When it gets colder outside, our kitchen can do with a little spiciness. Ginger, chili, turmeric, cinnamon and many other spices will not only warm up the body from the inside, but will also strengthen immunity. And a wonderful scent will make the long winter evenings pleasant.
Ginger root is used as a spice. It has a characteristic sharp, slightly lemon scent and a burning taste, thanks to which it is used for many dishes. In Arabic culture, ginger is considered a strong aphrodisiac. Ingredients of ginger are attributed to the healing properties – anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic (gingerole, szogaole). Ginger is also a source of lecithin and vitamin C, niacin, and vitamin A. In traditional Eastern medicine, this spice is used in colds as a diaphoretic and warming agent. Suggestions for using ginger in the kitchen can be found here.
Capsaicin is a compound that is responsible for the warming properties of various types of peppers, including chili. This substance binds to the receptors located on the endings of sensory neurons and then induces the reaction to occur, which results in feeling of pain and warmth. It has been shown that capsaicin affects thermoregulation, and thus indirectly the energy expenditure of the body. After consumption, for example chilli peppers, initially the vasodilation and loss of heat occurs, followed by an increase in the rate of metabolism, which results in increased body temperature and stimulation of the body to burn calories.
Red chilli pods are very sharp, yellow – medium sharp, green – mild, and orange – very mild. One of the hottest varieties of pepper is habanero. Chilli can be added in principle to all dishes both sweet (chocolate, strawberry jam) and salty (chilli con carne, pies, pasta or fish). We can buy chili in the form of fresh, dried, cayenne pepper (cayenne) and chilli powder.
Turmeric is one of the most popular spices of Asian cuisine. The roots of the Curcuma longa plant are mainly essential oils and bitter substances that give the curcuma a spicy and somewhat bitter taste. Due to its intense yellow color, it was initially used as a dye, only later as a seasoning. In addition to the warming properties, turmeric has a stimulating appetite and strengthening the stomach. Supports digestion through choleretic action.
Turmeric is a strong spice, so it should be used very sparingly. Let’s add it to the end of cooking, just before serving on the table – otherwise the dish will have a bitter taste. Curcuma can be bought dried and ground, it is also a component of almost every curry spice mix.
Cinnamon is obtained from the bark of cinnamon. Ingredients of bark oil have bactericidal, fungicidal and disinfecting properties, thanks to which it has been used in medicine. The oil is also given in the absence of appetite, intestinal cramps, bloating and diarrhea. There are also scientific reports that high intake of cinnamon (over 1g per day) may lower the level of glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Cinnamon is not only health, but also taste. The winter period is inevitably associated with Christmas and a home smelling of cinnamon. Most often, we add it to the dishes sweet. Here are some suggestions for tasty and healthy use of cinnamon for dinner and winter evenings
Wholemeal apple pie with raisins and nuts
Omelette with plum mousse
Whole-grain sweet spaghetti with curd
Rice on soy milk with apple and raisins
Cinnamon buns with beans
Spices that we choose when preparing meals affect our health. It is important to choose the most natural ones, consisting of individual components. Avoid mixtures of spices, especially if they contain added salt and / or preservatives or other additives E.