Supercharge Your Immunity With These 4 Spices
Turmeric is a bright yellow to orange root spice that is often used in Asian cooking and has a long history of medicinal use, dating back nearly 4000 years.
Studies suggest that, due to its active component called curcumin, turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and is also able to modulate the activation of our white blood cells, which all have a positive impact on our body’s ability to fight disease.
To incorporate turmeric in your daily diet, add it to stews, soups and smoothies, sprinkle it over roasted vegetables or try our recipe for a warming, Dairy-Free Turmeric Latte.
Many moms and soon-to-be moms will know that ginger can offer a welcome relief from morning sickness in pregnancy, but similar to turmeric, ginger also has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help support the immune system.
This powerful root spice is also considered a “natural antibiotic”, as studies have demonstrated ginger’s ability to fight many strains of bacteria, with fresh ginger having the best antimicrobial effect.
If you are looking for some tasty ginger-infused recipes, go with a fresh ginger tea with lemon in the morning, add it to stir fries or have a look at our delicious Pumpkin-Coconut Soup recipe for something a bit more filling.
OK, so garlic is technically not a spice (and not even a herb!), but it is used in cooking in a similar way, and it has such potent immune-boosting properties that we just had to include it in this list.
This member of the onion family is a staple in most kitchens and contains allicin, a compound with potent anti-fungal, antimicrobial and antiviral properties.
Studies have shown that raw garlic may help prevent common cold/flu and might even shorten the cold once you already have it. The powerful medicinal properties of garlic can also support your liver, which is one of the key organs of our immune system and plays an important role in removing toxic substances from our body.
Keep in mind that cooking destroys many of the garlic’s health properties, so to get the most benefit, go with fresh garlic whenever you can. To maximise garlic’s health potential, crush or chop it to small pieces and leave it exposed to air for 10 minutes first, as this will allow allicin to fully form. You can then use it in salads or blend it into already cooked dishes as a finishing touch.
Used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, cinnamon is another spice with strong anti-inflammatory characteristics that can help support your immune system. It also contains antioxidants and has the ability to modulate the histamine production in the body and therefore the potential to reduce allergic reactions.
Due to its versatility and slightly sweet taste, cinnamon can be used in a whole range of dishes, from morning porridge, to smoothies and baked goodies. For some fresh recipe ideas, check out this recipe for Grilled Cinnamon Butternut & Steamed Salmon, or try our energy-boosting Almond Bread.