Spices are the secret of delicious Nepalese cuisine. We use different types of masala or spices in our dishes to enhance the taste. Nepalese dishes have a minimum of 6-7 types of masala, and these spices can awesomely make flavorful cuisine.
Besides this, various types of masala or spices that you have in your kitchen have health benefits too. For sure, you are using many types of masala while cooking, but you might not know that those spices benefit health.
Let’s learn about the different types of masala or spices, which are beneficial for health.
8 Types of Masala (Spices) to power your body
Turmeric powder, salt, cumin powder, garam masala, ginger-garlic paste are commonly used masala in Nepalese dishes, and there are other types of spices which is rarely used but have incredible health benefits.
1. Turmeric powder
Turmeric powder or Haldi is the most effective spice. You might use turmeric powder to give yellowish color to your dishes, but it can do more than that. Turmeric has a substance called curcumin, which is essential for a healthy body.
- Curcumin can repair stem cells of the brain. Stem cells can help recover neurodegenerative diseases.
- Consuming raw turmeric can help in recovering from a digestive problem.
- Anti-inflammatory qualities of curcumin help in reducing pain and swelling in people with arthritis.
- Lipopolysaccharide substance is found in turmeric, which has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal agents that improve the immunity system.
Salt is the most important masala and comes under those types of spices which is underrated in terms of health benefits. The role of salt is not only to enhance the taste in dishes. It belongs to those types of spices which boost the flavor however this masala has numerous health benefits.
- Salt has sodium and potassium, which help to keep the body hydrated. Your body will send a signal to the brain to drink water when the balance of salt and water in the bloodstream needs diluting.
- Sodium in salt regulates the flow of water in your body, which is important for a healthy nervous system.
- A regular dose of salt ensures the flow of fluid in the body, which helps in hormonal balance.
- Salt therapy is a process that can treat the respiratory system.
3. Cumin powder
Cumin or jeera powder is one of the essential masalas in Nepalese dishes. Consuming the right amount of cumin powder can help to keep the body healthy. Cumin powder also comes under those types of spices which enhances flavor however, this masala has many health benefits too.
- Drinking jeera water can help you in getting rid of acidity and bloating.
- Cumin powder is best for pregnant women as drinking jeera water improves digestion and promotes lactation.
- Jeera is rich in potassium, which is essential for the proper functioning of the body.
- Jeera can also boost the metabolism of the body.
Ginger adds flavor and aroma to the dishes. Using ginger powder or ginger paste in your dishes keeps your body healthy and works best in some diseases. Make sure you use enough ginger in your dishes to benefit your health.
- Ginger is an easy solution for morning sickness in pregnant women.
- It has a component like gingerols and shaogals, which is a perfect aid for a common cold.
- Anti-inflammatory properties in ginger relieve upset stomach and improve digestion.
- Ginger also has anti-bacterial properties that prevent an infection in the body.
Don’t just use garlic to boost the flavor in curries, dals, chicken, and other dishes but make sure you use the right amount of garlic to benefit your health. If you are using a small amount of ginger-garlic paste in your dishes, try slightly increasing the amount as it enhances the taste as well as benefit health.
- The presence of Sulphur in garlic gives it antibiotic property, which helps to keep the digestive system clean.
- Drinking garlic water every day can help in purifying the blood, which helps in keeping skin healthy.
- Garlic has an anti-oxidant property that helps in maintaining the cholesterol level in the body.
- A study has found that consuming garlic daily can help to prevent stomach and colorectal cancer.
6. Garam masala
Since garam masala is a combination of different types of spices, its total health benefits are the mixture of all the masalas you use in it. Garam masala is a combination of various types of spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, peppercorn, cardamom, and bay leaves.
- Garam masala stimulates appetite and boosts digestion by promoting the release of gastric juice in the stomach.
- It is rich in phytonutrients, which helps in improving metabolism.
- Antioxidants present in garam masala prevent skin problems and also help fight inflammation.
- Carminative properties of Garma masala help in fighting bloating, flatulence, and nausea.
Hing, also known as Asafoetida, is commonly used in Nepalese households and use for cooking purposes. It is mostly used for tempering dals and vegetables. Many people used hing occasionally rather than using it regularly, which is why you may lack its benefits.
- Hing has inflammatory properties that help in relieving respiratory disorders such as asthma, dry cough, and bronchitis.
- It contains a substance called Coumadin that improves the blood flow in the body.
- As hing improves blood flow, it is useful to reduce cramps during menstruation and cramps in the lower abdomen and back.
- Anti-viral properties of hing are useful in curing common flu.
8. Bay leaves
Bay leaves ( tej patta) are rich sources of vitamin A, Vitamin C, folic acid, and various other minerals, which are beneficial for health. As bay leaves are rich in nutrients, it is used to treat multiple diseases.
- The unique enzyme presence in bay leaves is effective in improving digestion.
- Bay leaves have organic components such as caffeic and rutin, help in enhancing heart health.
- Linalool is a presence in bay leaves that can lower the level of stress hormones in your body.
- Bay leaves are popular herbs, which are effective in treating diabetics.
These are the few types of spices that are mostly used in the Nepalese kitchen. Other than these spices, there are other types of masala, such as carom seeds (Ajwain), Cardamom, Cinnamon sticks, which also have incredible health benefits.