This article is in continuation to our previous article ‘The Secret ingredient with its Secret functions [II]‘
Coriander seeds are fresh and have a delicate spring-like aroma. It is used as an ingredient of curry powders, flavoring and thickening agent. An infusion of coriander seeds is used for flatulence, vomiting and intestinal disorders. It has halides which increase the levels of anti cancer protective enzymes.
Cumin Seeds are pungent, sharp and astringent. The active compound is aldehyde cumino. Cumin seeds are used in curry and seasoning. It is a caraway seed and is medium brown in color. It is used in soups, cheese
spreads, candies, lassi, pulav etc. it is used as a stimulant and carminative agent. They contain bio active substances called phthalides which increase the levels of anticancer protective enzymes.
Fenugreek seeds is a hard lentil seed and has an astringent aroma. It has a strong celery- like odor- oil. It is bitter in taste. It helps in maintaining blood glucose levels in non insulin dependent diabetics. It is also used in treatment of dysentry with buttermilk.
Garlic contains an antibiotic principle allin- which is converted to allicin by the enzyme alliinase. Allicin breaks down to allyl disulfide which is responsible for the flavor, when garlic is crushed, the cells break and enzyme is released and these compounds are formed. It is used to treat digestive disorders- bacterial and fungal infections, prevents heart disease and lowers cholesterol. They have platelet aggregation inhibitor factors. Garlic also possesses hypoglycemic properties.
Ginger Is the root of the plant. The oil gingerol is mildly pungent and causes sharp burning sensory stimulation. Dry ginger is more pungent. It is used in curries, pickles, masala, beverages like tea, lime juices. It reduces inflammation and pain in the joints. It helps in treating migraine headaches. It also helps in stopping nausea.
Kokum fruit dried and used as a sour agent. Anthocyanin is present and used in sherbet. It helps in dealing with ear infections, sores, menstruation delays, intestinal parasites and inflammatory issues.
Mango Powder is used as a sour agent in cooking. We can also use it as a substitute for tamarind and lime juice. It helps to maintain a low glycemic index. which helps to keep the fat levels in control. The potassium that is present in mango powder, will also make sure that the blood levels are regulated. Diabetes is also kept under control.
Mint leaves is an aromatic culinary herb. The leaves yield oil-peppermint oil which is used for flavoring gum, confectionery, tooth paste, perfumes and pharma preparations. It is used for beverages, salad dressing and garnishing agents. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Mint also loosen bronchial constriction. Nausea and indigestion.
Mustards are small reddish black seeds and have pungent flavor.it is used as a paste in sandwiches, eggs, meat and salad dressing. It is used in pickles as well as a cooking oil. It helps in relieving pains and aches, lowers cholesterol and helps in getting a healthy skin and hair.
Nutmeg and mace-dry hard wrinkled seed of nutmeg fruit. Mace is an orange red fleshy covering of nutmeg kernels. They are used to flavor puddings, fruit pies etc. it has antimicrobial properties.
Onion powder is used as a flavoring agent. It helps in maintaining normal glucose levels. It has antibacterial properties. It helps to inhibit growth of fungi. It lowers cholesterol and lipids and prevents heart diseases.
Poppy seeds are tiny dark cream color seeds used as a topping for breads, cakes, buns etc. it is a thickening agent and is really beneficial for lactating mothers, it acts as a galactagogue.
Pepper is a dried small round berry of white flowers. It can be used as a seasoning and condiment. It is pungent and used as whole or crushed. It is used for treating throat infections.
Saffron is the fragrant stigmata of flowers. It is used for its yellow color. It has a pleasant aroma and is used in soups, sauces, rice dishes, sweets etc. It is used to treat eye infections.
Turmeric is a ground dried aromatic root. The coloring substance is curumin. It is used for curries, pickles, marination etc; it helps in detoxifying harmful drugs, reduce irritation in the stomach. It also relieves sore throat, cough and cold. It has antioxidant and anti carcinogenic properties.
Spices are really a very precious part of the kitchen, any and every recipe has a special importance of certain spices in it. Even if they are consumed separately they have a list of benefits which help our body boost its immunity and function in a better way.
Though each of them has a unique way and time when it has to be consumed, then only it will be helpful to the individual.
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Shrushti Mehta.
We thank her for her research and analysis and hope to see the awarenesses about health and nutrition being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.