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Spice Up Your Life: How These Spices Can Improve Your Health

Although most collegiettes are in school on a budget, there is no excuse to overlook eating healthy. With the many responsibilities we take on, feeding our bodies well should always be a priority. If you’re in need of an easy way to add nutritional value to your diet, include these beneficial spices in your meal plan. Here are some yummy ideas that will help spice up your life.

TurmericThis bright orange-yellow spice contains curcumin, which is an antioxidant that can suppress the gene involved in breast cancer. Another compound found in turmeric may also protect the brain by promoting cell repair. Finally, turmeric has been known to ease heartburn and an upset stomach. By adding it to veggies or using it to season meat, you can easily include this healthy spice in your diet. 

CinnamonNot only is cinnamon warm and delicious, but it is also a nutritional goldmine. It contains iron, calcium and manganese and is loaded with antioxidants that may help control blood glucose and blood pressure. For breakfast, sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal or in a smoothie. To get your cinnamon fix at dinnertime, spice up a bowl of butternut squash soup with a couple dashes and enjoy.

NutmegSay so long to your dentist. An antibacterial compound found in nutmeg has been proven to decrease plaque formation and kill cavity-producing bacteria. In addition, nutmeg may alleviate problems such as indigestion and gas. For a surprisingly pleasant flavor, add some nutmeg to mac ‘n’ cheese or include it in your favorite pie recipe. 

GingerSpicy ginger, a sushi lover’s favorite, has been used for the treatment of colds, gastrointestinal problems and, most commonly, motion sickness. Studies have also shown that ginger may protect our tissues and organs from oxidative damage and prevent cancer growth. Adding freshly grated ginger to salad dressings or marinades adds an instant Asian twist to your dish, and it is also a great addition to a cup of tea.

CayenneFor those who are sensitive to heat, you may want to skip over this one. However, cayenne pepper does have health benefits and is known for its pain-relieving qualities. Studies also suggest it may help weight loss. We know you’ll want to start pouring this spice onto all of your dishes, but proceed with caution: a little can go a long way on seafood or even an omelet. 

The best part is that these are all easily available at the supermarket, and after a quick Publix run you’ll be enjoying months of healthy spiced-up meals!

Samantha is a passionate and motivated senior in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. In her free time she enjoys reading entertainment and fashion magazines. She is excited to move to New York City upon graduating in May of 2015. She hopes to pursue a career that is fulfilling and exciting. GO GATORS! 
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