Spices are an integral part of Indian cooking. The Western world is just waking up to a culinary fact that we Indians grew up with – spices make everything delicious. And they are really good for health as well. So good in fact, that some of them are even available as supplements. Despite being diagnosed with PCOS at a very early age, I have never taken any hormones or medication, and have treated my condition by just adding natural spices like cinnamon and methi to my diet.
I have compiled a list of my favourite spices. They are my favourites simply because they are really good for health. They help the body regulate hormones by keeping the gut healthy. These spices help you heal from inside, making you fitter and stronger. They also heal your skin, strengthen nails and hair, and more.
TURMERIC – I think most Indians know about this wonder spice. I love it because this is a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous, spice that can. keep all internal organs super healthy. It is particularly good for women as it helps to strengthen the lining of your uterus, eases pain during periods, balance hormones, regularise the monthly cycle, flush out non-malignant growths (fibroids, polyps, endometriosis) reduce infertility problem, and clear hormone related acne. I usually add this wonder spice to my almond milk. Please don’t forget to add two crushed black pepper to your turmeric milk as it increases the bio-availability of the turmeric to give you maximum benefits of the spice.
SAUNF (FENNEL SEEDS)- According to Ayurveda, saunf has a cooling effect on the body. While many Indians have it as a mouth freshner after meals or even as a digestive aid, I love saunf ka paani. This is a wonder tonic and you must try it. It is a mild diuretic, and detoxifies the body. It can reduce symptoms of IBS, increase metabolism, reduce menstrual cramps,, and is a liver purifier. Making this water is super easy. Add 2 tablespoons of raw fennel seeds to 5 cups of boiling water. Switch off the flame after 2 minutes. Let it cool down before drinking, though of course, you can have this warm or cold, as per your taste. Just 2 cups a day are enough for overall good health.
HING (ASAFOETIDA )- this potent spice has the anti inflammatory antispasmodic properties and works wonders for women who have painful, irregular and heavy periods. It is also brilliant for treating all kinds of stomach related issues. You can put a pinch of hing in your lassi (buttermilk) or dissolve a little bit in warm water and drink it.
TEJPATTA (BAY LEAF)- You don’t have to eat this leaf in order to benefit from it. A widely used ingredient in Indian cooking, this leaf releases oil and a wonderful aroma when added to a dish while cooking. It is fantastic for regulating diabetes, and is useful for women battling pcos related insulin fluctuations. Use it in soups, sauces, stews and curries and enjoy its many benefits.
METHI SEEDS (FENUGREEK)- This seemingly innocuous seed is excellent for hair, nails, skin and digestion. It helps reduce cholesterol levels, control diabetes, improve kidney function, and detox the liver. Soak 1 tablespoon of methi seeds in a glass of water overnight. Strain and drink the water first thing in the morning. This can also help to reduce arthritis pain because it has anti-inflammatory properties The soaked seeds can also be blended with yogurt and applied on scalp for dandruff problems.
CINNAMON – I love cinnamon. It has endless benefits for both men and women. It has anti carcinogenic, anti-viral, anti-fungal properties, lowers bad cholesterol, and boosts immune system. Ladies if you suffer from fibroids, polyps, PCOS, endometriosis, heavy periods, have insulin fluctuations, diabetes type 2 then this one spice should be consumed every day in some form or the other. I take it every single day either in my protein shake, smoothies or just half a teaspoon in a mug of hot water. You don’t have to take it on an empty stomach, take it anytime. Just please do make sure it’s organic.
Try out some of the spices mentioned here and let me know how you like them. Write to me below or using #stayrealstayyou on Instagram @shagunkhanna