20:44 15 July 2016
Leading nutritionists have listed five super spices that deserve a place in your kitchen. These help boost brainpower, sooth digestion, help ease pain, and help burn fat.
1. Cinnamon – Studies have shown that cinnamon, which is often paired with apples, can boost brain function and help improve a person’s ability to learn. It reverses biochemical, cellular and anatomical changes that occur in the brains of people with poor learning ability.
2. Turmeric – A staple of Indian food, turmeric is also widely used in the country to hasten the healing process of wounds. Lily Soutter, a nutritionist and weight loss expert, explained that turmeric can do more than just that. She said: 'It is the curcumin within turmeric, which has been used to treat inflammatory conditions like arthritis as well as playing a role within cancer prevention and protecting against heart disease'.
3. Ginger – Ginger is dubbed as the tummy soother with its ability to calm the digestive system. Dr Glenville said: 'It helps to normalise the functions of the intestines and the stomach, especially during early pregnancy. Consuming a ginger tea with a meal may be useful, especially in pregnancy.
4. Saffron – The spice, which is usually added to tea or rice, has long been used in traditional Persian medicine as a mood lifter. Ms Barns explained: 'Saffron extract helps increase serotonin, which is the feel good hormone in the brain. This will not only improve your mood but also stop you from snacking, giving the same boost in serotonin as a biscuit.'
5. Cayenne Pepper – Research shows that capsaicin found in hot chilles boosts the body’s metabolism and its ability to burn fat. In addition, cayenne pepper may also help decrease appetite. Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com, said: 'We all recognise that cayenne helps us heat up, even making us break a sweat after consuming it.
'This is called diet-induced thermogenesis.
'It is this process that is excellent for those who want to lose weight as it encourages our body to burn up calories rather than storing them.
'It is the active constituent capsaicin that creates the heat in our body from the food ingested.