People of Earth: it's finally raining in L.A. While nothing makes us happier in the middle of winter than a good downpour, it also tends to chill the bones. So what do we do? Load up on warming spices! Not only do these little wonders make up the sort of "pumpkin spice" blend that gets people all in a frenzy, they're also seriously good for your bod. Read on! (Also unpopular opinion: please don't drink pumpkin spice lattes--they are gross.)
Ginger: We've lauded this spicy root before for its incredible healing properties and benefits on your tum. This immune-booster actually makes your body feel warmer, promoting healthy sweating. Try steeping whole slices of raw ginger with honey and lemon in hot water for a healing, warm drink that works wonders on sore throats.
Cinnamon: A teaspoon of cinnamon has the same antioxidant power as a half cup of blueberries! It fights yeast and bad bacteria, helps regulate blood sugar, and reduces triglycerides. Sprinkle it on toast or oatmeal, or try adding a few cinnamon sticks to a jug of water for the yummiest hydration ever.
Cardamom: This warm, perfumey spice is common in Indian cooking and Scandinavian pastries. It has a cleansing effect on the kidneys and can help flush toxins from the body. It's got crazy anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it a favorite in anti-cancer diets and for those battling chronic infections. Icing on the cardamom-laced cake? It's an anti-spasmodic that can help you kick a nasty case of hiccups. Who knew? Add a bit to rice, try a teaspoon in a banana and almond smoothie, or stir it into warm nut milk for a soothing bedtime drink.
Cloves: Powerful in flavor, this dark brown spice also boasts some righteous health perks. Cloves contain a significant amount of eugenol, which aids in ridding the body of toxins, inflammation, and infection. Cloves are even a mild anesthetic and have been used for centuries to treat toothaches and gum pain. Add to lentils and rice, or a mulled beverage. Cloves also go really well with citrus, so consider pairing them with oranges or lemons in a dessert or drink.