Sweet, sour, salty, pungent and bitter are all flavours you can taste in one bite of food seasoned with Chinese five spice powder. Cinnamon, clove, Sichuan peppercorn, star anise and fennel seed are each finely ground and combined as Chinese five spice powder. This healthy, nutritionally-beneficial spice is often used as a base in recipes representative of Chinese cuisine.
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Cinnamon comes from the outer bark of a small, bushy, evergreen tree. Bark from the trees of Sri Lanka are regarded as producing "true cinnamon," being higher in antioxidants than any other food source. Cinnamon is also rich in essential oils. Minerals in cinnamon include potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and magnesium. Cinnamon contains vitamin A, niacin, pyridoxine and pantitheric acid, all good for you. Cinnamon can help to control blood pressure and heart rate. It helps with flatulence and indigestion.
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Cloves originated from an evergreen tree of the Myrtle family in Indonesia. They appear as small, pink flowers. When dried, cloves resemble small, dark, irregular nails. The essential oils in cloves are tannins, triterpenoids, sesquiterpenes and flavinoids. Cloves are rich in vitamins and minerals. The vitamins are vitamin A, vitamin K, B6, B1, vitamin C and riboflavin. The minerals include potassium, iron, selenium, manganese and magnesium. Ingesting cloves aids in digestion and help relieve constipation.
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Sichaun peppercorns are found on the spicy outercoat of the berries on a Prickly Ash tree. These hot, tangy, citrusy, anise-favoured peppercorns are rich in essential oils and antioxidants. They contain the minerals copper, manganese, potassium, selenium and zinc. The vitamins found in Sichuan peppercorns are vitamin A, carotene, pyridoxine and thiamine. These peppercorns aid in digestion and help to calm a cough. They also can help to quell spasms or act as a stimulant.
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Star anise comes from a tree bearing a star-shaped fruit. The husk and seeds of the fruit are used to make this liquorice-flavoured spice. It has antioxidant properties from vitamins C and A. Anise also contains the B-complex vitamins. The minerals in star anise are calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper. Copper is essential in the production of red blood cells. Star anise can relieve stomach pain and bring relief from colds and cough.
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Sweet, anise-flavoured fennel seed is recognised as one of nine Anglo-Saxon sacred herbs for its highly regarded health benefits. It is believed to promote longevity, courage and strength. Fennel seeds are an excellent source of insoluble dietary fibre and a fine antioxidant. The seeds are mineral-rich with iron, copper, calcium, selenium, manganese, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Vitamins found in fennel seeds are vitamins A, E, C and many B-complex vitamins. Fennel seeds in your diet can aid in relaxing the stomach, relieving constipation, and helping to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.