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The Healing Powers of Spices by Chef Joy

Herbs, Spices and Chilies have amazing healing properties for your body and most of us have them in our kitchen. Here are five.

Inflammation: Your Body’s reaction to illness or injury characterized by swelling, warmth, pain and redness.

If you want to relieve inflammation in your body try incorporating cloves in your cooking. Cloves have a bitter flavor alone so use with a variety of sweeter or citrus flavors and a little goes a long way. I use clove in my spice blends for athletic clients usually through Chinese 5 Spice, Indian curries or in baking.

Metabolism: The Physical and chemical processes to sustain life, production of cellular energy from foods and synthesis of important biological substances.

If you are looking for metabolic increase or fat burn, use cayenne and chilies in your cooking. Capsicum properties rev up metabolism and assist in burning fat and calories.

Cayenne can also relieve indigestion, gas and nausea. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that people with diabetes who ate a meal with liberal amounts of cayenne required less insulin to reduce their body’s blood sugar. I use moderate amounts of Cayenne in my spice blends for diabetic clients or clients who have a tendency to skip meals in order to regulate blood sugar. Most of my clients have been able to stabilize and get off medications.

Anti-Bacterial: To rid body of toxins and prevents disease

Basil has both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The oils in basil can help relieve stomach and digestive upsets. Research by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology found that basil contains high amounts of beta-caryophyllene (BCP), which may be useful for treating inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis. A study by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society also found that basil is useful in reducing swelling. I use basil in a lot of ways as an oil and as an herb to relieve digestive issues for clients with Celiac disease or IBS. 

Enhance Mood: Good Vibes and Memory 

Sage is a natural mood-enhancer and memory booster. Sage also boosts the action of insulin and reduces blood sugar in the body, so it is helpful for diabetics. Preliminary research suggests that sage may be useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease, since it prevents a key enzyme from destroying acetylcholine, which is a brain chemical involved in memory retention and cognitive learning. I use Sage in my herb blends because of its earthy flavor.

Stomach or Nausea Prevention:

Ginger. Ginger has been used in many cultures for centuries to reduce stomach upset and to quell nausea. When you have a cold or lots of mucus ginger is really soothing.

Thanks, Chef Joy

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  • Shalamar Brown / 24 February 2017 2:36

    Very informative! I look forward to using these ingredients more in our family meals! Thank you!

  • Marge Dorsa / 13 March 2017 11:21

    So helpful and easy to understand. I will definitely be adding these to my diet. Thank you, Chef Joy. Look forward to seeing more!

  • Erica Bean / 12 July 2017 7:48

    Love this! I use turmeric everyday, it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, but I didnt know about the cloves. I will try that for a change. Thank you

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