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Health Benefits of Spices Used in Holiday Recipes

Learn how your favorite holiday flavors can help boost your health.

The health benefits of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg include reduced inflammation and lowered cholesterol.

The holiday season is an excellent time for cozying up and baking or cooking some classic recipes! Chances are, many of your holiday favorites include warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and more. But did you know there are additional health benefits of spices?

Some spices, like the ones you’ll commonly find in holiday recipes, are shown to have significant health benefits, including reducing inflammation, pain relief, high levels of antioxidants, and more. Of course, these health benefits shouldn’t replace medication or advice given by your health professional, but it’s always fun to know your favorite holiday cookie may include a little extra health boost!

Learn about the health benefits of spices that are already used in many holiday dishes, including:

  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice

Let’s dig in to these health benefits of spices you’ll likely be using in your cooking this holiday season!


Cinnamon is a great spice used in both sweet and savory recipes. Not only is it a fall and winter favorite of many, but it also has some great health benefits! Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties that can boost heart health, may help reduce blood sugar levels, and can even help lower cholesterol. Some fun ways to add more cinnamon to your diet include adding a sprinkle to coffee, baking some cinnamon apples, and using it on baked sweet potatoes this holiday season. 


Besides adding zing to many a holiday recipe, ginger is a staple in many Asian, Indian, and Caribbean dishes and can even be used in juices and smoothies! Ginger contains some great nutrients like vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. In addition, it can help with inflammatory-related pain relief, improves blood sugar regulation, reduces nausea, and may help lower cholesterol. Some fun ways to add more ginger these holidays are to make ginger tea, add a little to your morning smoothie, or toss it into a stir fry.


Cloves are a wonderful spice used in gingerbread cookies and many recipes in Indian cuisine. Cloves are high in antioxidants, may improve liver health, help regulate blood sugar, and promote bone health. They can be added to many holiday dishes like desserts, curries, or chutneys to bring a warm flavor. 


Nutmeg is used in many desserts this time of year to provide a warm, slightly nutty flavor. Nutmeg also contains antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, may benefit heart health, and could even boost mood! It can be paired with other spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves, or it can be used on its own. Take advantage of the cozy flavor and health benefits by adding nutmeg to delicious warm beverages like apple cider, hot chocolate, and chai.


Allspice is a spicy, slightly sweet flavor that is used in some savory foods and can even be brewed as a tea! It can help reduce inflammation, be used to treat nausea, relieve pain, and can even be used to prevent infection. Some ways to add more allspice to your holiday recipes are to add it to gingerbread for an extra kick, sprinkle ground allspice on roasted vegetables, or mix it up and make a traditional Jamaican jerk chicken for your holiday gathering.

Bring some extra goodness to the holidays knowing these health benefits of spices used in holiday recipes. For more recipes and wellness tips, check out the CapTel blog!