We generally view herbs and spices as things we simply add to our food in order to enhance the flavor. What you may not realize is that these tasty extras may be boosting your mental and physical health in the process. Herbs and spices were once used for medicinal reasons and with more and more people now choosing natural products opposed to the synthetic medicine they have certainly become more sought after in recent years, particularly in the form of health supplements. A lot of research has been carried out to determine the positive effects which herbs and spices can have on the mind and body, and below we take a look at the varieties which could make a big difference to both your physical and mental health.

According to UK’s leading supplements supplier, NatureSupplies, below are the top 10 herbs and spices which could boost your physical and mental health.

  1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a sweet tasting spice which can act as a healthy alternative to sugar as it is very low in calories. Tests have shown that this popular spice is effective at fighting off free radicals which can cause damage to your cells. Cinnamon also has antibacterial qualities and results also suggested that it could be beneficial in protecting your nervous system. So instead of adding sugar to your next cup of tea or coffee, why not add a little bit of cinnamon?

  1. Turmeric

Turmeric derives from a plant and is a member of the ginger family. Turmeric contains curcumin which has anti-inflammatory properties and is also an effective antioxidant. The use of Turmeric in tea is said to be good for relieving colds. This spice is a popular ingredient for many dishes and provides a distinctive flavor.

  1. Cardamom

Cardamom contains a high quantity of important minerals including zinc and magnesium. It is a sweet spice and is often used to add flavor to rice dishes. This spice is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties and its effectiveness at lowering blood pressure. It can also provide relief from an upset stomach.

  1. Cumin

Cumin is mostly recognized for its use in many curry based dishes. What you might not be aware of is that this spice is full of iron and can be effective at helping you to lose weight through speeding up your metabolism. For a healthy meal, you could try sprinkling cumin on the chicken breast before grilling and serving with steamed vegetables.

  1. Garlic

I’m sure you’re aware that garlic is a much-loved cooking ingredient and features in many popular dishes. What you may not realize, however, is that it could be highly beneficial to your health. When garlic is crushed, a compound called allicin is formed. Allicin has been linked to the prevention of heart disease and research has also shown it to be effective for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

  1. Ginger

Ginger is a well-known spice which is widely used in cooking and Asian cuisine in particular. It has a soothing impact on the stomach and is recommended for good digestive health. It can also prevent nausea. Ginger is also an antioxidant. If you are interested in using more ginger in your cooking, it goes well with steamed white fish.

  1. Sage

This popular herb can be added to many savory dishes in order to provide a distinctive flavor. Many herbalists recommend sage for stomach bugs and sore throats. Not only can it improve your physical health but a recent study showed how it can improve mental performance, particularly in relation to memory and concentration span.

  1. Rosemary

Not only is rosemary a herb which is extremely popular for marinated meat recipes it also has a range of health benefits. The antioxidant properties found in rosemary can help to fight bacteria. It is also effective for mental stimulation, with studies suggesting it can make people feel more alert and even help them to perform better in exams.

  1. Cocoa

Although the first thing that may spring to mind when you see the word cocoa is chocolate, this spice actually has a variety of properties which could improve your health. Research has shown that the antioxidant flavonoids in cocoa are very good for heart function as they lower blood pressure and cholesterol by keeping your arteries in good condition.

  1. Chilli Peppers

If you like the heat which is provided by chili peppers and use them regularly in cooking then you may also be giving your health a boost at the same time. Regardless of whether you use fresh, powdered or dried chili’s they can really help to kick-start your metabolism and therefore help you to lose weight.

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