Spices have benefits that reach far beyond simply adding flavor to the food you eat. They can also add flavor to your life because they are chock-full of health compounds that are beneficial to your overall physical and mental wellness. When people talk about improving their physical and mental health, they often turn to big life changes like exercise regimes and making ambitious adjustments in their diet. Spices are some of the most underrated substances in accruing health benefits. Maybe it’s because they are so overt that they have finally become covert. In other words, no one mentions spices in conversations about physical and mental wellbeing. However, this article provides several spices that can help you on the pathway to improving your life, whether you want to work on your blood pressure, reduce inflammation, or boost levels of good cholesterol in your body.
The American Chemical Society conducted a study which revealed oregano to have the highest ranking antioxidants of any herb. Antioxidants are important because they inhibit oxidation. Those are some big scientific words, but basically, herbs like oregano possess antioxidant substances that combat oxidative stress, which is one of the leading factors in nearly all degenerative diseases. The antioxidant compounds fight back against harmful free radicals in the body which, if built up, can even lead to cancer and heart disease. Moreover, oregano slows down the aging process, enabling you to feel younger and vital for longer. You might think that oregano is only used as a seasoning for pizza, but you really can use it in a number of sauces for various meals (e.g., pesto, salad dressing) and seasoned meat dishes. It’s one of those kitchen seasonings that is underrated but extremely beneficial.
Another spice you can use to improve your life is black pepper. Although it is a common kitchen spice, black pepper has numerous health benefits. Like oregano, black peppercorn is rich in antioxidants, and even contains some detoxifying properties. Detoxification is essentially a blood-cleansing process, where impurities and toxins are removed through the liver, kidneys, lungs, lymphatic system, and even your skin. Who’d have known that a little peppercorn could be such a powerhouse for improving your health and preventing degenerative diseases? And it’s right there in your kitchen, too. As far as mental health is concerned, black pepper also contains what is called piperine, a compound which improves brain functions, enhances memory, and fights depression. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among people from the ages of fifteen to forty-four so even something as small as black pepper can be a useful resource in combating mental health issues.
Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide, and more often than not diseases like heart attacks and strokes are brought about by high blood pressure. However, there is a simple way to decrease the chances of cardiovascular diseases: eat more garlic. Studies have shown that garlic can have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure, as well as lower LDL cholesterol (i.e., the “bad” cholesterol). In some cases, garlic has even reduced LDL cholesterol by ten to fifteen percent. Garlic is yet again one of those common kitchen resources that may lower the risk of heart disease. This has benefits for your mental wellbeing, too. By taking in spices rich in healthy compounds, you can feel greater peace of mind as you maintain your body. Having the right frame of mind is essential to improving other aspects of your life, whether it be meeting exercising, work productivity, or positivity.
If you want to make changes but are unsure where to start, begin by looking through your spice cabinet. You’ll be amazed at the numerous health benefits you can accrue from your underrated household spices. Familiarize yourself with recipes that use more garlic, pepper, and oregano, and start implementing them into your diet today.