Boost your brain power with some sage. (Photo courtesy of Chris Gallo)
Some ailments need the power of the medicine cabinet, but other times when you're not feeling that hot all you need to do is look toward the spice rack. Whether you're in a bad mood, can't stop coughing, nursing a hangover, or have post-workout soreness, here are four spices that can help you feel better — no medicine required!
When to use: When you're feeling down.
Why: The hot feeling you get in your mouth is from the compound capsaicin. It triggers pain receptors in your mouth, which causes your brain to release feel-good endorphins to compensate.
How to eat: Spice up a cold, dreary day with this spicy-sweet chili recipe, or this recipe for a healthy version of spicy eggplant.
When to use: When you're fighting a cold or feeling nauseous or achy.
Why: Remedy the sniffles, aches, and congestion of the season with ginger; ginger contains a chemical that helps reduce nausea and inflammation symptoms, and ginger tea has been a tried-and-true congestion remedy for years.
How to eat: Whip up this ginger tea recipe the next time you are feeling under the weather, or dress up your dinner with this ginger-garlic broccoli recipe.
When to use: Those foggy-headed days.
Why: The ancient herb has been used for anything from sore throats to aiding fertility, but studies haven't been done in every area to see how effective the ancient herb is. Small studies, however, have shown that sage works in improving mental performance in thinking and learning in both younger people and older Alzheimer's patients.
How to eat: Go fresh with this bean salad recipe that uses fresh sage and other herbs, or remedy cut the foggy-headedness with a cup of sage tea.
More from FitSugar: