With children returning to school, many parents are thinking of ways to support their immunity. Indian spices like cinnamon, ginger and turmeric are a great way to ensure your family get nutrient-rich food along with immune-supporting properties.
Arun Kapil, owner of Green Saffron and often referred to as the Irish Spiceman, gives us his top five spices to incorporate to your diet. He says, “though spices should not be seen as a fix all magic bullet, many do possess vitamins, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which can contribute to supporting immunity and digestion health especial in the winter months.”
Commonly associated with Autumn, cinnamon has a warm and spiced aroma and is rich in antioxidants. Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus cinnamomum which is commonly used to fight against the flu.
Top tip: Pop some cinnamon in your child’s porridge in the morning time or add a sprinkle to warm milk before bed.
Grown in India, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia this truly wonderful spice helps in supporting the immune system and helps to fight against viral replication. Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence with many studies showing that it has major benefits for your body and brain.
Top tip: Sprinkle powdered turmeric over any vegetables when roasting them in the oven or blitz fresh turmeric root into all types of pastes and marinades for fish, lamb and beef.
Ginger is available in a whole host of forms and is related to turmeric, evident in the citrusy warmth and earthiness the spices share. Dating back to historic times, ginger has been used for medicinal purposes, due to its rich nutritional properties. Ginger has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which helps to fight infections.
Top tip: Ginger can be added to stir fry dinners or can be added to most herbal teas. Try it with hot water, lemon and honey to set you up for the colder mornings.
Cumin comes from a flowering herbaceous annual plant. The fruits are ready for harvesting when they turn yellow brown. After drying, the fruits can be dry-roasted or fried in ghee to maximise their intensely savoury flavour. The presence of vitamin C in cumin seeds helps bolster the immunity system. It also possesses antibacterial properties that keep infections and diseases at bay,
Top Tip: Incorporate into roast dishes, either incorporated while in a crust for the meat, or ground and used as part of marinade
Pepper is the king of spices native to India. Peppercorns contain an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties. Black peppers have been in use since centuries for their anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-flatulent properties. Peppercorns are a good source of many antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C and vitamin-A.
Top tip: Pepper can be sprinkled on to any savoury dish to add perfume and pleasant background heat or as light dusting on dark rich fruits; plums, figs, cherries, blackberries, raspberries etc
Green Saffron Products are available online here and in all major grocery stores nationwide.