A spice is a plant product that has aromatic properties and is used to season foods. By and large, most spices are obtained from seeds – fenugreek seeds, nutmeg, nigella seeds, cumin, mustard, etc. Along with the seeds, some spices come from the bark such as cinnamon, the fruit such as pepper, and leaves like bay leaf.
The healing power of spices
The profound and powerful health benefits of spices have always been appreciated. In fact, today, a multitude of modern medicines and drugs make use of spices as the base. Here’s a list of the health benefits that spices offer (in general); each spice has its own characteristic medicinal property which is typical to it.
• Most spices boast of strong anti-inflammatory properties. They are used to successfully deal with swellings, inflammations and pains.
• Spices and condiments work beneficially for the GI tract. They pep up digestion, enhance the working of the intestine, battle flatulence and treat nausea and constipation.
• They contain potent antioxidants which help scavenge and kill free radicals, thereby, preventing oxidative damage.
• Spices also have strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties; they help boost immune system functioning.
• Certain spices, such as cinnamon and fenugreek seeds, are especially used to manage diabetes.
• Coriander seeds help maintain a normal cholesterol profile; and mustard seeds act as a decongestant.
There are literally hundreds and thousands of spices used across the globe! Spices impart a delightful and pleasurable aroma, taste and flavour to the food. They radically heighten the culinary appeal.
India is a big exporter of spices all over the world. The environment in India is ideal - humidity, good rainfall, dry and hot weather – all these favour the conditions for growth of various spices. We have a huge range of spices – cumin, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, clove, coriander, red chili, and many more.
Spices are the perfect way to add a lot of flavour to your foods without too much of sodium and fat. They speak volumes about a culture’s cuisine and are used in a host of savory as well as sweet recipes. Using spices makes the most basic recipe come alive!
Storing spices right
The flavour quality of spices tends to decrease with time; however, it is possible to extend the freshness of your spices with proper care and storage. Here are 3 hacks which ensure that your spices last as long as possible so that you’re cooking with the best ingredients.
How do you select and store spices? Spices are available as whole, dried, and ground. Select your spice according to your recipe.
1. As is with all spices, always opt for organically grown ones, given that organically grown ones are less likely to be irradiated.
2. You need to store your spices in tightly sealed, completely airtight glass containers, in a cool, dark and dry place.
3. Whole spices stay fresh for up to 12 months, whilst the ground and powdered ones, will stay well for up to 6 months or as per the expiration date. Keep track of the age of your spices. The most excellent judge for the freshness of your spice is your nose! If a spice no longer seems fragrant or flavourful, or if the colour seems off, don’t be afraid to toss it.
Tata Sampann spices are selected from the best of farms, they are scientifically processed and hygienically packaged to retain their natural goodness.
Store your spices well. Take care of your spices and they will take care of your food, making sure that your food has the best flavour each time you cook!
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.