This article was republished with permission from fitnessrepublic.com.
Are you running out of steam during the day and looking for a natural way to increase energy? Spices have been revered for centuries for their medicinal properties and health benefits. They are Mother Nature’s gift to us. Try one of these six energy boosting spices.
There are several different varieties of cinnamon. Cinnamon, also known as cassia, is harvested from the inner bark of a tree. The health benefits of cinnamon that Eastern cultures have celebrated for centuries have finally made it to the West. Cinnamon’s mellow flavor is more than just a decadent flavor for grandma’s cinnamon rolls. It contains botanical properties that can help lower blood sugar, fight infections, decrease inflammation, and much more. As a result, heart health improves, increasing energy levels. The aroma of cinnamon can create a pleasing aesthetic. Chefs around the world know that cinnamon is a kitchen staple and works well in both sweet and savory dishes. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon with clover honey to black tea for a quick energy boost.
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Want to increase your metabolism and energy? Studies show that ginger can enhance metabolism up to 20 percent. That’s a lot if you are suffering from the 3 PM doldrums. Ginger has many nourishing properties. It can be found in a variety of products – from soft drinks to chewing gum. The best bet is to use ginger as a spice in its natural form. You can try your hand at growing ginger, or purchase it from the best spice suppliers from around the world. Either way, try using ground ginger in a soothing, energy boosting tea.
Cloves are indigenous to Madagascar and Indonesia. The spice is harvested from the closed pink flower buds of an evergreen tree. Harvested by hand, they are dried and ground for cooking, or pressed into a fragrant oil. A very aromatic spice, cloves have been used since ancient times for healing purposes and to enhance erotic pleasures. They have been known to increase sex drive and libido. They boost energy levels through reducing inflammation and increasing circulation. Its nature’s little energy booster. NutriLiving shares a wonderful recipe that includes one clove and other energy boosting foods. Try it here.
Cumin brings to mind flavorful curry powders and ancient homeopathic remedies. A versatile spice, cumin was used by Egyptians as one of the spices used for mummification. The Renaissance age used it to promote fidelity and love. Modern uses include the treatment of heartburn, water weight gain, and swollen breasts. As an energy booster, cumin can be used as a ground powder, raw, poultice, or toasted seeds, to alleviate fatigue and exhaustion. WellnessMama has a great recipe for taco seasoning, using cumin for flavor.
Coriander is well known the world over. It has an earthy, lemon flavor and used in Asian cuisine curries, pairing with ginger to make a savory dish. Coriander is derived from the cilantro plant, a member of the carrot family. Also known as Chinese parsley, the plant grows in hot, dry environments and the seeds are harvested in late summer. The plants are hung upside down in a cool place to dry. The cilantro leaves are dried and the delicate coriander seeds are collected. Coriander is a good source of minerals, including iron and manganese. It is revered for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and energy boosting benefits. It can be a digestive aid as well as balance mood and hormones. Try an energy boost soup of carrots, coriander, orange and coconut (yum).
6. Cayenne Pepper
A bright and lively spice, cayenne pepper contains capsicum, a powerful metabolism booster. Besides other key health benefits, cayenne pepper is known for aiding in blood circulation, lymphatic and digestive system. Native to the Central American region, it has been used in Mexican cuisine for thousands of years. Cayenne pepper grows in warm climates as a small perennial shrub. When the peppers grow to a deep-red color, they are harvested and left to dry. Once dried, the pepper pods are cut open and the seeds are removed. Sprinkle cayenne pepper on eggs or your favorite meal for an added punch of flavor. Click here for recipes using cayenne pepper.
What’s the difference between a spice and an herb? The difference is where it originated from the plant. Generally, herbs are the leafy portions of plants, which can be used fresh or dried. Spices usually come from the roots, seeds, flower stamens, berries or flower buds, which also can be used fresh or dried. Some plants are generous and offer both an herb and a spice! The dill plant offers both dill seed (spice) and dill weed (herb). However you use spices in your daily menu, remember moderation in all things, even spices.
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