There are numerous spices with properties that can have a positive impact on your health. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.
From cumin to cinnamon, spices can offer a boost of flavor to your food, but many people don't realize that some spices can also offer a little kick to your health.
"Herbs and spices are almost like vegetables in concentrated form," says Juno DeMelo, the nutrition editor for Fitness Magazine. "They have tons of health benefits, healing properties, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and they are virtually calorie-free.
Demelo helped outline some health benefits of some simple seasonings. For one: oregano.
"One small pinch of oregano has as many antioxidants as three cups of fresh spinach, and research also shows it can help fend off the stomach flu," she says.
Cumin is another power spice. One tablespoon has almost one-quarter of the iron you need in a day. Iron is important for energy and immunity, and cumin has also been found to boost your brain power and memory.
Another spice that has a lot of benefits is cinnamon. The antioxidant compounds in cinnamon can help prevent blood sugar spikes, which can stabilize your metabolism, and studies have shown that it can help reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease over time.
Another one is cayenne pepper.
"Cayenne pepper contains a compound called capsicum," DeMelo says. "It's what gives it its kick, but it also fires up your metabolism, helps you burn more calories all day. One study actually shows that people who ate a little cayenne in one meal ate 70 fewer calories at the next meal."
A little nutmeg in your morning coffee could help reduce your risk of cavities. Nutmeg fights bacteria and can help reduce plaque formation. Some studies find it also helps stifle tumor growth.
Last, there's curry powder.
"So curry powder is a blend of spices, one of which is turmeric, which contains a compound called curcuman," DeMelo says. "Fifty times more potent than vitamins C and E, and may help fend off breast, stomach and colon cancer."
So the next time you're cooking, remember: spices could be the perfect ingredients for your health.