Once winter sets in, it’s not always enough to wrap yourself in a blanket! You need to warm yourself from inside out. Condiments and spices have been used in our culture for culinary as well as medicinal reasons. Warm spices such as pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and coriander partner beautifully with most Indian recipes as well as spice blends - garam masala, biryani masala, paneer masala and curry powder. In fact, spices have a stellar role to play in all Indian dishes. What’s more, the health benefits of spices are also noteworthy.
Wonderful warming spices
During the winters, our metabolism needs to work harder. We need to consume warming foods to stay healthy, stabilize our energy systems and thwart the winter flu. Ayurveda states that spices activate our bodily functions to help sustain good health and to assist the flow of prana (energy). Western medicine has substantiated this fact with a host of clinical trials and case studies which corroborate the astonishingly remarkable health-encouraging claims of spices.
Spices and condiments are packed with compounds which elevate the core body temperature, perk up digestion, boost circulation of blood, and get rid of surplus water from the tissues. All these help us stay warm during the cold winter months.
When choosing spices, always use spices with their natural oils intact. Tata Sampann spices are carefully picked and processed to keep the natural oils and natural goodness of the condiment intact.
Spices – the culinary stars
Beat the winter blues with these flavourful and warming spices:
- Pepper: A very common household spice, pepper is thermogenic. It warms you up by promoting a skin flush and it brings on perspiration. The active principle, piperine, is responsible for this. Piperine also boosts digestive enzymes and peps up the working of the gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, it possesses strong anti-oxidant, anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Add generous amounts of powdered pepper to your soups, gravies, curries, pasta and salads! Use it in haldi doodh along with Tata Sampann Turmeric Powder to maintain good health and avoid the winter flu. If you are vegan, you can even make a simple concoction of hot water with Haldi and Pepper to get the medicinal benefits of piperine and curcumin.
- Cinnamon: A well-loved spice, cinnamon has a characteristic aroma and sweet as well as spicy notes. The tannins in cinnamon get rid of all the unwanted water from the tissues in our body, and this helps raise the body temperature. Cinnamon is perfect for marinades, sauces, marmalades, jams, cookies, muffins and smoothies. The spice has potent anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-septic properties. Sweet as well as savoury dishes - both respond well to the warm, charming taste of cinnamon.
- Cloves: Cloves are the dried flower buds of an evergreen tree. Warm and aromatic, the clove is super versatile. Eugenol, the active principle, proffers a host of medicinal benefits. Eugenol brings about dilation of capillaries and increases blood circulation, thereby warming you up. It is also a very effective topical application for muscle and joint pain, more so, during the cold season when you tend to suffer from stiffness and joint pains. Cloves are jam-packed with potent anti-oxidants, which are robust free radical scavengers and annihilators.
A hot steaming cup of chai is a fabulous way of combining all the warming spices into one appetizing beverage. In winter, every little bit helps to warm you up and elevate your spirits! Make sure you get a sufficient dose of these spices to maintain your good health through these chilly months.
The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.