Written by Alex Griffith
What most of us probably don’t realise is that we have an entire dispensary of medicinal herbs right in our very own kitchen. When it comes to health, incorporating medicinal herbs and spices into our diet, on a daily basis, is one of the easiest ways to bolster our immunity, enhance digestion and improve our overall health.
We all know how important it is to look after our prized possessions, yet people often overlook the importance of regularly maintaining their body. We service our cars every 10,000km, at least, we’re supposed to. But how often do we service our bodies? Our health is our most prized possession, yet it doesn’t get the care and attention that it needs.
When it comes to protecting our health, we need to indulge in the right nutritional and lifestyle practices, daily. A healthy life is simply the by-product of thousands and thousands of healthy days. If we simply learn how to provide our bodies with the nutritional and medicinal benefits it needs daily, then we can help to guarantee a long, happy, and healthy life.
So, let’s explore 5 essential medicinal compounds, which are regularly found in every kitchen, that you can start including in your diet today!
Yes, you guessed right, turmeric is on the list of essentials. The golden spice has been a long-time culinary cornerstone of Ayurvedic cooking and a highly revered medicine for thousands of years. Turmeric is widely used for its anti-inflammatory properties, its ability to regenerate tissues, target cancer stem cells, improve brain health and memory, and for its ability to fight tumour formation. Adding turmeric to your cooking or drinks is a simple and effective way to gain a wide range of incredible medicinal benefits. You can include 1 tsp. in your cooking, or if you’d like a more concentrated and regular dose you can take 500mg of broad-spectrum extract daily.
There shouldn’t be any surprises as to why ginger is second on the list of kitchen essentials. It not only adds a beautiful pungent spice to cooking, but it’s a beast when it comes to medicinal properties. If you’re smart and you care about your health, you’ll start using it, and if you use it already, well, use more of it. Fresh ginger is ideal, but you can also supplement 500-1,000mg of organic ginger powder a day. Ginger has been shown to provide significant health benefits in warding off and treating heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, diabetes, and diarrheal diseases.
Feeling gaseous? Fennel is renowned for its carminative effects, something we’ve all needed to manage at some point in our lives. If you’re experiencing regular and painful gas, then fennel is a simple and effective herb to help relieve your symptoms. You can consume fennel seeds as a tea, by brewing 1-2 tablespoons for 3-5 minutes, or you can add it to your meals in powder form. Apart from its carminative effects, it has also been proven to loosen lung mucus, benefiting asthma. And recent research shows that it is also effective at reducing blood pressure.
“Oh not much, just your cholesterol, fatty”
Yep, we’ve all heard that one before, the joke doesn’t really get old, but you do. Unfortunately, it’s inevitable, and as you get older, a few health concerns begin to arise, such as increased cholesterol levels. This might not be the case for you, but for the 43,477 people that died in 2017 due to heart disease, this was certainly the case for them. Heart disease is growing at an alarming rate and it puts an incredible burden on our health care system, yet, it’s largely preventable.
One simple way of reducing your chances of heart disease is by decreasing your cholesterol levels. Voila!
Now, we’re not going to discuss the good and bad cholesterol, so let’s just assume for a second that you’re getting too much of the bad stuff, and not enough of the good stuff. So, what can you do? The fundamentals include exercise, reduction in discretionary foods (high sugar, salt, fat foods with no nutritional value), increase monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, reduce alcohol consumption, don’t smoke etc. but what you might not know, is that fenugreek is effective in reducing cholesterol levels. That’s right, fenugreek!
A recent study showed a significant reduction in total cholesterol and triglycerides with a dose of 2.5 grams twice daily. Not only does it decrease cholesterol, but it increases HDL, the good cholesterol. But that’s not all, fenugreek also contains high amounts of choline, beta carotene and phytoestrogen diosgenin, which are beneficial for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer.
Successful animal trials have proven resveratrol to have incredible health benefits, although human trials are still being conducted, the potential health implications are exciting. Some of the widely sought-after health benefits of this tasty polyphenol include anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, not to mention its incredibly regenerative properties. Better yet, you can easily access this compound through your diet. Common foods with sufficient amounts of resveratrol include blueberries, cranberries, grapes, cocoa and peanuts. I know I said grapes, and I know what you’re thinking. Grapes equal wine, and wine equals… well, many things, some things you might rather forget. So you’re best just keeping your alcohol intake to a minimum and getting your daily dose from the OG source. You can also supplement 100-250mg daily to ensure you are meeting daily requirements.
So, there you have it, 5 things you’ll find in your everyday kitchen to improve your mental health, and physical wellbeing. Obviously, there are hundreds of other medicinal herbs and supplements to explore, but these are 5 staples that I would recommend you start incorporating in your diet on a regular basis. If you want more health-boosting content like this, just let us know, we’re here to help evolve your health, and every part of your life!