5 spices that can improve your health (and your cooking)

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Those spice jars hidden in the depths of your kitchen could be the key to good health. Don't believe us? Take a look...

Spices

© Getty - Handbag

They won't replace your pharmacy medicines, but research suggests these spices do have a positive impact on our bodies when consumed regularly.

Here's five that will give you and your food a little lift...

Ginger can settle an upset stomach


Sipping ginger tea can alleviate feelings of nausea and stop you from throwing up by blocking serotonin receptors in the gut. It's also thought to reduce the inflammation that causes painful pulled muscles after exercise. It's pretty tasty in a stir-fry too!

Garlic can strengthen your immune system


This Italian cooking staple contains Allicin, which is thought to boost white blood cells and block enzymes that lead to viral infections.

Corriander can fight bacteria


This leafy herb, commonly used in Indian and South-East Asian cooking, is a powerful bacteria fighter. The oil from coriander seeds destroys the membranes of bacteria cells meaning they can't go on to multiply and spread.

Saffron can reduce tiredness and mood swings


Research in 2008 showed that 76% of women who took a saffron supplement noticed a 50% drop in PMS symptoms. It's also thought to reduce feelings of depression. Put a few pinches of saffron into a jar of olive oil to let the flavour infuse and then use as normal.

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant


This cancer fighting spice contains curcumin, an antioxidant and protein-blocker that could prevent the growth of some head and neck cancers. It's also thought to reduce inflammation and act against the discomfort of arthritis.

Will you be eating these spices from now on? Tweet us @handbagcom

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