The 5 best spices for our health

The 5 best spices for our health

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Healthy seasoning in the diet

Natural spices can strengthen our health and alleviate many ailments. In normal doses they are free of side effects and come from nature. We do not have to use completely exotic spices for this. Domestic or everyday natural flavor enhancers are completely sufficient. We present you the 5 healthiest spices.

A healthy diet is not boring in taste - it depends on the seasoning!

In some people, healthy eating is associated with a boring aftertaste because fat and sugar are lacking. There are enough spices that not only spice up the taste, but also make a contribution to health. A nutritionist introduces five spices that bring health benefits.

Diane Vizthum is a nutritionist at the renowned Johns Hopkins University. It shows that healthy eating doesn't have to be boring. "There are more than 100 common spices that are used in cooking all over the world," reports Vizthum. Spices are a concentrated source of antioxidants. She introduces some spices, the therapeutic properties of which have been scientifically proven.

No hunt for exotic species required

The good news is that you don't have to start a big scavenger hunt for the healthiest spices. You can find them in every major supermarket. Vizthum reveals which spices should not be missing in your meals.

1. Cinnamon can lower blood sugar

Cinnamon comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree and is suitable in a variety of dishes and drinks. Particularly often, people with high blood sugar should season their food with cinnamon, as the nutritionist suggests. Because the spice gives dishes a sweet taste, without any sugar.

In addition, seasoning with cinnamon can also bring heart health benefits. It is said to help lower cholesterol and blood lipids. According to Vizthum, this can particularly benefit people with type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Cinnamon goes well with yogurt, fruit, muesli or stews, chilies and meat.

2. Turmeric can fight inflammation

Turmeric is especially known for its use in Indian curry dishes. Studies have already shown that the spice can reduce inflammation - a common cause of discomfort and disease. Recent research suggests that a substance in turmeric called curcumin has a positive effect on brain health and reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease and depression.

Vizthum also reports of a small study that showed that adults over 50 years of age improved their memory after consuming curcumin supplements for 18 months. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric can also relieve pain and swelling in people affected by arthritis. For example, turmeric can be used well in dishes with roasted vegetables, meat and in curries.

3. Ginger for nausea

Ginger has been used in Asian cultures for thousands of years to treat upset stomach, diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea. The root is good for refining pan dishes, smoothies, teas, salad dressings or baked goods.

4. Garlic for the heart

Many know garlic, but do not know that eating garlic can protect the heart from pathological processes. Researchers have found that taking garlic regularly keeps blood vessels flexible, helping protect against hardening of the arteries. The protective effect appears to be even more pronounced in women than in men, reports the nutritionist.

In addition, further studies suggest that eating garlic can lower cholesterol and triglycerides. The spice can be used in many different dishes. For example, garlic goes well with olive oil and rosemary (e.g. as a marinade for potatoes or meat). The spice also goes well in soups and salad dressings.

5. Cayenne for pain relief

Cayenne is a type of chili pepper that is widely used in Southwest American cuisine and Mexico. Cayenne peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which is also found in chilies. As Diane Vizthum reports, capsaicin can reduce the number of pain signals that are sent to the brain. For example, cayenne pepper can reduce the pain associated with arthritis or with diabetes-related nerve damage.

Many people often associate capsaicin with an upset stomach. Instead, according to Vizthum, the pungent substance helps reduce ulcers by capsaicin restricting the growth of bacteria like Helicobacter pylori. In addition, capsaicin reduces excess stomach acid and stimulates blood circulation. Chilies and cayenne peppers go well with soups, stews and meat dishes. Some people even like it in connection with chocolate. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • Johns Hopkins Medicine: 5 Spices with Healthy Benefits (accessed: November 28, 2019),

Video: 3 Anti- inflammatory Herbs and spices (September 2022).