I like to think of spices as the magic ingredients that make the art of cooking enjoyable and culinary creations full of flavour. The spice box in my kitchen always fascinated me as a child. I was left mesmerized by the colours and the aromas individually and collectively. One thing my grandmother had drilled into my head was that spices should always be cooked in fats. I never knew why till I actually learnt that the bioavailability of spices can be absorbed only in the presence of good quality fat and this fat is cow’s ghee. Cow’s ghee has a high melting point and spices need high temperatures to cook well enabling us to make the best use of their medicinal properties. Organic spices are the best fit for the body as they do not have any added preservatives or chemicals or artificial colour for that matter.
There is no denying the fact that every spice should be had daily but Ginger, Garlic and Turmeric (GGT) is a trio I recommend to be had every day. Inclusion of GGT in your diet is as important as paying your GST! Remember that every spice adds value to your food. From the humble Cumin which is a brilliant digestive aid, Ginger which is good for your flatulence and joints, Mustard Seeds which help lower cholesterol levels. Cinnamon which lowers blood sugar to golden Turmeric which is your all-round healer as it is an antihistamine, anti-Alzheimer’s, slows cancer cell production, and is an excellent blood purifier.
So feel free to spice up your life, quite literally, by adding on the variety of spices India has to offer. Just be sure that they are organic to avail of their healing properties.
This article is written by Conscious Food’s nutrition advisor, Naini Setalvad. Naini has been a practicing Obesity, Lifestyle & Disease Consultant for the past 20 years and is based about of Mumbai. You can read about her, her work and her services here.