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Spice up Your Life: 8 Health Benefits of Using Spice Blends

2 July 2024

Spice blends have the power to transform any recipe or food product from ordinary to extraordinary. They help your food products stand out from competitors with irresistible flavour, but that’s not all they do!

Spices also contain a range of important health benefits, which help your customers live a long and vibrant life.

8 Health Benefits of Spice Blends

1. Anti-Inflammatory

When the body is injured, sick, or exposed to harmful substances, it can become inflamed. If this inflammation persists, chronic health conditions can follow. For example, arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes can all be linked to chronic inflammation. Therefore, managing inflammation is extremely important—and cooking with spice blends can help.

Some spice blends possess anti-inflammatory properties, specifically those containing turmeric, ginger, and garlic. Cooking with these spice blends (or incorporating them into your food product) can mitigate inflammation and promote overall health.

2. Antioxidants

Antioxidants play a crucial role in our long-term health. They neutralize free radicals that would otherwise cause cellular damage, contributing to ageing and diseases like cancer. Additionally, antioxidants protect the body from oxidative stress, thus protecting you against a range of chronic health conditions.

Including spice blends into your diet is an easy way to increase your intake of antioxidants. In turn, this enhances your body’s ability to combat oxidative stress and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.

Antioxidant-rich spice blends can include ingredients like cinnamon, cloves, and oregano, which contain the compounds cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, and rosmarinic acid.

3. Antimicrobial

Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms can wreak havoc on the body by unleashing infections and foodborne illnesses. You can boost your body’s natural antimicrobial defences by including certain spices in your diet. In doing so, you’re safeguarding your overall health and preventing infections.

Garlic, thyme, and oregano contain antimicrobial compounds like allicin, thymol, and carvacrol. When added to dishes or individual food products, these ingredients naturally reduce the level of microbial contamination. This makes the food safer and extends its shelf life, which is great news for food product developers!

Spice blends are a natural way to make food products safer for longer without excessive preservatives, the use of which can deter some health-conscious consumers.

4. Improved digestion

When the digestion system isn’t working at peak efficiency, the body suffers. You can experience low energy levels, a weakened immune system, uncomfortable bloating, nutritional deficiencies, and even gastrointestinal disorders. Consequently, optimizing your digestion should be on every consumer’s to-do list.

Spice blends often contain digestive aids, which help ensure that your body receives the necessary nutrients to function properly. Simply adding a high-quality spice blend to a dish can help you get more of the available nutrients. Ginger, cumin, and fennel are three spices that stimulate digestive enzymes and increase bile production.

5. Heart health

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide. Diet plays a significant role in heart health and can dramatically reduce the likelihood of heart disease. Vegetables and plant protein sources (like legumes) are very important, yet spices also play a part in a heart-healthy diet.

A healthy, strong heart is required for efficient blood circulation that delivers oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. However, several factors can disrupt this essential process. These factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and poor blood vessel function, in particular.

Fortunately, compounds found in heart-healthy spices like turmeric, garlic, and cayenne pepper can reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure, along with improving the function of your blood vessels. This then leads to a reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease.

6. Brain health

Just as you should eat for your heart, you also need to eat for your brain. Supporting long-term cognitive health is absolutely crucial for every aspect of life.

,p> When you consume a healthy diet, complete with quality spice blends, you’re aiding your cognitive function, memory, and overall well-being. You can reduce the chance of neurodegenerative diseases, improve your memory, and enhance cognitive function.

Turmeric, sage, and rosemary are especially good for the brain. Curcumin, carnosic acid, and rosmarinic acid are all “brain boosting” compounds, which can reduce inflammation in the brain and protect against oxidative stress.

7. Enhanced immune system

A strong, robust immune system is vital for protecting the body against infections, illnesses, and diseases. When your immune system isn’t functioning at its best, you get sick far more often. In the long term, you’re more likely to develop serious health conditions.

Once again, consuming spice blends can help. Many spices contain compounds that stimulate the immune system (along with other immune-supporting benefits mentioned in this article).

Notably, garlic, ginger, oregano, and turmeric are heralded for their immune-enhancing abilities. Including these ingredients in food products can fortify the immune system and promote faster recovery.

8. Weight management

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for health and longevity; it’s also a priority for many North American consumers. Spice blends can support your customers in their weight loss (and weight maintenance) goals.

Certain spices stimulate the metabolism, making it easier to shed pounds. Cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and ginger can enhance fat burning, increase your metabolic rate, and reduce appetite.

7 Spices and Their Health Benefits

  1. Turmeric: Turmeric is a favourite health-supporting spice because it contains curcumin. Beyond giving turmeric its recognizable yellow colour, curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and is strongly anti-inflammatory.
  2. Ginger: Ginger has long been used to support overall health. Not only is it anti-inflammatory, but it helps reduce nausea, improve digestion, and support the immune system.
  3. Garlic: Garlic is also known for its medicinal properties. It enhances the immune system, lowers cholesterol, reduces high blood pressure, and is antimicrobial.
  4. Cinnamon: The cinnamaldehyde found in cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels, on top of being a potent antioxidant with antimicrobial properties.
  5. Cayenne pepper:Cayenne pepper can do more than add a bit of spice to food products. It also can help with weight loss and combat cancer due to the presence of capsaicin.
  6. Oregano: Oregano has medicinal properties. Both antibacterial and antiviral, it boosts the immune system and supports overall health.
  7. Sage: Sage has been found to have antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. It can decrease cholesterol, lower blood sugar, and improve insulin sensitivity.

Learn How to Incorporate Health-Enhancing Spice Blends Into Your Food Product Offerings

As North America’s leading food product development company, Hela Spice can expand your product line to include health-enhancing ingredients. Spice blends are an excellent way to add various health benefits to your product offerings, thus deepening their consumer appeal.

After all, increasingly more Canadian and American consumers are making purchase decisions based on their health. Food product development companies, as a result, need to align their products to respond to the growing public health conscience.

To learn more about food product development from Hela Spice, visit our website or contact us here.


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