Holiday dinner is probably about the last place you could expect to find a healthy boost from ingredients, but there are actually several holiday spices that provide unique health benefits.
The warmth and flavor of the season is captured in the tastes and smells of holiday spices. Clinical nutritionist and chiropractor, Dr. Eric Snow, says you probably do not even realize you are doing your body good: "There are some health benefits to a lot of the foods that we use, especially in the spices."
Let's start with peppermint. Dr. Snow says it relieves pressure from sinus congestion and helps with stomach woes. "Have some peppermint tea or even something with some peppermint oil in it to help relieve an acidy stomach or indigestion," he said.
When you think of cinnamon, think circulation. "Especially females who have any type of PMS cramping, muscle cramping," said Dr. Snow, "It can even benefit general stiffness in the muscles."
Cinnamon also helps control your blood sugar.
Next up: clove, a natural pain healer, especially with tooth and gum pain. "If you bite into that, you'll notice an anesthetic type sensation," said Dr. Snow.
And if the holidays have you feeling stressed, grab the nutmeg. "It can be good for helping with anxiety and other nerve conditions, so when you think nutmeg, think nerve tonic," said Dr. Snow.
Ginger is another spice that can soothe nausea, swelling and boost your immune system.
This holiday season, enjoy a gingerbread cookie, sprinkle nutmeg into your eggnog, sip on some peppermint tea and take in the flavors of the season that give a healthy kick.
Spices should not be considered a cure for health ailments. They can certainly help, but if you are feeling sick, talk to a healthcare professional.