HEALTH: Indian spices from the kitchen not only emit tantalizing aromas and add personality to your food, they alo protect you from infections. Try some of these Indian spices at home to ward off cough and cold symptoms as they begin to appear.
Star anise can help fight sore throat, cardamom resolves digestive issues and nutmeg boosts immunity, suggest experts. Dolly Kumar, Director at GAIA and Purba Kalita, Co-Founder at Salebhai.com suggests these Indian spices that you should add to your diet and meals:
* Star anise: Rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C, star anise is effective in easing sore throats and colds. Its antifungal and antibacterial abilities can keep you away from flu and other viral infections in this season.
If you are suffering from a sore throat or a bad cough, drink tea made with this star-shaped spice. Add two anise seed pods in boiling water for over 15 minutes. Strain the tea and add a few drops of honey. Drink this tea thrice daily to avail immunity-boosting benefits.
* Saffron: Apart from adding a vibrant colour to your dishes, saffron has several health benefits too. If you’re looking for an instant relief from cold, mix a few strands in milk and apply the same on your forehead. This technique is a sure-shot one to treat colds due to seasonal change.
* Turmeric: A glass of turmeric milk gulped down every day in the winter months will boost your immunity system and keep you away from various infections. Turmeric has antioxidants, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory benefits that will help prevent and tackle a number of diseases.
* Fenugreek: Do you like laddoos? Try putting fenugreek seeds, ginger, fennel seeds and jaggery in it. Fenugreek seeds are packed with antiviral properties and have the ability to kill viruses that cause sniffles and sore throats.
* Nutmeg: This is a warm spice and can be added in your sweet and savoury food items to boost their flavours. It has strong antibacterial properties that help boost the immune system. A cup of hot milk with nutmeg powder, a few drops of honey and crushed cardamom is sure to keep your winter blues away.
* Black pepper: With a distinctive taste and pungent aroma, this spice contains various anti-oxidants that accelerate the body’s metabolism. Add this incredible spice to any cuisine or use it as a condiment and enjoy the fine flavour along with its myriad health benefits.
* Cloves: Rich in antioxidants, cloves have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and dental-soothing properties. Widely recognised the world over for its medicinal and culinary qualities, these dried flower buds have distinct flavour and intense aroma. Add cloves to your salad dressings, meats and desserts and relish the bursts of flavours.
* Cardamom: Also known as elaichi, cardamom are small green pods that are rich sources of minerals and antioxidants that aid in blood detoxification and resolve digestive issues. The aromatic spice also contains vitamin C and other essential nutrients.
Drinking a cup of elaichi tea in the winter months is sure to ward off any symptoms of a cold and enhance your mood in the grey months.
* Cinnamon: Cinnamon has several health benefits. The spice is rich in antioxidants and has several healing properties. In the winter months, cinnamon can be teamed with ginger to beat common cold.
Cinnamon has immunity-boosting abilities and can protect you from various bacteria. A pinch of ground cinnamon and a teaspoon of honey in warm water in the morning can be a perfect winter elixir.
All of these Indian spices are available at most health and grocery stores or you can alternatively visit B. Nagiah’s in KwaZulu Natal or Gauteng click here