There are many reasons to add seasonings to your food. Most obvious are the different rich flavors that various spices can add to your meals without adding any calories, fat, sugar, or salt. But research also shows that fall spices can have health benefits as well. Adding spices to your dishes can only help boost your immunity or contribute to better overall health.
Let’s check out 10 seasonal spices that will add delicious flavor – and health benefits – to your fall menu:
Cinnamon is extracted from the inner bark of trees of the genus Cinnamomum and is one of the most popular and well-known autumn spices. It gives a distinctive taste to many different baked goods, breakfast cereals and even hot drinks. But this aromatic spice also has some valuable health benefits. For example, a recent study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society found that cinnamon may improve blood sugar control in prediabetic people. Cinnamon is also known to be loaded with powerful antioxidants like polyphenols, which are believed to have disease fighting abilities and even help with weight management.
this Cinnamon Apple Perfect is a great way to get the most out of this delicious fall seasoning. You can also start your fall morning with a cinnamon-flavored breakfast from Nutrisystem! You will love our Cinnamon Brown Sugar Oat Square and Cinnamon Crumble Muffin.
Fresh ginger should be slightly peppery and sweet at the same time. It gives food a delicious taste and doubles as a natural antihistamine and decongestant. A review of the literature published in the Jundishapur Journal of Natural Pharmaceutical Products has shown some evidence that ginger can help prevent colds, prevent and soothe sore throats, reduce congestion, and reduce inflammation. It has also long been used to soothe and upset stomach or nausea. Add fresh ginger to soups, stir-fries, or even make a cup of ginger tea.
Known for its warm, nutty flavor, this spice can liven up a number of dishes with a little sweet and savory zest. Like other fall spices, nutmeg is known to contain powerful antioxidants, says Phytochemistry Reviews. For this reason, it has been used in traditional remedies for stomach and kidney diseases. While nutmeg is primarily thought of as adding flavor to baked goods, it can also go well with beef or give a unique flavor to certain vegetables like kale or pumpkin.
This fragrant evergreen herb is native to the Mediterranean and belongs to the mint family. It’s a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6. There have also been some small clinical studies linking rosemary to cognitive health, according to the Journal of Medicinal Food. Rosemary can be used fresh or dried to flavor food to enrich the taste of meat and vegetables. Sprigs of rosemary can also be used to flavor olive oil or various beverages. As with any spice, its flavor enhancing abilities can lead to a healthier diet. For example this one Rosemary Kale Chips are a great way to add more green to your day.
Cloves are the flower buds of the clove tree and, in their ground form, can make a versatile spice that can flavor many dishes such as sauces, soups and rice. Cloves are often paired with cinnamon or nutmeg for seasonal dishes. As well as containing vitamins and minerals, cloves are also rich in antioxidants that can contribute to overall health, according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. According to the Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, cloves also have some antimicrobial effects. We found that Cloves go well with eggplants and beets for more flavorful and unique vegetables.
Contrary to popular belief, allspice is not a mixture of different autumn spices. Instead, it’s a distinctive ingredient made from the dried unripe berry of the Pimenta dioica tree, which is native to the Caribbean as well as Mexico and Central America. It owes its name to its similarities in taste with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and pepper. Allspice’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a great choice for upset stomach and nausea, according to the peer-reviewed journal Current Cancer Drug Targets. Its antioxidant power also makes it great for boosting overall health and the immune system. Try sprinkling a pinch of allspice on toasted vegetables for a warm flavor.
Cardamom is an Indian spice that is known for its intense and slightly sweet taste. It is sometimes equated with the taste of mint. According to the Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics, cardamom’s antioxidant power could be responsible for lowering blood pressure. It’s been used for thousands of years to help with digestion, stomach discomfort, and nausea, says Healthline. Cardamom goes well with poultry, lentils, and rice dishes. We also recommend increasing the flavor factor of yours Oatmeal with a little cardamom.
Vanilla’s antioxidant power is one of its most valuable benefits, says Livestrong.com. Most often we cook or bake with vanilla in extract form. However, when used as a powder or paste, it can impart a strong taste. While we usually think of adding vanilla to desserts – and that’s certainly where it shines – vanilla can also offset the acidity of tomatoes, for example in salsa recipes.
Saffron is a spice extracted from the flower commonly known as “saffron crocus”. It is one of the finest spices in the world and is therefore not cheap. However, it gives dishes a subtly sweet and utterly luxurious taste that you will appreciate. We think so goes wonderfully with fish and rice. Like the other fall spices, it can be powerful for its antioxidant abilities. Murdoch University found that “Saffron can improve the quality of sleep in adults who sleep poorly.”
10. Pumpkin spice
Finally, what can be typical of autumn as a pumpkin spice? Pumpkin spice is actually a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. Some mixes even add cardamom and cloves for extra sweetness. That means pumpkin spice not only gets in the festive mood, but it can also have some of the combined health benefits of these various fall spices. Of course, if you fix your pumpkin spice with processed baked goods or a high-calorie drink, these benefits can be negated. So we recommend trying a healthier recipe like this one Pumpkin Spice Bars or this Skinny Pumpkin Latte.