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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Health Benefits of Fall Spices: Autumn Favorites Explored

Oct 20, 2021 12:00PM ● By Gina Saka
Spices have been used for medicinal purposes since the dawn of humanity. The benefits of fall spices are more than what meets the palate. These roots, barks and seeds are celebrated around the world for their ability to support the body and mind through the changing seasons. Whether related to immunity, digestion or mood, medicinal spices can help people heal. 

In terms of ancient Ayurveda, autumn is Vata season. The Vata dosha energy has cold, dry and erratic qualities. For this reason, it’s a good idea to ground down and warm up with heating spices that are great for soups, teas, lattes, baked goods and more. You can even find many of these in supplement form for a concentrated dose. 

BENEFITS OF FALL SPICES


Conveniently, these spices are probably already in most household cabinets. Fall is known for warming, cozy flavors like cinnamon and ginger, but many don’t realize the reasoning goes beyond culinary pleasures. Check out the profound health benefits of these autumn spices:   

Cinnamon  Oh, cinnamon—how you complete everything from apple pie to churros with your iconic sweet and woody flavor. But there’s more to this picture. Cinnamon bark is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antioxidant. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels and fat metabolism while also supporting healthy digestion. Ceylon cinnamon, as opposed to common supermarket cassia cinnamon, is an ideal choice for medicinal benefits, as it is sweeter yet gentler—making it safe for prolonged use.  

Nutmeg  From béchamel to eggnog is the woody, clovey, bittersweet nutmeg. This holiday favorite is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. It’s also found to help boost mood, control blood sugar levels and support heart health. To preserve nutmeg’s health benefits, it’s important to buy whole nutmeg and grind/grate yourself as needed. 

Cardamom   Cardamom is a key spice in Chai tea lattes and also a popular accompaniment to rice, meats and veggies in Middle Eastern cuisine. The unique spice has flavor notes of clove, pine, citrus, licorice and menthol, and perfectly balances with other spices. When it comes to benefits, cardamom seed helps control blood pressure, relieve digestive issues, freshen breath and provide respiratory support.   

Ginger  This incredibly dynamic spice is a star ingredient in sodas, cookies, stir fries and so much more. Ginger sucking candies, crystallized ginger, raw ginger shots—there is no shortage of ways to get a nice dose of powerfully medicinal ginger. This root is full of antioxidants and helps fight inflammation, relieve stomach discomfort, reduce menstrual pain, regulate blood sugar levels, minimize nausea and more.  

Turmeric  Turmeric is a popular Indian spice that gives curry its characteristic yellow color and the star in the increasingly popular golden lattes; which is just steamed milk, turmeric powder and a touch of sweetener. This healing root of the ginger family is known to support a healthy inflammatory response, relieve joint pain and stiffness, improve heart health and boost immune function. It’s one of the most famous Ayurvedic herbs.     

When choosing spices, be sure to go for organic and non-GMO. Non-organic spices are filled with chemicals and preservatives. Many even go through fumigation and irradiation processes that null most of their health benefits. Opt for 100 percent organic and enjoy these comforting, soothing spices all-season long in your favorite recipes.