Not only a fantastic culinary addition to your meals, spices are an essential component to your diet, adding loads of health-protective phytochemicals, vitamins, and antioxidants. They have strong anti-inflammatory effects, boost natural healing and skin rejuvenation, combat aging, and help to clear acne-causing toxins and infection. If that isn’t enough, they are extremely cost-effective and will last for years in their dried form!
So how about benefiting your health and your skin (as much as your taste buds) with these powerful spices? Here’s what you need to add to your cabinet this Fall:
- This ‘warming' spice is a favorite among many, as it makes for a delicious addition to those seasonal pumpkin pies and frothy lattes! Aside from being so flavorful, this spice has the ability to improve circulation (essential for skin rejuvenation), while acting as an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Taken internally this will help clear up skin from acne, and taken externally it will act as a natural skin flush, drawing blood to the surface of the skin, increasing skin breath-ability, and building circulation.
- A fantastic spice to prevent pre-mature aging, cumin is high in natural antioxidants A, C, and E (as well as a powerhouse of other nutrients), helping to combat free radical damage that is associated with the aging process. Even more, this spice acts as an anti-inflammatory and is a potent detoxifier (due to its high cuminaldehyde, thymol and phosphorus content), helping to clear the skin and body of toxins and infections. Tip: sprinkle on salads, smoothies, and soups and enjoy its pungent unique flavor. It will also aid the digestive process, acting as a catalyst to increase metabolic rate.
- If you’re looking to renew the overall radiance of your skin, this spice is for you. This root is fantastic in the colder season especially due to its warming properties, and will work wonders on improving skin tone, lightening age spots, eliminating blemishes, and brightening the skin. It’s full of (you guessed it) anti-oxidants, minerals, and nutrients and will be beneficial to any skin condition or simply an uneven complexion. Tip: dice up a fresh root to steep in a tea or throw it into a cold-press juicer to make some potent skin (and body) healing shots.
Turmeric (aka curcumin)
- It sounds similar to cumin, however, it’s completely different! You’ve probably already heard of the heralded benefits of turmeric, since it’s one of the most researched herbs on the planet. But aside from holding exceptional health benefits (like being cancer protective), turmeric has been shown to naturally reduce the amount of bacteria that typically cause acne. Also, it is one of the most potent anti-inflammatories out there (due to the high concentration of the antioxidant curcumin) – sprinkle it everywhere! Tip: to best absorb turmeric into the body, combine with a healthy fat (i.e. Extra Virgin Olive Oil) as part of your meal.
- Chili pepper, cayenne, jalapeno, and even paprika, are high in vitamins A & C, and will not only combat free radicals to reverse the aging process, but also prevent the break down of collagen in your skin. The ingredient ‘capsaicin’ even acts as a sunscreen if taken internally on the regular, working to protect the skin from harmful UV rays. Even more, peppers (cayenne in particular) act as a natural cell stimulant, aiding the growth of new cells (which usually slows with aging). Tip: add 1 tbsp of cayenne powder to a glass of water, with a squeeze of lemon and 1 tsp of raw honey or maple syrup – for a delicious and detoxifying drink!
- A natural anti-septic, nutmeg has the power to inhibit the growth of microorganisms on the external surface of the body, while reducing inflammation, irritation, and boosting hydration. Of course, it’s wonderful source of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, offering a smoother appearance to the skin overall. It can also reduce the signs of previous breakouts, assisting exfoliation and cell turnover. Tip: being another warming spice for the season, dash it on squashes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and of course any latte or dessert you may be craving!
There are certainly loads more of beneficial spices to include in your diet, but these are a fantastic start to your ongoing herbal repertoire – and your skin will thank you for it. Enjoy!