15 commonly used spices that pack some serious health benefits

Let’s face it, we’re more likely to eat something if it tastes good than we are to choose something that tastes like cardboard.

The problem is that a lot of things that taste good can be packed with sugars, sodium, fats and preservatives. A solution to keep from consuming overly produced food is to cook your own meals and pepper them with spices, which serve up a surprising number of health benefits. 

Check out the health perks offered by these commonly used spices & herbs:

Curry powder is a blend of spices containing the anti-inflammatory curcumin. The amount in the spice is greater than that in vitamins C and E.

Chili peppers add a little kick to any dish. The ingredient that gives these peppers that hotness, capsaicin, also provides pain relief, promotes heart health and could help fight prostate cancer and prevent ulcers.

Rosemary, an antioxidant, could help reduce the risk of cancer. According to a 2010 study, the spice helped reduce carcinogens in cooked ground-beef patties.

Turmeric is responsible for that intoxicating smell that emanates many traditional Indian dishes. It also contains curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory and detoxifies the liver.

Oregano does more than just make your pizza and salad tastier. It also contains fiber, vitamin K and antioxidants — more so than those leafy greens. It also helps to prevent nasty stomach bugs.

Saffron, traditionally used in Persian medicine, helps boost one’s mood and can ease premenstrual symptoms.

Parsley is a great ingredient in soups for a reason — it helps to boost the immune system with vitamins A, B12, C and K. It also could help prevent breast cancer cells from growing.

Cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar, thanks to the natural compound polyphenol. It also helps reduce nausea, serves as an anti-inflammatory and acts as a fat burner.

Mint is used mostly in cold drinks and Middle Eastern foods, and helps to balance spicier foods with its stomach-soothing properties.

Cloves are high in antioxidants, boost metabolism, aid in digestive health, keep the nervous system functioning properly, and offer antibacterial and viral properties.

Garlic will give you a beautiful body inside and out. It’s great for better skin and hair, helping to reduce psoriasis and cold sores. It also boosts your immune system and aids in weight loss.

Ginger will do wonders for your digestive system. It helps prevent ulcers, calms stomach nausea and speeds the digestive process through the body.

Thyme adds an extra boost to the immune system and relaxes the digestive tract muscle tissue.

Nutmeg is a little spice that packs a big punch. It helps to stimulate the brain; aids in pain and indigestion relief; is good for liver and kidney detoxification; will give you smoother skin and better breath; and will help relax you before going to bed.

Fennel contains calcium for strong bones and teeth, niacin for more energy, plus fiber, iron and vitamin C.