Indian spices have incredible digestive benefits. Many of them have been used medicinally in India for thousands of years. Today, Indian families across the world use these spices in almost every meal. People living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome can use these spices to assist with symptom relief and prevention.
From sprinkling the spices on fruit to adding them into tea, it is really easy to incorporate the spices into your daily routine. Here are some easy ways to use Indian digestive spices in your kitchen. By the way, all of these spices can be found at any grocery store.
Warm Turmeric Milk
Recipe: One glass of milk with one tablespoon of turmeric powder. I like Starwest Botanicals Organic Turmeric Root Powder. Add a cinnamon stick for taste. Drink this before bed.
Benefits: Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which has powerful medicinal benefits including anti-inflammatory effects.
Starfruit with Garam Masala
Recipe: Cut starfruit into half an inch pieces. Sprinkle a liberal amount of garam masala over top. I like to eat this as a snack during the day or dessert after dinner. So yummy!
Benefits: Starfruit comes from a tree native to India, but can be found in most grocery stores. It is packed with antioxidants and fiber. The fruit has a sweet taste and pairs perfectly with the sweet and spicy flavor of garam masala. This spice is commonly used in Ayurveda to improve digestive fire. It increases your body temperature which raises your metabolism and decreases constipation.
Masala Chai Tea
Recipe: Here is my favorite recipe. It calls for the following spices: black peppercorn, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. It tastes best with whole milk, so this is not the best option if you’re lactose intolerant or sensitive.
Benefits: Every spice in masala chai has individual health benefits. Overall, you are getting powerful anti-inflammatory effects, metabolism boost, natural pain relief, and bloating reduction.
A Handful of Fennel Seeds
Recipe: Eat a handful of fennel seeds after each meal. It’s a common digestive in India. You can also try my favorite brand of fennel tea if the seeds are too strong for you.
Benefits: Fennel seeds can provide relief from constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and flatulence. Fennel also has an amino acid called histidine that can help treat anemia. The seeds taste like black licorice and help cleanse the palate and curb cravings.
Tacos with Red Chili Powder
Recipe: Any one of your favorite taco recipes! Sprinkle a small amount of red chili powder into your taco ingredients. A small amount goes a long way!
Benefits: Red chili powder can prevent acid reflux and kill bacteria that cause stomach ulcers. It also has a large amount of fiber which helps ease digestion and prevent constipation.
As you can see, Indian spices can be used in a variety of ways. A common misconception is that you can only use these spices in Indian food. On the contrary, the spices will work well in dishes you are already making in your kitchen. Experiment with these spices and see what you discover. I know one thing- you will be doing your digestive system a big favor.