By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
We're pretty good about paying attention to the main ingredients in our meals, but often, we fail to consider the spices we add. Thing is, a dash of something from the spice cabinet can seriously up the health benefits of any dish (see our post from last Friday).
Related: 15 New Healthy Fall Recipes
To find out which spices pack the most health-pumping punch, we spoke to Divya Gugnani, author of "Sexy Women Eat: Secrets to Eating What You Want and Still Looking Fabulous" (which hits shelves in December).
1. For Weight Loss: Red Pepper
Paprika, chili powder and cayenne fall into this category. Studies have shown that they can suppress appetite and boost metabolism.
Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss
2. For Disease Prevention: Yellow Curry
New evidence suggests that this spice inhibits cancer cells and may even prevent Alzheimer's. Tip: Spices can develop a muddy flavor after about six months. To save money, buy the spices you use less often (like yellow curry!) at a specialty grocery store where you can buy them by weight.
3. For Headache Relief: Ginger
Spicy, woody and slightly tangy, this is a versatile root that you can buy ground or whole. It's been proven to alleviate nausea, arthritis and migraines. We love it in a hot cup of tea!
Related: Snack Attack? Chow Down on These Sweet 100-Calorie Eats
4. For Antioxidants: Cinnamon
Not only does it add a warm, spicy flavor to both sweet and savory dishes, it's also packed with antioxidants. In fact, just one teaspoon of cinnamon has as many antioxidants as a full cup of pomegranate juice. It also contains significant polyphenols, which can help keep blood sugar in check so you're less likely to find yourself in the snack cabinet.
What's your favorite spice to cook with?
More From SELF:
- Hungry? Try one of these 30 healthy snacks
- Lose weight faster: 6 days to get slim
- Try these superfoods for flatter abs
Check out 10 ways to avoid germs at the gym
- Reach your weight loss goal with SELF's no-stress fitness plan
Photo Credit: Condé Nast Digital Studio