Healthy Habit #54: Spicy ways to get happier, healthier and smarter.

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Different cultures have been enjoying spices for centuries. Aside from the flavour dimension they add to food, they have long been praised for a multitude of health benefits. Use them all as much as possible (go wipe off the dust they've collected at the back of the Christmas draw) and know exactly what to use when.

For Muscle Soreness: Ginger
Ginger has many health benefits including pain relief and eased digestion, but it's especially beneficial after a workout. It contains gingerol which targets inflamed muscle to reduce the day-after-pain. Blend it with your post-workout smoothie.

Soothe your Belly: Clove
Eugenol, a compound found in cloves, helps soothe digestion. Add a pinch to your post-dinner tea or in applesauce.

For Happiness: Turmeric
A famous spice for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The latest research shows it also fights depression. Good stirred in Rice, Couscous or Turmeric Lattes.


 Lose Weight: Red Pepper
Burn fat as well as your tongue. Capsaicin, the compound found in chilies is responsible for giving your metabolism a major boost. Add to Avo Toast or pasta.

 Stay Sharp: Cumin
The latest research shows Cumin's effect on our brain. The powerful anti-inflammatory properties can improve memory and lower stress. Perfect with hummus and toasted seeds.

 Curb Appetite: Fenugreek
With each teaspoon of the stuff you'll find a gram of fiber, important for healthy digestion and feeling satiated. Sprinkle on veg before roasting.

 Strengthen Bones: Cinnamon
Cinnamon is such an underrated spice, amongst other benefits it stabilises blood sugar and has high levels of manganese, essential to maintain bone density at all ages. Delicious in the morning on your latte and sprinkled in your oats.