Spices are a family of foods used in the culinary field to season dishes. Spices often have a strong perfume and a pungent taste. They can come from fruits or seeds, but also from bulbs, roots, leaves and flowers.
Historically, spices have often been used in traditional medicine, be it in Europe, Asia, Africa or America. These virtues come from their nutritional values. Of the very large variety of spices, some are significantly more interesting than others from a medicinal point of view. They are called super spices and it is the latter that interest us more particularly.
Let's discover together what spices are considered super spices and what they are really worth.
What is a super spice?
There is no precise definition of what a super spice is. More broadly, in recent years, we have been talking about superfoods or superfoods to designate foods with nutritional values above average. It is generally concluded that these super foods provide many benefits to our health. They are the ones we find as nutritional supplements to overcome certain deficiencies or to treat and prevent certain pathologies.
The family of super foods includes different categories of food products: super fruit, super grain ...
The super spices category brings together the spices considered to be the best for health and able to bring many benefits. It is necessary to remain cautious and not to abuse it, because the spices contain often powerful active principles which, in overdose, can be toxic.
In addition, as for the vast majority of super foods, there is still no research to confirm the real benefits of these spices.
The advantages of super spices
Super spices, although different from each other, generally have several commonalities in terms of benefits. Among the most common, we can highlight their antiseptic powers. When applied to wounds, spices often speed up the process of disinfection and healing. Be careful, however, to seek the advice of a doctor.
Spices can also play an analgesic role by relieving some pains: muscle, joints ... Again, the application is often external, directly on the skin.
Another recurring effect in some spices is their quality of anti-inflammatory. Internally or externally, certain super spices help to reduce or even prevent inflammation.
Super spices often contain antioxidants to fight against free radicals and strengthen the immune system. These antioxidants are also effective against fatigue and stress.
Among the strengths of spices, we must emphasize their ability to thin the blood and improve blood circulation. A means of prevention against cardiovascular diseases.
Finally, we sometimes find other effects: burn fat, fresh breath, skin problems, anti-aging ... Attention because manufacturers tend to add many benefits not always proven.
The 6 best super spices
✓ Turmeric : rhizomatous herbaceous plant, turmeric is in the same family as ginger. Mostly grown in Southeast Asia, it is found in other parts of the world. Appreciated for its taste, turmeric is also considered an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory and is recommended for various pathologies (arthritis, skin diseases, peptic ulcer ...).
✓ Cinnamon : Inner bark of cinnamon, cinnamon is present in several varieties. Native to Sri Lanka, cinnamon is grown in other Asian countries. This spice would be one of the richest foods in antioxidants. Cinnamon is also recommended for intestinal transit, fatigue and dental pain.
✓ Clove : Floral clove bud, clove is mainly grown in Indonesia. For a very long time, clove has been used in various traditional medicines. It is particularly known for relieving mouth pain. But clove is above all an antiseptic, an analgesic and an anti-inflammatory.
✓ Cayenne pepper : In fact, cayenne pepper is not a spice, but is part of the pepper family. It is also called Cayenne pepper. There are two varieties: pepper sweet pepper and hot pepper. Cultivated in many parts of the world, cayenne pepper is primarily recommended for the relief of muscle, joint and skin pain.
✓ Cumin : Originally from Egypt, cumin is a recommended spice for small intestinal problems and for digestion. Cumin is also rich in antioxidants.
✓ Ginger : From the same family as turmeric, ginger is very rich in antioxidants. It is also used to reduce nausea and fight against motion sickness. It also has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to consume them?
Most of these super spices are consumed in powder form after being ground. We can sprinkle them on our food or in the culinary preparations. It is also possible to apply the powder externally to the skin.
Some of these spices are also available in their original form. We think in particular of cloves.
There are also spices rich in essential oil, which can then be extracted for use as such.
Finally, very often, these super spices exist in the form of tablets and capsules.
The pitfalls of the food industry
Beware, because fashion is the superfood and some manufacturers tend to describe a lot of food super foods. Thus, we regularly discover new super foods. So we end up with many products with miraculous virtues: antioxidant, strengthening the immune system, weight loss, anti cancer ...
However, very often no study confirms the benefits of these supposedly super foods.
And even in the more traditional super foods, scientists and nutritionists do not all agree.