National Herbs and Spices Day 2024: Top three Indian spices and their health benefits

Touted as the Land of Spices, India is known for its large-scale production of diverse spices. From the fiery heat of **chilli** to the warm earthiness of **turmeric**, Indian spices have been celebrated for centuries for their medicinal properties and holistic health benefits. Thus, on the occasion of National Herbs and Spices Day, we took the liberty to list down three Indian spices that must make it to your kitchen counter for more reasons than one!

**Black Pepper**
The king of spices finds its rightful place at the top of the list for its enhanced nutrient absorption properties due to the presence of piperine. Piperine has been shown to increase the bioavailability of various nutrients and beneficial compounds, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

**Dried Red Chillies**
Dried red chillies, usually used as a whole or in powdered form, are used to provide color and add warmth to the dish. Capsaicin, the active compound in red chilli, is highly effective in reducing inflammation in the body.

This natural food colorant, known for making any dish a visual treat, also boasts antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. It is a powdered spice that is used to impart a golden color and earthy flavor to the food. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is a potent antioxidant that helps neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. This action protects cells from damage, reduces the risk of chronic diseases, and supports overall health and longevity.

As we celebrate National Herbs and Spices Day, let us embrace the rich tapestry of Indian spices and their myriad health benefits that have been cherished for generations. Incorporating these three powerhouse spices into your daily cooking routine can not only elevate the flavor of your dishes but also contribute to your overall well-being.

(Written by Shruthi Darshini)