Whether you’re looking to better your performance in the bedroom, boost your brain at work, or improve your stamina at the gym, adding powerful plant substances to your diet can help you get there.
While Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine have known this for thousands of years, Western science is now catching up to discover that many spices provide powerful anti-inflammatory and energy-boosting effects, even in small doses. Bonus: They also offer antioxidants that can help you become healthier.
From curry to cloves, here are six of my favorite herbs and spices to help boost energy. They’re even easier to remember: they all start with “C”!
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This flavorful mixture of spices contains turmeric, which gives it its notable yellow color, and fenugreek.
Turmeric is composed of curcumin, known as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. In fact, studies show that it may even have cancer-fighting benefits, can reduce pain, and can improve brain, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and lung functions.
How to Use It: Add curry to soups and stews, or sprinkle some over vegetables with a dash of olive oil before roasting.
This classic spice does more than help create a festive feel around the holidays.
Studies have shown that it can also help lower blood sugar levels and improve heart health. Plus, it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and assists with anticancer and antimicrobial (anti-infection) activity.
Traditionally, this spice has been used to improve libido in both men and women, though that hasn’t yet been scientifically validated.
How to Use It: Take a teaspoon of cinnamon in your morning coffee or tea, or add it to apples and oatmeal.
Though a main component in curry powders, cumin can also pack a punch when used on its own. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cumin has also been used to help with low sex drives.
How to Use It: I love throwing a tablespoon into soups or stews, and on my sweet potato mash.
This spice’s active ingredient is capsaicim, which is good for the heart, arteries, blood and digestive system. Not to mention that it’s also a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, has strong anti-cancer activity, and helps boost metabolism.
How to Use It: Add a teaspoon to spice up your breakfast eggs. Or, combine a tablespoon with a teaspoon of paprika to punch up tomato sauce.
This aromatic spice was used by the ancients to improve libido and sex drive. Today, it’s also known as a powerful antioxidant, aiding in digestion, reducing inflammation and helping with wound healing.
How to Use It: Cloves can be a great addition to tea or hot cider.
Coriander comes from the dried seed of cilantro. It acts as a detoxifier and can aid with digestion, hormone and mood balance. Plus, it also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and is a good source of minerals like magnesium, iron and manganese.
How to Use It: Add coriander to your soups, stews or meat dishes. In the form of cilantro, this herb can also be used in salsa, salads or as a way to spice up any dish.