Spices are an integral part of our lives. We cannot imagine our food without the spices especially if you are a foodie who enjoys hot and spicy dishes. Even if you aren’t one, you can’t say no to the fact that adding a dash of spices to your food makes a dish undeniably tastier and savoury. Spices are famous not for their flavour but also for their cancer-fighting abilities and chemopreventive properties. It is a recent development or finding, people have been using spices for their medicinal properties for ages, probably for thousands of years.
Spices and phytochemicals
Many spices contain certain types of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are the sub-class of antioxidants found in plants and are known for their certain medicinal uses. As said by Liu, in 2004, phytochemicals are defined as bioactive nutrient plant chemicals in fruits, vegetables, grains, and other plant foods that may provide desirable health benefits beyond basic nutrition to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases. Even though the medicinal properties were known to us for a long time, only recent studies have shown a relationship between these phytochemicals in spices to have chemopreventive and cancer-fighting properties.
We have come up with a list of five spices that you can use to spice up your dishes. These spices are not just culinary additives found in your kitchen. Not only these will give flavour to the diet but also help you with their cancer-fighting abilities and cancer-preventive properties. Many researchers have backed up these spices with promising results and can surely become a part of the cancer diet.
Turmeric has been used as both spice and ayurvedic medicine in the Indian subcontinent for a long time. Its active component, curcumin, has been shown to stop tumour cells from proliferating in so many varieties of cancers. The curcumin gives curry powder its yellow colour. Mixing turmeric with black pepper and olive oil can prompt curcumin`s power. With its slight and great flavour, turmeric may be used as a dry rub on chicken or maybe in vegetables. A teaspoon can be added to soups, sauces, or stews — a delectable manner to exercise most cancer prevention.
Garlic (Allium sativum):
It is a famous condiment used in our day-to-day life for seasoning our food. This easily available spice is also a great cancer fighter and probably one of the most powerful anti-cancer herbs. High in sulphur, it is also an excellent source of arginine, oligosaccharides, flavonoids, and selenium, all of which can be beneficial to your health. Some studies have shown that increased garlic intake reduces the risk of stomach, colon, oesophagus, pancreas, and breast cancer. Garlic appears to have the potential to prevent cancer through a variety of mechanisms, including suppressing bacterial infections and the formation of carcinogens, promoting DNA repair, and inducing cell death.
Ginger is a spice that has long been used to treat a variety of common illnesses such as colds, coughs, constipation, and the flu. It can be used in the form of fresh powder, as a paste, or simply as a formulation for tea infusion or consumption. Or, you can simply add grated ginger to soups such as carrot soup and sweet potato soup, and side dishes of dried vegetables. In addition to the prescribed anti-nausea medications, ginger and ginger products can help relieve stomach upset during cancer treatment to some extent. The smell and taste of ginger help reduce various side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea and vomiting. It improves digestion, reduces inflammation, and contains Vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system.
There are two types of cinnamon. The most commonly used and more widely available variety in Indian cuisine is the “cassia bark” variety. It is commonly used in biryani and other spicy dishes. For desserts such as apple pie, a light, curly variety called “Ceylon” cinnamon is used. Here we will talk about a less common variety of Ceylon cinnamon. All types of cinnamon have some advantages, but Ceylon cinnamon varieties are preferred over other varieties due to their low coumarin content. Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps control blood sugar levels. However, it is important to take small doses, as large doses can cause certain side effects such as kidney and liver damage. Do not consume more than 1/2 teaspoon per day.
In fact, black pepper, which is actually a berry, contains the active ingredient piperine, a natural chemical compound with potent antioxidant properties. A study conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer and published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment showed that pepper and turmeric inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. However, this spice does not destroy healthy cells. Pepper can add flavour to many dishes, from scrambled eggs and sliced tomatoes to soups and casseroles. Plus, it’s a healthy, wholesome substitute for table salt.
Spices have been used by us for a very long time for just for culinary purposes but also for their medicinal values. These are so easy to find as are readily available in your kitchen. Use them to bring flavour to your food and also to draw several other benefits like enhancing immunity, curing common ailments, and also for fighting cancer. Recent research says that spices might have the ability to prevent cancer and also help to deal with the side effects of cancer treatment. So, why not pick up a spice without any hesitation and spice up your life? The benefits of spices cannot be ignored and you can say yes and include them in your diet.