The Surprising Effects of Spices on Health

Healthy eating
Homme ajoutant épices sur salade - Man adding spices on salad

In our daily quest for a healthy and balanced diet, we're often on the lookout for simple and natural ways to improve our well-being. Among these culinary treasures, spices can hold a special place. They not only enhance the flavour of our dishes but also offer potential health benefits.

1. Turmeric and Ginger to Fight Inflammation

White bowl containing ground turmeric, next to fresh turmeric


Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury. Turmeric, known for its active component curcumin, is widely studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. This spice is often used to treat joint pain. However, studies show that a quantity of 300 to 4,000 mg is necessary to see beneficial effects, which equates to consuming between 15 ml and 200 ml of ground turmeric (1). Supplements become an interesting alternative, so discuss them with your healthcare professional. Moreover, curcumin alone is poorly absorbed by the body. It is recommended to combine it with piperine, found in black pepper, or lipids (fats) to improve its absorption (1).

  • Try our golden milk recipe to add turmeric to your daily routine!


Ginger is well-known for its spicy and warming taste, but did you know it also has impressive medicinal properties? Research shows that gingerol, the active molecule in ginger, has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties (2). In other words, ginger could help reduce inflammation, fight free radicals, and lessen pain sensations. A review of studies even concluded that ginger might reduce pain related to various conditions, including osteoarthritis. However, more research is needed to officially recommend ginger as a pain treatment, as current studies are still limited. Moreover, the recommended dosage lacks precision, with studied quantities ranging from 1 to 5 teaspoons of fresh ginger, depending on the desired effects. Furthermore, a mixture of ginger, turmeric, and black pepper has shown effects similar to a common anti-inflammatory drug, naproxen, in patients with osteoarthritis (3).

2. Cinnamon to Stabilize Blood Sugar

Cinnamon in a cup on a dark table

Cinnamon is appreciated not only for its pleasant taste but also for its beneficial effects on blood sugar (blood glucose levels), especially in people with type 2 diabetes. The recommended doses vary from 120 mg (a pinch) to 6 g (about 1 tablespoon) of ground cinnamon per day, spread throughout the day. However, adding cinnamon to your daily routine does not replace nutritional or medical treatment, as the effects are minor. Taking cinnamon with carbohydrate-containing meals could be beneficial, as it can help prevent blood sugar from rising too quickly after meals by making cells more sensitive to insulin and slowing down digestion. You can sprinkle this amount on your oatmeal, add it to your coffee, or use it in baking (4).

Important note: It is not recommended for people with liver problems to consume large amounts of Cassia cinnamon (the most common type), either as a supplement or as a spice, due to its high coumarin content, which can be toxic to the liver. Ceylon cinnamon, with much lower coumarin content, would be a better option for them. It is crucial to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or natural treatment (4).

3. Fennel to Improve Digestion

Fennel in a wooden bowl on a dark table

Digestion plays a crucial role in nutrient absorption and overall well-being. For people who suffer from bloating, fennel seeds could help relieve this discomfort. This spice is particularly effective in helping the muscles of the intestine function properly and reduce gas. Fennel, used alone or in combination with other plants, could help alleviate various digestive problems such as stomach cramps, certain forms of chronic colitis, slow gastric emptying (gastroparesis), and the feeling of heaviness after meals (5).

By incorporating fennel into your diet, you could not only improve your digestion but also increase your daily comfort. To fully enjoy their benefits, try to consume them regularly in the form of seeds or teas.

Transform Your Plate with the Benefits of Spices

Several spoons of spices on graphite cardboard

Spices are not only ingredients that add flavor to our dishes, but they could also be powerful allies for our health. By wisely incorporating them into our diet, we could reap their numerous benefits, from fighting inflammation to improving our blood sugar levels and digestion.

For personalized advice tailored to your needs, do not hesitate to book an appointment with a dietitian or nutritionist from TeamNutrition. Together, we can integrate these culinary treasures into your daily routine!


  1. Damianou, A., Solomon, T. (2024, March 20). Curcumin. Retrieved May 23, 2024, from
  2. Semwal, R.B., Semwal, D.K., Combrinck, S., & Viljoen, A.M. (2015). Gingerols and shogaols: Important nutraceutical principles from ginger. Phytochemistry, 117, 554-568.
  3. Heidari-Beni, M., Moravejolahkami, A.R., Gorgian, P., Askari, G., Tarrahi, M.J., & Bahreini-Esfahani, N. (2020). Herbal formulation "turmeric extract, black pepper, and ginger" versus Naproxen for chronic knee osteoarthritis: A randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial. Phytotherapy Research, 34(8), 2067-2073.
  4. Patel, K. (2024, April 2). Cinnamon. Retrieved May 23, 2024, from
  5. Badgujar, S.B., Patel, V.V., & Bandivdekar, A.H. (2014). Foeniculum vulgare Mill: A review of its botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology, contemporary application, and toxicology. BioMed Research International, 2014, 842674.
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