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Health Benefits of Herbs and Spices Indian Food

Sharing the Giyan (wisdom) of North Indian spices

Punjabi food is a popular cuisine that is enjoyed by people all over the world. It is known for its rich flavors, use of spices, and hearty portions. The spices used in Punjabi food not only add flavor to the dishes but also provide numerous health benefits. Our ancestors have reaped the benefits through our family farming history in Punjab and with the rise of plant-based foods and greater awareness to the immense value they have we wanted to share it with a new and appreciative audience here in the UK.

Turmeric (Haldi)

First and foremost, turmeric is a pivotal ingredient in Punjabi cuisine, known for its vibrant yellow hue and a myriad of health benefits. Intriguingly, it contains a powerful substance called curcumin, which actively fights against inflammation, possibly preventing serious health problems including heart diseases and certain cancers. Moreover, it potentially enhances brain function and uplifts mood due to its ability to elevate levels of the hormone BDNF.

“Turmeric has rightly earned its ‘superfood’ status. The golden spice is believed to protect our cells from inflammation and damage, slow down the process of ageing, ease symptoms of arthritis and even reduce the spread of cancerous cells”

BBC Good Food

Our most turmeric rich dishes we provide are Aloo Gobi and our Yellow Lentil Dal

Antioxidant Features of Turmeric

Furthermore, turmeric boasts antioxidant properties that vigorously support a resilient immune system, potentially reducing the impact of infections when they occur. Not only does it improve the heart’s health by enhancing the function of blood vessel linings, but it also possibly prevents dangerous blood clots.

Anti-inflammatory Features of Turmeric

Equally important, turmeric can be a boon for individuals with arthritis, alleviating pain and enhancing joint mobility. Impressively, it could even minimize the need for pain medications. Additionally, it has a role in fostering good gut bacteria, consequently aiding in smoother digestion and avoiding discomforting issues like bloating and indigestion.

turmeric plant and ground powder

Cumin (Jeera)

Similarly, cumin is a staple in Punjabi dishes, housing the antimicrobial compound thymol. Remarkably, it facilitates digestion by prompting the secretion of digestive enzymes, hence reducing stomach problems like bloating and gas. Moreover, it serves as a reservoir of antioxidants, bolstering the immune system and shielding against infections and diseases.

Coriander (Dhaniya)

Next in line, we have coriander, a herb replete with antioxidants including vitamin C and beta-carotene. Furthermore, it aids digestion by boosting gut motility and fighting inflammation in the digestive tract. Not to mention, it has a proven effect in reducing body cholesterol levels, promoting a healthy heart.


Cardamom (Elaichi)

Moving forward, cardamom is a favorite in Punjabi desserts, playing a crucial role in enhancing the digestive process through the stimulation of enzyme production. Besides its digestive benefits, it has a knack for freshening breath and potentially reducing inflammation, thereby potentially decreasing the risk of chronic diseases.

scattered fresh cardamom

Fenugreek (Methi)

Noteworthy is fenugreek, a herb with a rich tradition in cooking and medicinal uses. It stands tall as a regulator of blood sugar levels owing to its high soluble fiber content. Additionally, it aids in digestion and has a historic use in increasing milk production in nursing mothers, offering a natural and effective solution.

fenugreek plant

Ginger (Adrak)

Last but certainly not least, ginger is a universal element in Punjabi food, offering both flavor and health benefits. As well as alleviating nausea, it encompasses compounds that are formidable against inflammation, actively aiding digestion and offering pain relief. Above all, it showcases potential in controlling diabetes by enhancing insulin sensitivity.


Foremost, cinnamon stands as a spice derived from the inner bark of trees belonging to the genus Cinnamomum, gracing dishes with its sweet and warm flavor. Often employed in both culinary and medicinal fields, this spice carries with it an array of confirmed health advantages. Here, we delve deeper into the specific health benefits of cinnamon:

Reduces inflammation: Impressively, cinnamon is loaded with anti-inflammatory attributes that actively work towards diminishing the risks associated with chronic ailments such as heart diseases, cancers, and arthritis. This property ensures that it not only adds flavor to your meals but also safeguards your health.

Improves blood sugar control: Notably, individuals with diabetes can find a helper in cinnamon, given its potent role in enhancing blood sugar regulation, fostering a balanced and healthier life.

Fights bacteria: Moreover, cinnamon presents itself as a warrior against bacteria, bearing antibacterial traits that effectively combat infections, thereby potentially reducing one’s sick days and promoting a robust immune system.

In conclusion, cinnamon emerges as a safe and potent spice, suitable for people across all age groups. It serves as a rich source of antioxidants, enhancing one’s diet with not just delightful flavors but also a spectrum of health benefits. Hence, for anyone aiming to elevate their culinary experiences while reaping health gains, cinnamon emerges as an exceptional choice.

Caraway seeds

Caraway seeds are the dried fruit of the caraway plant native to Europe and Asia, widely utilized in both cooking and baking, thanks to their strong, slightly bitter flavor reminiscent of licorice. Beyond their culinary usage in dishes such as breads, stews, and even beverages, they offer considerable health benefits:

  • Digestion: Enhance digestive enzyme production, aiding in smoother digestion.
  • Constipation relief: Foster bile production, easing constipation.
  • Immune support: Boost the immune system by encouraging white blood cell production.
  • Colic relief: Assist in reducing gas and bloating in babies.

Whether used whole or ground, their robust flavor can enrich a variety of dishes, but remember to use them sparingly due to their strong flavor. Caraway seeds not only introduce a distinct flavor to your meals but also bring a host of health benefits, making them a fantastic addition to your diet.

Tandoori Masala

Tandoori masala, a popular Indian spice blend, combines ingredients such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chili powder, and garam masala to introduce a smoky and spicy flavor to a myriad of dishes including our vegan tandoori prawns and sprouts. The distinctive smoky nuance arises from the traditional cooking method involving a wood or charcoal-heated clay oven known as a tandoor.

Beyond its gastronomic appeal, tandoori masala is a trove of health benefits:

  • Cumin: Offers a good amount of fiber, aiding in digestion.
  • Coriander: A rich source of vitamins C and K.
  • Turmeric: Well-known for its anti-inflammatory attributes.

Available readily at grocery stores, you can also create a personalized blend at home adjusting the proportion of each spice to suit your palate. Tandoori masala stands as an excellent choice for those aiming to enhance their diet with vibrant flavors accompanied by healthful advantages.

In conclusion, the array of health benefits of spices in Punjabi food is both vast and impactful. Spices like turmeric, cumin, and ginger offer anti-inflammatory and digestive aid properties, respectively, each contributing uniquely to health and well-being. Others, including coriander and cardamom, enhance dishes while potentially lowering cholesterol and boosting heart health. Moreover, fenugreek supports various health facets, including aiding digestion and enhancing maternal milk production. Thus, Punjabi cuisine not only offers a rich gastronomic experience but also fosters a healthier life, highlighting the remarkable health benefits of spices in Punjabi food.

Disclaimer: All information has been provided by means of research from reputable sources. The health benefits all listed are scientifically stated as may be beneficial. We are not qualified to substantiate these claims but are sharing the information for reference purposes and to pass on knowledge of the deeper benefits of herbs and spices we use in our cooking.



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