Did you know that the healthy seasonal flavors you have in your home have amazing benefits? As you cook during the holidays, add some health benefits to your favorite recipes!
Ginger – as in gingersnap cookies.
The Indians and the Chinese produced ginger as a tonic root to treat many ailments some 5,000 years ago. Likewise, Ancient Romans valued it for its medicinal properties, and it became a highly sought after commodity in Europe. Ginger preserved sweets by medieval times. Rumor says that Queen Elizabeth I, of England, invented the gingerbread man. Ginger has therapeutic and preventative health effects. Specifically, the most well-known effects are its anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, and anti-cancer properties.
Cranberries – as in cranberry crisp.
European settlers in North America adopted Native American uses for the cranberry and found it to be a useful bartering tool. As another use, American whalers and mariners stored cranberries onboard ships to prevent scurvy. Due to its high content of flavonoids and phenolic acids, the cranberry ranks highly among fruits for antioxidant quality and quantity. Likewise, these antioxidant properties are likely the reason for cranberry’s disease-fighting properties. Many studies have found cranberries to be beneficial in the treatment and management of heart disease.
Peppermint, as in peppermint candy cane.
Ancient Egyptians used peppermint to treat indigestion. Dried leaves have been found in pyramids and tombs dating back as far as 1,000 BC. Ancient Greeks and Romans also valued peppermint as a stomach soother. By the eighteenth century, Western Europeans were using peppermint to alleviate nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, and respiratory infections. Today, peppermint is listed in the British Herbal Pharmacopeia as a remedy for intestinal colic, gas, colds, morning sickness, and menstrual pains. Moreover, peppermint oil contains menthol, which has been found to have pain-relieving and infection-fighting properties. Isn’t this an amazing healthy seasonal flavor?
Cinnamon – as in cinnamon snickerdoodle.
The use of cinnamon bark dates back to at least 2,700 BC. Chinese herbalists from that time used cinnamon as a treatment for fever, diarrhea, and menstrual problems. In fact, Egyptians added cinnamon to their embalming practice. Greeks, Hebrews, and Romans used it for indigestion. Modern herbalists prescribe cinnamon for nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, and asthma. The active ingredients in cinnamon bark have been found to have antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Try this yummy recipe that uses cinnamon!
Chocolate – as in hot chocolate.
Most archeologists agree that the Olmecs, an ancient Central American tribe who pre-dated the Mayans and Aztecs, were the first to cultivate and consume chocolate. Humans have been enjoying chocolate for over 2,500 years! Historically, chocolate has been seen as an antiseptic and cure for fever, burns, listlessness, and snakebites. Modern scientists now report that dark chocolate is a heart-healthy treat making this a favorite healthy seasonal flavor.
Disclaimer: CNC does not endorse over-indulging in sweet treats for health benefits 😜. Instead, we want to educate our clients and community on fun, healthy seasonal flavors with medicinal properties. Enjoy the amount that will help you spread holiday cheer 😊.