Cinnamon, Ginger And Other Holiday Spices

How does Santa get so big, but avoid Type 2 diabetes? Mrs. Claus might be slipping Santa some cinnamon year-round. Plus, Santa might be good in two sacks, not just the one filled with toys thanks to nutmeg. And the spice that keeps Santa from getting motion-sickness while he flies from house to house delivering presents is ginger (gingerbread cookies anyway). The flavors and aromas of traditional holiday cooking certainly make us feel all warm and cozy inside, but many have actual health benefits as well!

  • Nutmeg may be able to spice up your sex life. Animal studies suggest nutmeg has some aphrodisiac properties that could improve . And before you step under the mistletoe, you may want to eat a tasty nutmeg treat as the spice has also been shown to fight cavities. But don”t eat too much–nutmeg can be toxic in large amounts–so it”s best to limit your intake to a maximum of a few tablespoons a day. Add a dash to sauteed greens to give them a little something extra.
  • Cinnamon has been a mainstay of alternative herbal medicine for centuries, and now scientific evidence suggests it may help control blood glucose levels. Several studies have shown this effect, and a small of type 2 diabetics in the UK found that participants who consumed 2 g of cinnamon (less than 1 tsp.) daily for 12 weeks had a significantly lower HbA1c (a blood marker that reflects blood glucose levels over the past few months) than those who consumed a placebo. While more studies are needed to confirm the benefits of cinnamon, as we reported earlier this year other potential roles for this spice include lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Sprinkle some into your yogurt for a tasty snack.
  • Ginger is well-known for easing nausea. The upset tummy taming spice is particularly good at helping morning sickness in pregnant women and other forms of nausea, such as those induced by motion sickness or cancer treatments. It has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties and to have the potential to help lower blood pressure. Additionally, a suggests ginger compresses applied externally may help relieve painful bones and joints associated with osteoarthritis. Plus, for the fitness buffs, “even just 2 g (or 1/14 of an oz.) of raw or cooked ginger a day might reduce your post-workout muscle pain.” Try making your own homemade ginger ale.

Here”s to a healthy, happy holiday season filled with all of Santa”s favorite spices.

Comments

  1. SpiceCounter says:

    Great health booster spices, to prevent diabetes.
    I will surely add this to my spice selling website
    http://www.spicecounter.com

  2. Dude, i was looking for nutmegs like in soccer, and i find a vid of a bunch of meg-heads (I definately coined that term, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise) You guys are freaking crazy. Getting high is for losers with no life, and getting high off meg is for losers with no money. ~Lisa

About Sarah Atwood, MS, RD

Sarah is a Registered Dietitian with a Masters in Clinical Nutrition from New York University where she completed her dietetic internship in partnership with NYU Langone Medical Center, the NYU Pediatric Dental Clinic, and Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Her interests include pediatric and maternal nutrition, food policy, and sustainable food production. She is an enthusiastic cook and foodie who taught nutrition and cooking lessons with City Harvest’s Operation Frontline while in NYC. When she’s not chasing her newly mobile baby girl, Sarah enjoys exploring her new Boston neighborhood, discovering restaurants, and enjoying the occasional craft brew.

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