Spices are not only used for cooking but also for coloring and their medicinal purposes. From great flavors to great benefits, Indian cuisine boasts of an extensive spicy mix of goodness. At McDonald’s, a range of spices are used to prepare food. Sourced from Kerala, the spices are used to season patties, condiments, and fries.
Tread along the spicy trail to discover various benefits of some popularly used spices.
1. Bay Leaf: Used to add a distinct aroma to food, bay leafs have been in use since the ancient times. The herb originated in Asia, and is called ‘Tēja pattā’ in Hindi. Dried bay leafs used as flavor enhancers have volatile active compounds which have antiseptic, anti-oxidant, and digestive properties. Fresh leaves are a rich source of folic acid and Vitamin C. Other minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium are also found in bay leaves. As a medicinal herb, it has appetite stimulating properties and its essential oils can be used to cure ulcers, muscle pain, cough and cold.
2. Cinnamon: Obtained from the inner barks of trees in the genus Cinnamomum, this spice augments the aroma of sweet and savory dishes alike. A touch of cinnamon to a cappuccino is preferred by many. Research claims that cinnamon has been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression and increase alertness. It also contributes in maintaining blood sugar levels and helps those with insulin resistance. Cinnamon has high levels of manganese, which is essential to build bones, and replenish blood and other connective tissue. Further, it inhibits fungal and bacterial growth. Cinnamon oil can be used to cure wounds, acne, and infections like athlete’s foot.
3. Ginger: A popular herb, its stem can be used in both, raw or dried and powdered form. Ginger has a broad spectrum of benefits ranging from anti-bacterial to anti-oxidant. It’s a valuable pain reliever. Along with muscle and joint pain, it can work wonders in alleviating pain from menstrual cramps and migraines. Moreover, ginger acts wonderfully to cure indigestion, nausea, and motion sickness. Juice extracted from the rhizome can also be applied as a remedy for brittle hair.
4. Garlic: A member of the onion family, garlic, along with ginger, is the most commonly consumed spice by Indians. Only the scent of its root is good enough to stimulate the appetite. Garlic has been long recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties. Allicin – a valued sulfur compound in garlic can be useful to improve metabolism. Even in small quantities, it is extremely rich in manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, selenium, and fiber. A study showed how garlic supplementation can reduce symptoms of common cold by 70 percent in just 1.5 days.
5. Paprika: This spice is made from air-dried chilies and red capsicum and its flavor can range from mild to hot. Each tablespoon of paprika comes loaded with Vitamin A. Capsaicin aids in lowering blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels. In its Vitamin repository, paprika also has Vitamin B6 which has powerful neurological and psychological effects. It boosts hormones like serotonin and norepinephrine, which enable you to stay happy. Further, it aids the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Amazing anti-bacterial benefits of paprika promote prevention of acne, blemishes, and blackheads.
Get to know about all the other ingredients here.