News, Facts & Fitness Monday: Holiday Spice Benefits

by Kristine on December 20, 2010

in Blog, News, Facts, Fitness

Happy Monday!  Couldn’t be a better Monday, especially being off work and on xmas holidays!!!  We are off today to spend the holidays with family, so will have some pictures very soon.  Getting so excited to see how Sienna is on xmas morning.  Being 2 1/2 she still doesn’t get a lot, but she knows what presents are!

Don’t you agree, that nothing signals holiday season better than the scent of holiday spices filling your home.  Did you know that those popular holidays spices have much more to offer than pleasing scents?  They each have unique health benefits that will add, not only great taste to your holiday dishes, but also a healthy boost.

CINNAMON

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The sweet and spicy flavor of cinnamon has been used by many different cultures for its medicinal properties for hundreds, even thousands, of years.  One of the most talked about benefits of cinnamon relates to Type 2 Diabetes.  A study published in the Journal Diabetes Care found that half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 Diabetes.  It also reduces triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels among this group.

Cinnamon’s other benefits include:

* Supports digestive function
* Constricts and tones tissues
* relieves congestion
* Relieves pain and stiffness of muscles and joints
* Relieves menstrual discomfort
* Blood-thinning compounds that stimulate circulation
* Anti-inflammatory compounds that may relieve arthritis
* Helps prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay & gum disease
* It’s a powerful anti-microbial agent that can kill E.coli & other bacteria

 
NUTMEG

 

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Nutmeg is another spice that has a variety of healing properties and can be used in a wide range of dishes during the holidays and all year long.  It is useful for:

* Insomnia (nutmeg can produce drowsiness so it should be taken when you have a chance to relax or sleep)
* Anxiety
* Calming muscle spasms
* Nausea and vomiting
* Indigestion
* Diarrhea
* Joint pain and gout
* Lowering blood pressure
* Male infertility and impotence
* Improving concentration
* Increasing circulation
* Lowering cholesterol
* Toothaches (nutmeg oil)

**Please note:  taking too much nutmeg (three or more cloves) can cause side effects such as nausea, hallucinations, swelling, and shock.  I’ve heard this spice is outlawed in prisons because inmates have been known to use it to get high.

 

CLOVE

 

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Cloves have a potent, sweet and spicy, aromatic flavor that makes a great complement to many foods.  They have been consumed in some areas, such as Asia, for more than 2,000 years.  Among the clove’s most well-known healing properties is its ability to relieve tooth and gum pain, but it has many benefits beyond that.  These include:

* Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties
* Relief from respiratory ailments such as asthma and bronchitis
* Relief from muscle pains from injuries or arthritis and rheumatism
* Eliminates intestinal parasites, fungi and bacteria
* May encourage creativity and mental focus

I’ve used dried (powdered) clove to get rid of canker sores….it works!

 
GINGER

 

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Ginger is another spice with a potent flavor that is great for warming your body and adding kick to foods.  It’s medicinal properties include:

* Soothes nausea, motion sickness and other stomach upset
* Relieves morning sickness
* Anti-inflammatory properties
* Eliminates intestinal gas
* Relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract
* Antioxidant properties
* Relieves dizziness
* Boosts the immune system
* Protects against bacteria and fungi
* Encourages bile flow
* Promotes cardiovascular health

Question: What are your favorite holiday spices??  Mine are cinnamon and nutmeg!  Fresh nutmeg is the best, I totally notice a difference with it versus the jarred variety.

See you Wednesday where I’ll have another AWESOME favorite find!!!!

xo Kristine

Kristine
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Kristine

I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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