Your Monthly Check-Up: Spice up Your Summer!

Things really start heating up this time of year – the sun, the air, your grill – and Memorial Day this past weekend signals the official kickoff of summer. The calendar might say summer starts June 21, but why wait? Those hotdogs and hamburgers aren’t going to eat themselves!

Speaking of heat, did you know that adding certain spices to your favorite foods can provide important health benefits, like preventing strokes, battling diabetes and staving off cancer? Throwing in a sprinkle or a pinch of turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne pepper, ginger or cumin can do wonders for your health without much effort – great news for when it’s too hot to put much effort into anything!

We mentioned earlier this month that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and studies show that turmeric can be as effective as Prozac for treating depression. It’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory, along with ginger, and a cancer fighter, like cinnamon.

Along with cinnamon, coriander and cumin can both help lower cholesterol – coriander also helps battle type 2 diabetes and contains an anti-bacterial compound while cumin contains antimicrobial properties and boosts the immune system with its vitamin C content.

Cumin and cinnamon both also regulate blood sugar and cinnamon amps up brain power and prevents strokes while cumin encourages a good night’s sleep. Cayenne pepper improves circulation and revs metabolism, which can assist in weight loss. Besides being an anti-inflammatory, ginger eases nausea and helps treat arthritis, headaches and some heart conditions.

You get the idea – not only do these spices add flavor and depth to your favorite dishes, they offer an arsenal of health benefits. So spice up your food, fire up the grill and get ready to enjoy the warm summer months while they last!


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