What are spices?
Spices are aromatic plant substances that are used as condiments, that is, to season the food and improve the flavor of food.
Since ancient times, man discovered the sense of taste that allowed him to appreciate the flavors of plants and animals. Little by little he combined them to notice that they were more appetizing in that way.
With the passage of cultural evolution, man created ethnobotany, that is, the way in which plants could serve him not only as food but also as medicine to cure his ailments or sufferings.
These properties are due to a large number of organic compounds such as essential oils, alkaloids, carotenes, flavonoids, lignans, pectins, resins, etc.
In turn, the concentration of such substances is synthesized in certain organs of plants such as flowers, seeds or roots.
A world of spices
Throughout the world we can find an enormous diversity of spices such as: basil, capers, carob, saffron, cocoa, cardamom, cloves, cumin, ginger, mustard, pepper, among many others, also with excellent properties and benefits.
However, in this article we share 7 of them.
1. Common anise
Anise is a sweet but powerful odor and flavor seed , for this reason it is often used sparingly.
Although its size is small, it contains a multitude of components such as essential oils (anethole, bergamoteno, cadaleno, etc.), acids, amirines, anisoketone, cinaroside.
In the case of vitamins and minerals contains vitamin B, calcium, iron, copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc, among other substances.
As a result, it has properties relaxants antiseptic, fungicide, and expectorants.
It is also used as an anticonvulsant , diuretic, inducer of labor and to treat gastrointestinal disorders (colic, flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea).
Also, it is used as a remedy for cough and cold, even to treat asthma, bronchitis and chronic catarrh.
However, it should be avoided in high quantities because it can be toxic to the body.
It is one of the best known spices since antiquity. It comes from the bark of a tree with a sweet and intense smell and taste. It is usually used in sweet, salty, pastry and confectionary dishes.
For its essential oils cinnamic aldehyde, caryophyllene, linalyl, among others, it has antimicrobial, neuroprotective and antibacterial properties.
Stimulates digestive functions, reduces concentrations of glucose , triglycerides and cholesterol.
It is also a good antispasmodic, relieves stomach pain, stimulates the heart and lungs , among other properties.
Although it is a noble spice, excessive consumption should be avoided as it causes weight loss, vomiting, renal irritation or testicular atrophy among other conditions.
Garlic contains sulfur compounds and other substances such as flavonoids, prostaglandins A, B and E. Without doubt, it is a plant species with numerous therapeutic and health benefits.
It works as a good antispasmodic, anthelmintic (eradication of parasitic worms of the body), antiseptic and diuretic.
It is also useful for intestinal disorders, such as the secretion of gastric juices, activates the large intestine, favoring constipation.
Likewise, garlic is a product that is well known for its effect on respiratory problems, as it strengthens the body’s ability to fight infections.
In addition, it has natural antibiotic properties and antibacterial properties.
The nut is a very valuable dried fruit for its content of antioxidants, omega-3 fats, copper, manganese, molybdenum, biotin and L-arginine, among other nutrients.
For this reason, its use is beneficial to reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer.
It also decreases the chances of suffering a heart attack and helps to get healthy cholesterol levels.
It also has powerful antioxidant effects that help fight free radicals and aging of the body.
On the other hand, it contains neuroprotectants that contribute to mental health, improve cognitive and motor function due to aging.
It can also be used as an aid in childbirth, or as an astringent, for dyspepsia, nausea and even rheumatism.
Despite having a very strong flavor that displeases many people, the onion is very rich in vitamin A, B, C and E, potassium, iron, magnesium, fiber, sulfur (to whom it owes its characteristic odor) and polyphenols.
Thanks to these substances, onions have a large number of properties such as: anti-allergic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine and even antifungal.
It is good to avoid respiratory inflammatory processes related to asthma.
It also contributes to the reduction of the risk of prostate, breast, ovarian, colorectal, esophageal cancer, among others.
In addition, it helps in the treatment of diabetes because it reduces the levels of glucose in the blood, it contributes to the maintenance of the kidneys by functioning as a diuretic.
Help to reduce fever (antipyretic), headache, constipation, hemorrhoids.
Prevents arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular problems, besides being an excellent antispasmodic.
In addition to the capsaína, substance that originates the spicy effect, the chile contains fiber, protein, sulfur, calcium.
It also contains potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C, among other nutrients.
As a result, this fruit has anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, analgesic, antioxidant, antimicrobial and even anticancer effects.
It improves the immune system, prevents respiratory diseases, regulates blood pressure and the functioning of the heart.
On the other hand, it accelerates the metabolism and, therefore, increases the energy expenditure due to its thermogenic effect.
It also helps in cell regeneration to improve the appearance of the skin.
It relaxes the nervous system and helps to feel satiated at mealtime.
In short, you can improve your health and the taste of food through these formidable products of nature.