I’ll never forget the day my acupuncturist came to my house when I was so sick that I could barely walk to my kitchen, and after a two-hour treatment he said, “You need to eat warm spices to get better faster.” I jotted down a list of spices that I was supposed to integrate into my diet immediately to get well faster. This simple list of goodies not only took my cooking to the next level, I did, indeed, get better faster!
Illness has so much to do with inflammation in your body. As it has been explained to me in terms that I can grasp, inflammation is an immune system response to toxins or allergens (or bad energy!) as your body processes everything it is exposed to on a daily basis. Anti inflammatory spices are really easy to integrate into your life and totally supportive to your healthy diet. Lets get started with a few of the simple spices to warm up your body and calm down your system.
1. Ginger: powdered ginger can work its way into cookies, cake batters, granola, salad dressings and grilled squash as the weather turns…but I love fresh ginger for its wonderful spicy and rich flavor in sliced into chips in a stir-fry, peeled and boiled into tea, or, my most favorite…added in hunks to fresh apple or pear sauce as it cooks.
2. Turmeric: this very yellow and very potent anti-inflammatory can find its way into so many things and lift their flavor. Grilled chicken sprinkled with turmeric, fresh chicken soup with a few big spoonfuls stirred into the broth…Or my favorite salad dressing for cooked veggies when I have a cold: olive oil, a little cider vinegar, some raw honey, turmeric, powdered ginger, sea salt & cayenne. Experiment slowly adding spices, tasting often & you will find your perfect proportions!
3. Cardamom: add it to your coffee, fresh or cooked fruit, puddings and even cookies and other baked goodies. Cardamom is very concentrated flavor, so use a light hand when starting out.
4. Cinnamon: wonder drug cinnamon can help with rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, IBD, colds, allergies, flu and much, much more. As I have mentioned before, a cinnamon & honey tea is all you need to get your daily dose. That said, cinnamon is strong enough that you should tell your doctor if you are on medications before taking big doses of it! You can also integrate cinnamon into just about anything sweet ( coconut milk smoothies are my favorite) and, when combined with the three spices above and a bit of pepper and salt you can even marinade meats before grilling.
Could there be a more endlessly unlimited, easy and actually creative way to add more health and warmth to your life, especially in Fall & Winter ? Not likely! Get those spices flowing…and send me your favorite recipes with any or all of the spices above. I will try them out and feature those I am most successful in recreating!!! xoxo Dana