5 Health Benefits of Holiday Spices

cinnamonOne of the exciting things to look forward to around the holidays is the aroma that fills the air everywhere you go. Whether it’s the scent of peppermint, pine trees, wood burning in the fireplace, cinnamon, pumpkin lattes, or chocolate chip cookies, the holidays bring a whole host of lovely aromas that remind everyone why this time of year is so special. Luckily, there are some other benefits you can get from these popular spices that dominate holiday meals, and here are the five healthy spices to watch for.

Cinnamon. Whether you love this spice sprinkled in your coffee or on your cookies, cinnamon comes with a few health benefits to note. According to registered dietician and American Dietetic Association spokesperson Toby Smithson, studies have shown that the spice might help to reduce blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes, while also reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Ginger. This lovely spice can help to fight nausea, reduce motion sickness, calm migraines, and might even prevent ovarian cancer. According to Katherine Brooking, RD, this powerful spice might also help to reduce pain and swelling from arthritis. It is important to note, however, that it can get in the way of blood clotting, which is vital to remember to tell your doctor if you are prepping for surgery, or taking a blood thinner or aspirin.

Nutmeg. Yes, this darling of many holiday dishes can help to add an aroma to die for throughout the house, but it also has a couple of great health benefits. According to Glamour, nutmeg helps to regulate the GI tract and can help improve sleep. The spice also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can work well when mixed with milk for a blemish or with oil to be applied to the gums during a toothache.

Cloves. Smithson says that a half of a teaspoon of cloves contains more antioxidants than half a cup of blueberries or cranberries. And according to Brooking, the active component in cloves, eugenol, has been found in some research to work as an anti-inflammatory.

Peppermint. According to Smithson, peppermint can help to calm an upset stomach, reduce headaches, soothe irritable bowel syndrome, and can possibly help to prevent cancer. However, if you get heartburn frequently, it might be best to stay away—since peppermint can make it worse. 

 

Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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