Emma Grazette, co-au­thor of ‘Spice Trip: The Sim­ple Way to Make Food Ex­cit­ing’ (Square Peg, £20) shares the health ben­e­fits of spices

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Stud­ies sug­gest that a com­pound called piper­ine in black pep­per can aid the body’s abil­ity to ab­sorb ben­e­fi­cial nu­tri­ents, such as vi­ta­mins B and C, beta carotene and se­le­nium.


This spice is pow­er­fully anti-in­flam­ma­tory and an­tibac­te­rial. It is said to have hun­dreds of health ben­e­fits, from pre­vent­ing blood clots to fight­ing skin con­di­tions. Its ac­tive in­gre­di­ent, cur­cumin, has been shown to im­prove mem­ory and re­duce stress.


Slices of fresh ginger in hot wa­ter can ease all kinds of stom­ach com­plaints. It has an­tibac­te­rial prop­er­ties that make it ideal for fight­ing coughs and colds, and its main bio-ac­tive com­pound is gin­gerol, an anti-in­flam­ma­tory and an­tiox­i­dant.


Yes, it’s a herb, not a spice, but mint works in a very sim­i­lar way to ginger for up­set stom­achs – only rather than warm­ing, it cools. It also con­tains an anti-in­flam­ma­tory com­pound called ros­marinic acid that is proven to re­lieve sea­sonal al­ler­gies such as hayfever, as well as men­thol for colds.

And fi­nally… Spices can be help­ful in your gar­den, pro­tect­ing plants from fun­gus, in­sects and more. Plant­ing fen­nel among other plants can pro­tect them from aphids. em­ma­grazette.com

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