Table of contents:
Video: These 8 Typical Christmas Spices Are Incredibly Healthy
2023 Author: Lynn Laird | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 21:10
Aromatic Christmas spices such as cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and nutmeg can not only bring magical aroma to your party dishes, but also keep you healthy and fit in the cold season. Would you like to know more about their incredible health benefits? In this article, we have listed the best Christmas spices that could ward off winter depression and relieve pain or discomfort.
1. Christmas spices like cardamom and saffron boost morale
Typical Christmas spices such as star anise, cinnamon and cardamom are an integral part of Christmas baking / pastry making. These miraculous ingredients are also used in various drinks such as teas and smoothies). Saffron tea, for example, might be the perfect remedy to soothe the winter blues, as studies show that this particular spice may be effective in treating mild to moderate depression.
And if thinking about your Christmas to-do list is driving you crazy, try this tea that will boost your mood:
1 C. green tea (the L-theanine it contains has a mood-enhancing effect)
3-4 saffron sprigs (calms the nerves)
3-4 cardamom pods (clears the mind)
1 pinch of licorice (provides natural sweetness and lowers the stress hormone cortisol)
Put all the Christmas spices in a teapot. Pour boiling water over it and let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Filter and enjoy.
2. Cardamom helps keep your breath fresh
Cardamom is a spice widely used in dishes and beverages in Indian cuisine as well as in baked goods from the Middle East. Both green cardamom (Elettaria) and black cardamom (Amomum) come from the pods of a plant (Zingiberaceae) belonging to the ginger family. The spice has a warm, smoky, and sweet taste that some also identify as minty. Cardamom is sold in different forms, most often in powder form. It is still possible to buy small pods of cardamom, extract and oil extracted from the seeds. Cardamom not only helps relieve digestive ailments like heartburn, but is also effective against bad breath. The essential oils contained in the spice also contribute to oral hygiene thanks to their antibacterial effect. So don't panic if you're not ready for a kiss under the mistletoe. Regularly chewing green cardamom seeds is a quick fix for freshening your breath.
2. Christmas spices like cardamom and nutmeg promise a good night's sleep
Don't allow worry or excitement to keep you awake at night. When you need to relax, have a cup of Golden Milk or Moon milk before going to bed. Cardamom and nutmeg are known for their calming properties. In Ayurveda (the world's oldest holistic medicine), hot milk is a common home remedy for insomnia. Both Christmas spices are also great digestive allies, especially if you have stomach trouble after a heavy Christmas meal.
Here are the ingredients needed to prepare 1 cup of Moon milk:
1 cup of cow's milk or unsweetened vegetable milk (for example: hemp, almond or cashew milk)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 pinches of ground cardamom
1 pinch of ground ginger (optional)
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
1 pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. coconut oil or ghee
1 tsp. of honey
Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, ginger (if using) and nutmeg. Add the black pepper. Stir well to avoid lumps. Add coconut oil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes (the longer the golden milk is cooked, the stronger the effect). Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the honey (honey should not be heated or added to milk or tea exceeding 40 degrees, since heat destroys its properties). Drink the hot golden milk and go straight to bed.
3. lower blood sugar levels with cinnamon
Chocolates, caramelized nuts, Christmas cookies… the sweet temptations that accompany the holiday season are endless. But excessive consumption of sweets can disrupt insulin levels and trigger food cravings. Spikes in blood sugar also affect cardiovascular health. Cinnamon can help keep blood sugar at a stable level. One cup of cinnamon tea is enough to avoid or calm sugar cravings.
Cinnamon tea for sugar lovers:
4 cups water
4 sticks of high quality organic cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon)
Unsweetened soy or almond milk
Stevia (a natural sweetener that does not affect blood sugar)
Put the water in a small saucepan and add the cinnamon sticks. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in milk, stevia and vanilla to taste. This cinnamon tea can be stored in the fridge for you to use when the cravings for sugar strike you.
Note: People taking medicines for diabetes or medicines that affect blood sugar and insulin levels should avoid taking therapeutic doses of cinnamon without first consulting their doctor. Taking cinnamon with medication may additive and lower blood sugar too much.
Cinnamon tea is rich in beneficial ingredients and the drink is widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda as a natural remedy for various ailments and health issues.
4. Cayenne pepper oil is effective against headaches
As Christmas approaches, you often have a tension headache. Hypoglycemia, stress, poor sleep, and overwork can all be to blame. Try cayenne pepper which is a wonderful pain reliever!
It's a substance called capsaicin to which cayenne pepper owes its hotness. In addition, this active ingredient gives the powder its medicinal properties. Taken in the right concentration, capsaicin has a therapeutic effect and triggers a biochemical reaction that is both analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Cayenne pepper is also believed to improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, and promote weight loss.
When used to relieve pain, capsaicin is most commonly incorporated into topical ointments or transdermal patches. To treat headaches, add a few drops of chili oil to a body cream or 1 tbsp. tablespoons of sunflower oil. Then massage your neck to relieve tension. (Do a patch test first to make sure the remedy doesn't have any unwanted skin reactions).
5.a mustard bath for cold or tired feet
The mustard bath is a traditional remedy for sore and tired feet. Rich in magnesium, mustard helps relax tired muscles, while ginger works by stimulating blood circulation. Prepare an invigorating foot bath by adding 6 tbsp. mustard flour and 3 tsp. tablespoons of powdered ginger in 1 bowl of lukewarm water. Soak your feet in it for at least 15 minutes.
6. Ginger tea helps at the onset of a cold
Ginger is one of the most versatile Christmas spices. It's anti-inflammatory, which means it supports the immune system, especially if you have a cold. The perfect winter drink for fighting inflammation and boosting immunity is ginger tea. It can even have a positive effect on the functioning of the gallbladder and pancreas. This means that Christmas dinner will be better digested.
Preparation: Put 1-2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger root + 1 tsp. cinnamon and dried thyme in a small saucepan, cover with water and simmer for 5 minutes. Add lemon (rich in vitamin C for immune support) and 1 tsp. honey (it has antimicrobial properties and soothes sore throats). Also put 1 tsp. of echinacea tincture or elderberry syrup for an extra immune boost.
7 soothe your stomach with turmeric
Traditionally, turmeric has been used to improve digestion and relieve gas and bloating. Lassi is a delicious drink with an Indian taste. It relieves stomach aches and supports good intestinal bacteria for good digestion.
Turmeric Pineapple Lassi Recipe
1 handful of pineapple (contains bromelain which relieves stomach aches)
125 g of sweet bran yogurt (to support the intestinal flora)
½ tsp. turmeric powder (for natural liver support)
¼ tsp. of cardamom powder (to relieve gas)
300 ml of water
Put everything in a blender and blend until you get a smooth consistency.
8. Star anise: the star spice among cough suppressants
Star anise (Illicium verum) comes from China and Vietnam. The tree that gives the beautiful spice is a tropical species called Chinese badian, related to the magnolia. Star anise is harvested when it is not yet ripe. It is left to dry in the sun to develop its warm taste, often described as a mixture of licorice, cloves and fennel seeds. The very intense taste of the spice makes people love it or hate it.
It is important to note that Chinese star anise which is used in food differs from Japanese star anise which is poisonous.
Many people use star anise for its health benefits. In fact, several naturopaths advocate the medicinal virtues of the star-shaped spice. This has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
A review on herbal treatments, published in the "Journal of Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Medicine" finds that star anise contains an ingredient called anethole. It is this that gives the spice its distinctive flavor. Anethole is used in Chinese medicine to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other illnesses. The study also notes that the shikimic acid in star anise is one of the components of the drug Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) - a widely used antiviral treatment.
Anise can be used in many different ways, as a tea, ointment, or inhaled. To prepare anise tea, simply brew 1 cinnamon stick and 2-4 whole anise stars and leave for 5-10 minutes, covered. Before enjoying the drink, remove the anise stars and the cinnamon stick.
Anise tea can also have an expectorant effect, which is why it is used in cases of strong dry coughs and bronchitis. The drink works effectively against gas, heartburn, stomach and intestinal cramps.
Inhaling star anise can have a relieving effect on the airways in case of a stuffy nose or sinus infection. Put 1 tbsp. of anise seeds in 500 ml of boiling water and add 1 tsp. sea salt. Inhalation should last 5-10 minutes. To be done 3 to 5 times a day.