixing them in with our food.
And here is the long awaited and not exhaustive list. Take a look at a few of these magical spices:
Whether you buy it in the form of seeds or powder, it will help you with your digestion and speed up the detoxification in your body. It reportedly also has an anti-cancerous effect. It is a refreshing, diuretic and sudorific spice.
It stimulates appetite and the “digestive fire” we talked about in the previous article. It can also be used as an anti-virus medication and externally – for skin diseases.
It has a strong taste hence to use with parsimony. Fenugreek has a toning effect and helps in cases of depression, menopause, hypothyroidism or anemia. It is good for bones and joints.
It can be found in the form of powder, seeds or leaves. It helps with digestive issues and constipation. It is an antioxidant, and is used as an anti-cholesterol, anti-diabetes spice and is natural diuretic. Coriander also helps eye-tention or sores.
We are most familiar with its powdery form, even if by now we can also find it as roots in the west. It is an antiseptic and a powerful anti-inflammatory spice that helps in cases of arthritis and skin irritation. It is also an antioxidant that can be used to fight off cancer and Alzheimer’s. Turmeric is a stimulant that regulates diabetes and contributes to the maintenance of our intestinal flora.
It increases the “digestive fire”. The Indians take it after they had their food because it helps with the gastric tract and obesity. It is a draining, anti-diarrheal spice and also seems to positively influence our brains.
Be careful and consume it in small quantities because the taste is very concentrated. Cardamon stimulates digestion, reduces gas, and freshens your breath. It also stimulates the heart, lungs and has an anti-depressant function. It contains vitamin A, B and C.
Cinnamon controls our sugar levels and regulates our appetite. It is an immune system stimulant, as it also has anti-bacterial, fortifying and detoxifying properties.
Cloves are an antiseptic and have calming and analgesic effects on the body. They have anti-dieuretic and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is used in skin creams for its anti-irritation properties. It is a powerful antioxidant and can help fight cancer and depression and heal colds, respiratory problems and headaches.
It is a powerful detoxifier, carminative and antioxidant that increases our “digestive fire” and helps with toxin-disposal. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. In Ayurveda we say “we are what we digest” and ginger is therefore your perfect health partner.
The real peppers:
Black, white and green peppers can have positive effects on our digestion. They help fight colds and infections of the upper respiratory tract.
The fake peppers:
Roe berries, Sichuan peppers and Cayenne, on the contrary, aid the “digestive fire” and help the blood circulation. If cooked together with meats, cheeses and lentils, they can help elevate them.
They are a powerful antioxidant that has anti-cholesterol, anti-diabetes and anti-cancer properties. Chilli peppers will help digestion, lower hunger and boost libido. Plus, they are small in size and loaded with capsaicin and therefore they are a powerful antioxidant.
I leave you with these beautiful flavors, as I have to hop away from this article and prepare myself a good little dish, because I need to show my body how much I love it.
If you want to learn more about the beautiful Ayurvedic medicine, I invite you to join me in early January for my “Perfect Health” program that is dedicated to your physical, mental and spiritual health. Start the New Year in style!