Top 8 Spices Every Kitchen Needs | Powerful Health Benefits

A spice is a seed, fruit, root, bark, or other plant substance primarily used for flavoring or coloring food. Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are the leaves, flowers, or stems of plants used for flavoring or as a garnish. Can you imagine a world without spices? It is like eating food that has no salt in it. 

Spices are what takes an ordinary dish to a whole new extraordinary level. With so many different types of spices and culinary herbs, our list of top spice names will help you find what you’re looking for!

1. Cloves

Cloves are the flower buds of the clove tree, an evergreen also known as Syzygium aromaticum (1Trusted Source). Found in both whole and ground forms, this versatile spice can be used to season pot roasts, add flavor to hot beverages, and bring spicy warmth to cookies and cakes. You may know cloves as one of the main ingredients in gingerbread baked goods or a staple spice in Indian cuisine. Cloves are best known as a sweet and aromatic spice, but they have also been used in traditional medicine. In fact, animal studies have found that the compounds in cloves may have several health benefits, including supporting liver health and helping stabilize blood sugar levels

Health benefits of eating cloves.

  • Contain important nutrients
  • May help regulate blood sugar
  • High in antioxidants
  • May help protect against cancer
  • Can kill bacteria
  • May improve liver health
  • May promote bone health
  • May reduce stomach ulcers

2. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamon is used mainly as an aromatic condiment and flavouring additive in a wide variety of cuisines, sweet and savoury dishes, breakfast cereals, snackfoods, tea and traditional foods. Cinnamon is a highly delicious spice. It has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Modern science has now confirmed what people have known for ages.

health benefits of eating cinnamon

  • High in a Substance With Powerful Medicinal Properties
  • Loaded With Antioxidants
  • Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
  • May Cut the Risk of Heart Disease
  • Improve Sensitivity to the Hormone Insulin
  • Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect
  • May Help Fight the HIV Virus

3. Cumin

Cumin is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to a territory including the Middle East and stretching east to India. Its seeds – each one contained within a fruit, which is dried – are used in the cuisines of many cultures in both whole and ground form.

health benefits of eating cumin:

  • Promotes Digestion
  • Is a Rich Source of Iron
  • Contains Beneficial Plant Compounds
  • May Help With Diabetes
  • May Improve Blood Cholesterol
  • May Promote Weight Loss and Fat Reduction
  • May Prevent Food-Borne Illnesses

4. Green Cardamom

Cardamom is a spice with an intense, slightly sweet flavor that some people compare to mint. It originated in India but is available worldwide today and used in both sweet and savory recipes. The seeds, oils and extracts of cardamom are thought to have impressive medicinal properties and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries

Health benefits of eating cardamom.

  • Antioxidant and Diuretic Properties May Lower Blood Pressure
  • May Contain Cancer-Fighting Compounds
  • May Protect from Chronic Diseases Thanks to Anti-Inflammatory Effects
  • May Treat Bad Breath and Prevent Cavities
  • May Improve Breathing and Oxygen Use
  • May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

5. Black pepper

Black pepper is one of the most commonly used spices worldwide. It’s made by grinding peppercorns, which are dried berries from the vine Piper nigrum. It has a sharp and mildly spicy flavor that goes well with many dishes. But black pepper is more than just a kitchen staple. It has been deemed the “king of spices” and used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years due to its high concentration of potent, beneficial plant compounds.

Health benefits of eating balck pepper:

  • High in antioxidants
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • May benefit your brain
  • May improve blood sugar control
  • May lower cholesterol levels
  • May have cancer-fighting properties
  • Boosts absorption of nutrients

6. Saffron

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. The vivid crimson stigma and styles, called threads, are collected and dried for use mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. Saffron has long been the world’s costliest spice by weight.

Health benefits of eating saffron:

  • A Powerful Antioxidant
  • May Improve Mood and Treat Depressive Symptoms
  • May Reduce PMS Symptoms
  • May Act as an Aphrodisiac
  • May Reduce Appetite and Aid Weight Loss

7. Anise

Star anise is a spice made from the fruit of the Chinese evergreen tree Illicium verum. It’s aptly named for the star-shaped pods from which the spice seeds are harvested and has a flavor that is reminiscent of licorice. Because of similarities in their flavor and names, star anise is often confused with anise, though the two spices are unrelated. Star anise is famed not only for its distinct flavor and culinary applications but also for its medicinal benefits.

Health benefits of eating anise:

  • Rich in Nutrients
  • May Reduce Symptoms of Depression
  • Could Protect Against Stomach Ulcers
  • Prevents the Growth of Fungi and Bacteria
  • Could Help Relieve Menopause Symptoms
  • May Balance Blood Sugar Levels

8. Nutmeg

Nutmeg is the seed or ground spice of several species of the genus Myristica. Myristica fragrans is a dark-leaved evergreen tree cultivated for two spices derived from its fruit: nutmeg, from its seed, and mace, from the seed covering. It is also a commercial source of essential oil and nutmeg butter. It has a warm, slightly nutty flavor and is often used in desserts and curries, as well as drinks like mulled wine and chai tea.

Health benefits of eating nutmeg:

  • Contains powerful antioxidants
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • May boost libido
  • May benefit heart health
  • May improve blood sugar control
  • Could boost mood

New to baking?

Check out our quick and easy 30 Day Guide for Beginner Bakers
Want to know the best Cup Noodles? Check out Top 8 Cup Noodles
In a hurry and hungry in the morning? Check out Quick and Easy Breakfast Meals 
Finding new cake decorating techniques? Check out Most Creative Ways to Decorate a Cake
Want to know the best Peanut Butter Spread? Check out Top 10 Peanut Butter Spread 
Want to know the best Soy Sauce? Check out Top 8 Soy Sauce

Note: This list was compiled by the team at My Weekend Plan after extensive research and shared opinions to suggest helpful recommendations for the public. More Top 10s in Malaysia are waiting to be discovered, if you have any other great suggestions too, please email us [email protected] The sequence of brands is in no particular order.

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