Dr Basma’s Functional Spice Mixes

Herbs and Spices are my passion

What is Functional Spice Mix

Functional Spice Mix is a proprietary blend of organic, additive/flavouring free functional spices that add great nutritional value to food/drinks, used for culinary purposes. Functional Spice Mix can be added during cooking, consumed as tea or vegetable stock. Spices have been valued for thousand of years for their medicinal values, each ingredient in the Functional Spice Mix have an anti-inflammatory properties as well as a plethora of nutritional benefits, a multitude of minerals, fibres for the proper function of the mitochondria(the power house of the cell), immune, bone and hormonal health.

Functional Spice Mix can be custom made.

Spices are the dried aromatic parts of the plants, their phytochemical contents have a great role in maintaining a healthy diet, while several spices have been shown to exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects against obesity, metabolic diseases associated with obesity (insulin resistance, high cholesterol, high glucose).

Epidemiological and clinical evidence points to culinary herbs and spices as a dietary constituents with great nutritional value especially for the immune health impact and their anti-inflammatory role in the body.

Spices play a significant role in the way we cook and consume food. Every spice has its own flavor, its own mineral content, its own aroma. Spices enhance the flavour, aroma, colour of food and beverages, and add nutritional value.

Brief History of Spices

Historically, herbs and spices were used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Evidence that as early as 50,000 B.C. humans used the leaves of plants for their taste and flavours. Herbs and spices were used since ancient Egyptians, and continued to be used during the Middle Ages for flavoring, food preservation, and/or medicinal purposes. By the 1800s, new trade routes evolved , spice production and supplies increased, making herbs and spices more affordable.

Why I source Organic

Organic entails no synthetic chemicals were used during the cultivation. The spice Mix has No preservatives, MSG, GMO, flavourings, vegetable oils, hydrogenated seed oils or anti-caking agents are used in the blend, just whole fresh spices.

Pesticides are chemicals used in mass agriculture as pest control, to improve yeid. Due to gorwing populations and increase need for food, there’s increase need for pesticides.

In most countries, because of production, processing and storage methods, spices such as chili powder, pepper or paprika sometimes contain mycotoxins, residues of pesticides or heavy metals. Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by certain molds. These low molecular weight compounds (usually less than 1000 Daltons) are naturally occurring and practically unavoidable. They can enter our food chain either directly from plant-based food components contaminated with mycotoxins or by indirect contamination from the growth of toxigenic fungi on food.
A published study in 2018, 144 samples of paprika powder were tested for aflatoxin and Ochratoxin A in nationwide monitoring. Ochratoxin A in paprika powder was significantly higher in 2018 than for the other products examined.
Another published study in 2017, there were also mycotoxin in different spices. black pepper as well as chili and paprika spices, however, the levels measured were overall at low levels. Findings show the level of mycotoxins in food can fluctuate from year to year because of weather conditions. Spices can also become moldy in the home if not fresh or stored incorrectly. In 2018 and 2019, there were 16 and 13 alerts of mycotoxins in paprika and chili powder in the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), which corresponded to 41 percent of all reports on mycotoxins in herbs and spices in 2019.
The European Commission and member states monitor these notifications and if there are continued issues then increased checks can be placed on a product coming from outside the EU.

In a recent update to foods subject to enforced entry controls from certain countries, consignments of spice mixes from countries like Pakistan were added to the list due to possible aflatoxin contamination.

Heavy metals and pesticide residues: Paprika powder was examined in 2018 monitoring for heavy metals. In comparison to other investigated foods, there was a higher exposure to lead, copper, chromium and aluminum, but the the samples tested. Comparatively high levels of lead, aluminum, nickel, chromium and thallium were also found for black pepper during 2017 monitoring.

Achieving the maximum aroma

I buy Whole organic Seeds and grind them indvidually on the day to obtain maxium freshness and aroma.

Spices can be custom made to meet indivdual diet

The process of drying herbs and seeds concentrate the polyphenols content and add more flavor to food, allowing you to cut back on salt without sacrificing taste.

Ingredients:

A proprietary blend of functional spices including:

Dried organic Turmeric, Dried organic ginger, Dried organic Ceylon cinnamon, ground fresh organic pepper, ground fresh organic cardamon, organic/wild olive leaf, pinch of organic cayenne

Dried Red Pepper organic, Dried cumin organic, Dried garlic organic, Dried onion organic, Dried ginger organic, Dried turmeric organic, Ground peppercorns organic, Dried organic olive leaves, Dried oregano organic/thyme, Dried Sumac organic , sea salt flakes (from Ireland, UK)

All spices are blended by hand in different propotions to achieve the perfect balance

This spice blend is available to purchace online, for maxium freshness the spice blend can be ground fresh on the day of order

To ensure freshness, store in a dry cool place away from heat or direct sunlight

Some compaines sell herbs and spices as supplements, however, it’s best to eat the herb or spice in their natural form.

How to use Functional Spice Mix

The sauvory mix is great for marinating, dry rub, sauteeing, roasting, grilling, add to all broths to increase their nutruitonal value. Can also be used for salad dressing, flavour soups stews and sauces, season vegetables, rice, pasta

and as a hot soup/drink with a slice of lemon.To activate the spices, Pair with good quality extarvirgin olive oil.

Sweet Functional Spice Mix

A delicate balanced mix of organic : cinnamon, coranider, cardamen, ginger,  turmeric, cloves and raw cocoa powder (optional).

Also available fresh blend Zaatar, Dukkah (nut-free), Ras el Hanout, harissa, indvidual spices customised for every taste and dish.

All spices are sourced from SriLanka, India, Egypt, Turkey, Syria and Austria

Herbs and spices have antioxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory effects. Spices inhibit certain inflammatory pathways in the body, some exhibit anti-inflammatory compounds that limits the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines

Spices come with notable nutritional values

Nutrients are most potent when they come from food.

Compounds in natural foods have emerged as effective remedies owing to their abundant natural phytochemical constituents. Herbs are rich sources of the naturally occurring antioxidants, are important in preventing the build‐up of the free radicals producing during cooking.

There are long historical use of herbs and spices for their medicinal benefits, and there is recent growing amount of literature concerning the potential/purported benefits of these foods from a health perspective. 

These are the bioactive properties of the selected herbs and spices within a nutritional context

Polyphenols

Herbs and spices, especially in their dried forms, generally contain relatively high levels of polyphenols when compared to other polyphenol rich foods including broccoli, onion, dark chocolate, red, blue and purple berries and grapes.

The nutritional power of herbs lies in their abundance of protective polyphenols — plant compounds with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Hundred of  of studies show that polyphenols in herbs help combat such diseases as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and more.

Studies prove the habitual intake culinary herbs and spices add an important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and these properties are not diminished after cooking and digestion. 

Polyphenols are anti-microbial, can help protect us from harmful bacteria. Eventhough, studies on herbs’ effects have involved concentrated solutions of the leaves’ active components, there is more evidence that their benefits still occur when they are cooked and eaten as part of a regular diet.

These factors also promote better digestion that may help flush out excess sugar to maintain the body’s blood sugar level.

Paprika: Powdered paprika has many benefits with mild flavor. Red peppers have a plethora of anti inflammatory compounds, to help lower blood pressure and promotes eye health, healthy digestion.

Peppercorns: Peppercorn is the most widely used spice in the world. 500 years ago, pepper was worth it’s weight in gold. Pepper is a good source of vitamin K, manganese and iron. A pinch of black pepper when added to any recipe enhances the flavor manifold. Black pepper, also known as the king of spices, promotes weight loss as part of a healthy diet, helps relieve cold and cough, improves digestion, boosts metabolism and treats many skin problems. and is quite beneficial for diabetic people.

Olive leaves: have the highest oleuropein content, as well as other esters, flavonoids and hydroxytyrosol/ tyrosol, known in herbal medicine for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, antiatherosclerotic, anti-ischemic, and hypolipidemic effects. 

Sumac: one of the super-powered herbs, commonly used spice in the Arab peninsula. Components in Sumac have antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiemetic, antidiarrheal, antiviral, hypoglycemic, leukopenic and antifibrinogenic potential. Sumac fruit is rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus predominantly, followed by iron, sodium, boron and zinc. 

Turmeric: One of the components of turmeric is a substance called curcumin.

Curcumin in turmeric is packed with anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-mutagenic properties. Research suggests curcumin may reduce inflammation in the brain, relieves arthritis and has healing properties. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties have been instrumental in treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The antioxidant also destroys the free radicals in the body that damage the cells. 

Cumin: great source of fiber. Cumin seeds are excellent sources of iron, copper, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and magnesium, as well as B-complex vitamins and vitamins E, A, and C. cumin seeds has the ability to aid digestion, improve immunity, anemia, skin disorders, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis and more.

Chili Pepper: Chili peppers provide health benefits , chilli pepper is  a good source of vitamin C, One green chili pepper contains 109 mg of vitamin C, or 121% OF RDA. It contains in various bioactive constituents such as capsaicin, carotenes, ascorbic acids, polyphenols, flavonoids,

Chilli peppers boost metabolism, helps weight loss, as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle as well as it helps lowers blood pressure and relieves congestion.

Cayenne Pepper: is grown in the tropical and sub-tropical regions, Cayenne has various health benefits, aids in digestion, can have a powerful blood-thinning effect on your body because of their high levels of salicylates, increase blood circulation, has anti bacterial properties and helps with weight management.

Garlic: garlic has been used as a medicine in ancient times. Garlic is a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diets. Garlic have anti-microbial properties. Studies suggest that garlic may reduce cholesterol and triglycerides as part of a balanced diet. Garlic can lower LDL cholesterol because of the anti-oxidant properties of Allicin,  as well as benefits to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels. 

Ginger: Ginger is a tropical plant that has been used in old cultures for thousands of years to treat gastrointestinal issues. Ginger posses great phytochemical compounds that help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold.

Thyme: Gram for gram, fresh thyme has three times more vitamin C than oranges and one of the highest vitamin C concentration of all culinary herbs. One ounce (28 grams) of fresh thyme provides 45 mg of vitamin C, which is 50% of the DV (23). Even just sprinkling (3–6 grams) of fresh thyme over your meal adds 3.5–7 mg of vitamin C to diet.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree. Cinnamon is naturely a sweet spice, adds a sweet taste to food without adding sugar, and studies indicate it can lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon may also provide heart-healthy benefits, such as reducing high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Cardamom: cardamom is a sweet, pungent spice, high in minerals like magnesium and zinc. studies showed it may help fight inflammation

Cocoa: The cocoa bean is full of flavonoids, which play a role in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure , as well as antioxidants that have been shown to boost heart health as part of a balanced diet anf lifestyle.

The mineral of highest concentration was found to be potassium with a value of 7963 ppm, followed by calcium and phosphorus with 3661 ppm and 1238 ppm. thiamin B1, riboflavin B2, pyridoxine B6, B12, nicotinamide, biotin and ascorbic acid. 

Fighting inflammation

Inflammation is the immune system’s response to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells or  toxic compounds. Acute inflammation acts as a defence mechanism that is vital to health, However, uncontrolled acute inflammation may become chronic, resulting in a variety of chronic inflammatory diseases including cardiovascular and bowel diseases, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer

If  viruses or bacteria invade the body, the innate response together with the specific or adaptive defense mechanism derived from cells of the lymphocytes secrete proteins directed towards viruses or bacteria, including several cytokines and chemokines released by macrophages, triggering inflammation to enhance the response .

One study elucidated that the spices cinnamon, clove and nutmeg (uncooked, cooked and digested) significantly inhibited the pro-inflammatory enzyme cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2). The study also reported via correlation analysis that the anti-COX-2 activity was only partially associated with the antioxidant capacities and polyphenolic content of these spices. 

The inflammatory response is a complex one and involves numerous mediators, a number of which may be affected by individual polyphenols and thus by culinary herbs and spices, the inhibitory effect of polyphenolic compounds including phenolic acids and flavonoids on one or possibly several cellular pathways that are involved in the inflammatory process. These pathways include the arachidonic dependent pathways (COX) enzymes, and the arachidonic independent include peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs), nitric oxide synthase (NOS), nuclear transcription factor κB (NF-κB), which regulates the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-8, as well as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) activated gene.

Some of these polyphenols include those that are found in culinary herbs and spices. Curcumin, a predominant polyphenol in turmeric, also inhibits NF-κB.

Culinary herbs, including thyme is also reported to enhance the activity of the enzyme (SOD), which in addition to being an important antioxidant enzyme has the potential to act as an anti-inflammatory agent as it catalyses the dismutation of the free radical superoxide, which is associated with chronic inflammation.

Since these spices act as natural antibiotic, and posses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are known to help lower the rate at which glucose enters the body.

Diet and Lifestyle

A Balanced diet with added fruits and vegetables as those rich in flavonoids, have significantly reduced serum inflammatory markers by improving the vascular function, improving fat metabolism and weight management.

Disclamer

Always remember, moderation is the key. This content including advice provides generic information only. These dietary spices have not been evaluated by FDA, are not intended to diagnose, or cure diseases.

If you have allergies or using medications, consult your doctor before taking this product.
Although very great caution is been taken, this product is packed in a kitchen that also handles nuts, seeds, and gluten.



Warnings



Do not consume excessive amounts of spices if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have digestive issues such as stomach ulcers, gallstones, bile duct obstruction or increased stomach acid.\

As with any herbs please consult your healthcare practitioner before incorporating a changes in your diet, and since these herbs have sugar balancing, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti hypertensive so there’s possibly interactions with anti-hypertensive and hypoglycemic medications also patients taking diuretics or have renal diseases.


Turmeric naturally lowers blood pressure.



Sources & References:
Health Benefits of Culinary Herbs and Spices. T Alan Jiang 1 Nouritek International LLC, Timonium, MD 21093. J AOAC Int. 2019 Jul 1;102(4):48A.

Culinary herbs and spices: their bioactive properties, the contribution of polyphenols and the challenges in deducing their true health benefits.

Opara EI, Chohan M.Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Oct 22;15(10):19183-202. https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/15/10/19183/htm
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-spices-with-healthy-benefits

 The Role of Herbs and Spices in Cancer Prevention, Christine M. Kaefer and John A. Milner . J Nutr Biochem. 2008 Jun; 19(6): 347–361. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2007.11.003
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2771684/

Herbs and Spices- Biomarkers of Intake Based on Human Intervention Studies – A Systematic Review Rosa Vázquez-Fresno et al. Genes Nutr. 2019; 14: 18.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31143299/

Culinary Herbs and Spices: Their Bioactive Properties, the Contribution of Polyphenols and the Challenges in Deducing Their True Health Benefits. Elizabeth I. Opara and  Magali Chohan. Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Oct; 15(10): 19183–19202. doi: 10.3390/ijms151019183
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4227268/

T Alan Jiang , 2019 Mar 1;102(2):395-411. doi: 10.5740/jaoacint.18-0418. Epub 2019 Jan 16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30651162/
Best Spices for Arthritis | Arthritis Foundation https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/nutrition/healthy-eating/best-spices-for-arthritis
http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/agphome/documents/Pests_Pesticides/JMPR/Evaluation2015/PESTICIDES_RESIDUES_IN_SPICES.pdf

5 potential hazards in spices to keep an eye on (en) – Food & Feed Analysis
https://food.r-biopharm.com/news/5-potential-hazards-in-spices/

Pesticide residues in spices and herbs: Sample preparation methods and determination by chromatographic techniques – ScienceDirect
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S016599361930041X

http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/agphome/documents/Pests_Pesticides/JMPR/Evaluation04/Spices.pdf.

Occurrence, Toxicity, and Analysis of Major Mycotoxins in Food. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Jun; 14(6): 632. Published online 2017 Jun 13. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14060632

Joerg Gruenwald et al. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Oct.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20924865/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92774/
https://news.stanford.edu/2019/09/24/lead-found-turmeric/
Arreola R, Quintero-Fabián S, López-Roa RI, et al. Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds. J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:401630. doi:10.1155/2015/401630
Physiochemical properties and medicinal, nutritional and industrial applications of Lebanese Sumac (Syrian Sumac – Rhus coriaria): A review
Khaula Sakhr and Sami El Khatib
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7002821/#!po=0.515464
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Krishnapura_Srinivasan/publication/8489294_Digestive_stimulant_action_of_spices_A_myth_or_reality/links/54353eb70cf2dc341dafd0d1/Digestive-stimulant-action-of-spices-A-myth-or-reality.pdf?origin=publication_detail
Arreola R, Quintero-Fabián S, López-Roa RI, et al. Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds. J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:401630. doi:10.1155/2015/401630

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