I am a huge fan of spicy food. I’m going to blame my addiction to the heat on my Indian upbringing, which included a kitchen stocked with exotic spices, herbs, and roots. Although eye watering – nose running heat levels aren’t for everyone, many spices and herbs have amazing health benefits. They are often stocked with antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties, and can boost your metabolism, which helps with weight loss. Don’t worry, their temperature levels range from mild to hot, so they can be enjoyed by palettes of all levels! If you can handle the suggestions below, be sure to incorporate them into your diet!

Cinnamon
Cinnamon is delicious, and it can help manage blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and keep your arteries healthy. Add more cinnamon to your diet by mixing it into your coffee, yogurt, or oatmeal in the morning.

Oregano
Oregano is an antioxidant superstar – just one teaspoon of dried oregano has as many antioxidants as about 3 cups of broccoli! Incorporate more into your diet by adding it to your sandwiches, pasta, pizza, and grilled veggies.

Turmeric
I am very familiar with this spice, because it is a common ingredient in most South Asian dishes. Turmeric has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and it has been shown to help in the treatment of many different health conditions. In addition, turmeric masks can be applied to the skin, to reduce hyperpigmentation and enhance your glow.

Chilli Peppers
These are not for those of you with a low tolerance for spice – they are hot! Their active component, Capsacin, is known to work wonders with pain relief and heart health. If you can handle the heat, add some chilli peppers to your diet; try jalapenos if you want a milder punch, and habanero peppers (the hottest peppers out there!) if you want a real challenge.

-Shalyn Tharayil

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