If you only use salt in cooking, then it’s time to get creative and expand your culinary skills. If you’re not use to adding various spices to your foods, start with small quantities (a pinch of this, a dash of that), until you get used to the taste. Here are 5 spices you need to eat more of!

1. Cumin

Cumin is useful for digestion. It stimulates your liver to produce more bile, helping your body to absorb more nutrients. It’s a very aromatic spice, so use it on your vegetables when roasting for a delicious flavor. You can also make jeera rice or Indian cumin rice (jeera is the Hindi word for cumin) – a flavorsome basmati rice dish made with ghee, cumin seeds, and coriander.

2. Cinnamon

You’d be hard-pressed to find a home without cinnamon. It’s used in many sweet and savory dishes (cookies, stewed fruit, stews) and taste delicious in beverages too. If you use cinnamon on a regular basis, it can have a beneficial effect on your blood sugar levels. This is especially useful when eaten with sweet dishes – it helps to prevent sharp spikes in your sugar levels. Besides this benefit, it is also anti-inflammatory. As mentioned, there are many ways in which you can incorporate cinnamon into your diet. Sprinkle it over oatmeal, or add it to hot milk as a bedtime beverage.

3. Black pepper

You might not think that this unassuming spice is anything special, but in actual fact, it’s pretty close to being a superfood! Black pepper has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and also aids in digestion. It’s all thanks to the active ingredient, piperine, which has volatile oils responsible for many of these beneficial effects. Add more depth to your dishes by using black pepper. It goes especially well with cheesy meals!

4. Ginger

Ginger has been used for many generations as a remedy for all kinds of ailments. If you suffer from nausea (be it due to travelling or morning sickness), try drinking a ginger tea. Simply add ½ tsp ground ginger to a cup of hot water, stir, and drink (you can also use fresh ginger). Buy fresh ginger and use it in curries and stir-fries for a healthy kick!

5. Turmeric

Turmeric contains curcumin, a chemical compound with powerful antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that turmeric can help to alleviate arthritis, and it has a protective effect against heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

Make your own antioxidant-packed turmeric latté. In a small pan, heat 1 cup almond milk, 1 tsp turmeric, ½ tsp fresh grated ginger, and 2 tsp coconut oil. Whisk until frothy and enjoy!