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