Spices are an integral part of vegetarian food. Adding spice to your life may reduce heart disease and diabetes. Seasonings are a concentrated source of disease- fighting phenols. Allspice, cinnamon, cloves, marjoram, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, and turmeric, pepper are all good. One needs regular doses in small amounts more frequently than just once in a year.
Spices add aroma and zest to food. For a long time in India and Asia spices have had a great value monetarily and in the kitchen. Some uses are just habitual and used from generation to generation without knowing the real effect of particular spices in food. But with advances in science research, their values and importance have grown. Most of the spices are used to offset the foods' negative effects. As with any recipes that use milk, the use nutmeg is recommended to relieve intolerance. In combination with cardamom it becomes a good mixture and adds the digestive trait to milk products. It can be taken as medicine for stomach ache, flatulence, dysentery, vomiting and nausea.
I have a short list of commonly used spices and herbs which are used in day to day cooking. The idea is to use spices and herbs in every day. They prevent harmful bacterial growth and aid in wellness. Spices and herbs should be used in small amounts incorporated into each meal so that one can take full advantage of their benefits. These ideas brought about the spice box. Spices can be stored dry in an airtight container and have approximately a two-year life span.
Herbs have to be fresh. They give distinct taste and personality to food. No doubt, they help to aid in digestion and give character to recipes. Herbs such as bay, basil, thyme and dill are used in flavoring many recipes.
Weight Loss Programs are a big marketing tool for many publishing companies. As the new year approaches, the psyche of common people will be towards how to lose weight. Indian cuisine is of all about health even if it is cooked with oil. It uses ingredients that take care of your heart and general well-being. Ancient Ayurveda suggests that we include all tastes, including sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent, in at least one meal each day to help balance unnatural cravings. Here are foods /ingredients that can help you lose weight and prosper health and well-being.
Cinnamon and Cloves:
Used extensively in Indian cooking, these spices have been found to improve insulin and to lower glucose and total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides in people with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon is the aromatic dried pieces of layers of inner bark of several luraceous trees. it is one of most important tree spices used in Indian cooking ,having sweet and astringent taste. It is useful as flavoring agent in desserts, cookies and curries. It is used as a carminative: as a stimulant to treat nausea and vomiting. Cinnamon oil is a powerful germicide and has the properties of an antiseptic.
Foods containing chilis are considered to be as foods that burn fat increasing metabolism. Capsaicin is a thermogenic food, so it causes the body to burn extra calories for 20 minutes after person eat the chilies.
Curcumin, the active component of turmeric, may help to reduce low-density lipoprotien (LDL) or commonly known as bad cholesterol. It increases blood circulation and prevents blood clotting thereby helping to prevent heart attacks. This powerful Indian spice can help prevent Alzheimer's. It removes the build up of amyloyd plaque and delays the progression of disease. Haldi contains antioxidants that protect our cells from age-related damage. It is a very antiseptic agent as it can act both internally and externally for skin infections. For many years Haldi has many uses beside adding color and flavor to the food.
- To enhance the complexion used with chandan - sandalwood
- To expel worms in kids and adults
- To treat with infections
- To provide an antiseptic dressing to wounds
- To help in asthma and regular cough and cold
- To help reduce swelling in sprain
Most of the time Turmeric is household herb that is always handy in Desi kitchen. It is widely available at Indian and ethnics stores near you.
One of the most effective fat burning food, garlic contains the sulfur compound allicin which has anti- bacterial effects and help reduce cholesterol and unhealthy fats. It is carminative and aids in digestion. It is very popular in world of medicine for its healing properties. It is widely used in all over the world in soups, beans, and curries.
Popularly known as the queen of spices, It is a dried fruit of a herbeceous plant and one of the most valued spices. It is known as a thermogenic herb which increases metabolism and helps burn body fat. In Ayurveda, Cardamom aids and is believed to soothe digestive system and helps body process other food more efficiently. It is popularly used as a flavoring agent in desserts. It is very commonly used as a mouth freshener. It also helps with nausea and vomiting.
This strong pungent tasting oil has low saturated fat as compared to other oils. It consist of fatty acid, oleic acid, erucic acid and linoleic acid. It has antibacterial properties so it was highly used in pickles. It is loaded with essential vitamins.
Honey is a home remedy for obesity. Honey mobilizes the extra fat deposited in the body allowing it to be utilized as energy for normal functions. It is recommended that you take one tablespoon with luke warm water early in the morning. It is known as a fact that honey has no expiration date so it does not go bad. The best honey available is from New Zealand and is called Manuka. This kind of honey is very popular and is known for its high UMF factor. The higher the UMF the better and the more expensive. The range is from 5 - 25.
Fresh ginger is an underground root plant. It is one of the most important and oldest spices. The aroma of ginger is pleasant and spicy. Ginger is used in many food products like baked goods and confections.It is widely used in many dals and legumes dishes, as well as a variety of beans and rice and vegetable dishes. According to Ayurveda, ancient science of medicine, ginger is used to aid in the digestion of food. It is helpful in relieving cramps and excellent to ward off colds. Dry ginger is also used widely in various different dishes.
This herb is also known as Bishop's Weed or Gout Weed. It is a herbaceous plant bearing the grayish brown seeds that consist of spice. They have a peculiar aroma, similar to oregano, and a sharp taste. They are occasionally used as a spice in various kinds of bean dishes. This spice is very valuable in medicine. It is used to treat asthma, colds, indigestion, cough and stomach ache.
Cumin is a light and dry grayish-brown seed. It is widely used in all recipes. It is similar to caraway seeds but a little longer. The odor is peculiar, strong and heavy but the taste is slightly bitter. It is used as one of the main ingredients in allspice. It is considered an astringent, a stimulant of gastric juices and aids in digestion. It is useful in in treating diarrhea, colds and sore throats.
After Turmeric, Curry leaves are the next most important ingredients in an Indian Kitchen. Popularly known as "Curry Patta," it is also called by its Indian name: "Meethi Neem." These leaves are highly valued for their distinctive flavor and are used all over in the cuisine of India.
Eight to ten curry leaves boost health and fat loss. They can be chopped finely and mixed with food. They are a good source of Vitamin A, calcium, folic acid, and antioxidants. They also help with the absorption of iron. Other benefits include boosting circulation and anti-inflammation. It is also anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, hepatoprotective, Hypo-cholestrolemic, and delays premature graying.
These leaves are also widely used in treating bruises and skin diseases. They are used as a sedative and as a hair tonic. All Indian leafy vegetables were compared for their total antioxidant activity and the highest level was found curry leaves. Anti-fungal activity was also found and that's why the leaves are also used to fight bad breath and gum diseases.
Like many other spices and herbs, Curry Patta have a strong presence in our daily Indian food. It is always a good idea to include curry leaves in our recipes. It can be used raw or cooked. They can also be ground and used as paste in curries and, as I like, in chutneys. Leaves dried in the open air wilil lose their pungency, but washed and air-dried for couple of hours can be kept in a plastic bag for more than two weeks, though it is best as fresh leaves. Many families in America try to grow neem plants at home.
Coriander seeds are one of the oldest spices used by mankind. They are very popular in Spain, India and Mexico. They are used as a dried powder and as fresh herbs as well. Fresh coriander leaves are called Cilantro and I use them in all my recipes as garnish. The seeds and leaves are pleasantly aromatic leaving kitchen fragrant and smelling sweet. Seeds in powder-form enhance the flavor, taste and aroma so uniquely that it becomes must in a few recipes for chat. Coriander seeds are considered to be diuretic, carminative and are known as stimulants, can also sharpen the appetite, and have a soothing effect on the digestive tract.