Get your kitchen (and health) ready for 2021. It’s time to stock your spice cabinet with fresh herbs and spices that deliver some health benefits.

Every day and throughout history, we’ve used several herbs and spices to liven up our dinners, desserts, and even our beverages! But did you know that besides making our food tasty, they offer a wealth of health benefits? From fighting inflammation to balancing our blood sugar levels, spices are packed with antioxidants. Read on to see why you should use more spice!

Sage

This herb is not as popular as thyme, parsley or cilantro, but it has been used since the middle ages for its health benefits. But if you don’t have it in your kitchen yet, you might want to get it soon. Studies have shown that sage is actually beneficial in brain function and memory, and could play a preventative role in Alzheimer’s disease.

Cumin

Cumin is useful for digestion. It increases the activity of digestive enzymes and stimulates your liver to produce more bile, helping your body to absorb more nutrients. In fact, in one study showed that 57 patients with irritable bowel syndrome experienced an improvement in their symptoms after taking a cumin supplement for two weeks.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices and is used in both sweet and savory dishes (cookies, stewed fruit, stews) – even beverages too. If you use cinnamon on a regular basis, it can have a beneficial effect on your blood sugar levels. A compound called cinnamaldehyde helps to prevent sharp spikes in your sugar levels. Besides this benefit, it is also anti-inflammatory. Try to eat ½ to two teaspoons of cinnamon a day to get all the benefits.

Black pepper

Black pepper is rich in the antioxidant called piperine, so it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and also aids in digestion. Its active compounds decrease inflammation, and studies have shown that black pepper extract may improve blood sugar control. It even has cholesterol-lowering properties.

Ginger

Ginger has been used for many generations as a remedy for all kinds of ailments. In fact, 1 gram (or more) of ginger can successfully relieve symptoms of nausea caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy, and sea sickness. Ginger also plays a role in pain management, because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Research showed that ginger can be as effective as aspirin of ibuprofen.

Turmeric

The most notable compound in turmeric is curcumin, a powerful antioxidant. This compound, with its anti-inflammatory properties, are not only similar in effectiveness to standard pain medication, but it also plays a preventative role in fighting oxidative damage – one of the leading causes in ageing and diseases.

Cayenne pepper

Cayenne paper has been known for its healing properties for a very long time. The active compound in cayenne pepper is called capsaicin, which well-known for its anti-cancer properties. About one gram of this pepper reduces not only your appetite, but also boosts fat burning (especially if you don’t regularly eat peppers).

Fenugreek

Fenugreek has been used for centuries in Ayurveda (Indian alternative medicine), especially in the areas of libido and masculinity. Studies show that a certain plant protein called 4-hydroxyisoleucine improves the function of the insulin hormone. This means that it’s very beneficial for your blood sugar.

Rosemary

The special chemical in rosemary responsible for all its benefits (and its anti-inflammatory effects) is called rosmarinic acid. This compound can actually suppress allergic responses. It decreases the number of immune cells in nasal mucus, which reduces congestion helping you to breathe more easily!

Garlic

Garlic won’t keep vampires away, but it will sure be good for your health. And there’s good reason to eat more of it. The compound responsible for its health benefits (and its strong smell) is allicin. Garlic helps for many health issues: for general sickness (like colds and flu), reducing bad cholesterol and even lowering blood pressure!