Spices are widely used for increased health and well-being; health benefits of spices include boosting brain power, reducing inflammation in the body and assisting recovery. Young adults, the elderly and anyone who is looking to find a healthier way of living can benefit from using spices when they cook meals. Just adding a few tasty spices to a meal is all that it takes.


health benefits of spices

The health benefits of spices have been known for many years by many civilisations

While science has yet to show that any spice cures disease, there’s compelling evidence that several may help manage some chronic conditions (though it’s always smart to talk with your doctor).

Spices can boost your brain power, aid weight loss and help with ailments ranging from arthritis and psoriasis to bowel conditions and high cholesterol.

Seasoning your dishes with spices allows you to use less of other ingredients linked with health problems, such as salt, added sugars and sources of saturated fat.

Health-conscious chefs and nutritionists have long recommended including spices and herbs in dishes to add flavour without the fat, salt or sugar.

But the health benefits of spices are not limited to the fact that they can be used to replace less healthy products. Studies on the antioxidant richness of spices and herbs suggest using these flavour powerhouses as a way to add more health to your meals, too. All spices are high in antioxidants and many have really strong anti-inflammatory properties too.

The Health Benefits of Spices

Here’s what some common spices can do for you:










Best for: workout recovery, arthritis, pain, brain health and memory

How to include it in your diet:

Add to your meal when cooking. It’s fat soluble so you need some oils for it to be absorbed into the body; black pepper also helps it to be absorbed








Best for balancing blood sugar, and boosting brain power and memory

How to include it in your diet:

Add it to cooking. Its best consumed with a meal containing carbohydrates because it reduces the amount of glucose entering the bloodstream


Cayenne pepper

cayenne pepper







Best for pain relief and fat burning

How to include it in your diet:

Add it to your food, take as a capsule or have half a teaspoon in how water with lemon first thing in the morning











Best for improving circulation, easing nausea, reducing joint and muscle pain. and relieving period cramps

How to include it in your diet:

Fresh, powdered or as a supplement.











Best for bad breath, candida and fungal infections

How to include it in your diet:

Soften 10 to 20 cloves in a small amount of water before eating them. Add the water with softened cloves to your next smoothie









Best for weight loss and digestion

How to include it in your diet:

Add it to your cooking


Black pepper

black peppercorns






Best for fat fighting and lowering cholesterol

How to include it in your diet:

Add liberally to food. Piperine and black pepper supplements are available


Fennel Seeds

fennel seeds







Best for period pain

How to include it in your diet:

For period pain take fennel extract


Mustard Seeds







Best for boosting metabolism

How to include it in your diet:

Add mustard seeds to cooking or use as a condiment







Best for boosting digestion and easing headaches

How to include it in your diet:

Add the pods to soups and stews. Or make a tea by crushing the seeds from the pods and boiling them in water


And finally, a lovely recipe for using your spices

Detox Spice Dhal (courtesy of my mum)


mum's spicy dhal