In Indian Ayurveda, spices are one of the key medicinal elements. The use of spices in this system is subtly inscribed in the general philosophy of Ayurveda and is associated with the use of medicinal herbs. According to this Vedic medicine, spices are active elements that can both prevent diseases and treat them. Traditional medicine (WHO) classifies Ayurveda as an alternative practice and does not recognize its methods, but its failure has not been proven, so it will be useful for all lovers of spices to get acquainted with the Ayurveda rules for using spices.
Types of spices
Speaking of bulk wholesale spices from India, it is necessary to specify what kind of their variety we have in mind, because there is a huge difference between the product that scoops are sold by weight in the Indian markets and the one that you see on the shelves in tiny bags. First of all, spices are divided into groups depending on which parts of the plant they were extracted from: bark (cinnamon), peel (nutmeg), fruits or seeds (mustard), buds (cloves), roots (turmeric), flowers (saffron) etc.
Pure spices are the original, minimally processed product. Pure spices include options such as ground pepper, cinnamon in pods or ground, whole cloves, ground turmeric, etc. In order to use pure spices in cooking, you should be quite savvy in their application, since you will have to choose the dosage and combination of spices yourself. On the other hand, it’s worth it: using pure spices, you get the most benefit and the best taste.
Mixes are a very popular product, because in a bag with the inscription, for example: “Mix for salad”, “Spring greens” or “Spices for sweet cake”, there is a ready-to-eat component of the dish – you just need to add it. The number of components in such a mixture can reach ten, and the taste is balanced in such a way as to be more or less neutral, suitable for standard taste preferences. A mixture of spices is good for everyone – except that you can no longer exclude one or several components from it that you don’t like.
Flavored mixes are the least useful variety of spices, although it is considered the most convenient. In a bag with such a mixture there are not only a few crushed spices and herbs, but also salt, as well as sodium glutamate and other flavor enhancers, preservatives, flavorings. This is essentially a finished product, but by the degree of benefit it is somewhere near the pressed bouillon cubes, that is, its health benefits are at least dubious. Such mixtures are best avoided.
Dried herbs are the most common variant of spices for us – chopped mint, dill, basil or other aromatic spicy herb (or a mixture of herbs). No knowledge is required to use dried herbs, since it is very difficult to overdo it with such seasoning. Make sure that salt and other flavors are not “squashed” in the bag with dried herbs.
Spices for weight loss
If you were interested in getting rid of excess weight and were looking for information on this topic, then you probably caught the eye of articles on spices that supposedly contribute to weight loss. According to many, losing weight when using spices is facilitated for two reasons. Firstly, the use of spices in cooking allows you to reduce the amount of salt and make more delicious dietary dishes that in their natural form do not please with a rich taste (for example, food from a double boiler). This argument is quite true: spices, supplementing dishes with their specific taste, to some extent replace salt and, of course, improve the taste of dietary food.
So, the conclusion: you can well include spices in your diet (within reasonable limits, of course), but you should not rely on them and all the more diligently lean on them (there may be digestive problems). Using spices for weight loss is inefficient!