Surprising Health Benefits of Three Common Spices

This week on the blog, we’re featuring surprising benefits of three spices you can find at your local grocery store or farmer’s market! While herbs come from the leaves of a plant, spices come from the root, stem, seeds or bark of the plant.  Here are three of our favorites we recommend adding to your culinary repertoire!

1. Turmeric

There’s a growing body of research that suggests inflammation plays a role in dozens of chronic diseases that affect Americans, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer and certain forms of dementia.  Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, a naturally-occurring anti-inflammatory that decreases the risk of these medical conditions. Turmeric is one of the main ingredients in curry powder, and research shows that eating it at least once a week can significantly decrease the risk of many diseases that account for billions of dollars in health care spending and millions of premature deaths each year.

2. Cinnamon

Cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which has multiple health benefits.  Cinnamaldehyde has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  Also, it helps to decrease insulin resistance, which decreases the risk of diabetes by making insulin more effective and keeping blood sugars within normal ranges. Whether you like to sprinkle it on your latte, add it to your oatmeal or use it in your favorite muffin recipe, it only takes ½ - 2 teaspoons of cinnamon a day to receive these health benefits!

3. Capsaicin

Capsaicin is the compound that gives cayenne pepper its kick.  Capsaicin has been shown to boost metabolism and decrease appetite.  In fact, research subjects who added one teaspoon of cayenne pepper to their meal ate 70% fewer calories the next meal, and were less likely to crave fatty, sugary foods.  Capsaicin also helps to diminish a neuropeptide that carries pain signals to the brain, offering patients natural pain relief from muscle aches, arthritis, shingles and other painful conditions.


At Golden Gate Urgent Care, we have six Bay Area locations open seven days a week to help you and your family stay as healthy and happy as possible!  If you need same-day care for illnesses or injuries, make an appointment online or simply walk in.

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