By Katherine Watt 

‘All spices have health properties but some are superior to others, so it is always good to use a good mix,’ says TV nutritionist Tonia Buxton. ‘I’m fascinated with spices and the incredible anti-ageing benefits they have.’ So, whether you’re keen on chilli’s kick, or you’re enjoying the latest trend for turmeric, here’s how these five star spices can do wonders for your health:

Help your heart with cayenne

Cayenne, like all types of chilli, contains capsaicin, a powerful antioxidant. ‘As well as preventing oxidation, it also helps dilate your blood vessels,’ says Tonia. This increases blood flow to all parts of your body, preventing clots and lowering blood pressure – all great news for heart health. ‘What’s more, capsaicin helps reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, which are two of the major risk factors for heart disease,’ she says.

Try this… Hot chocolate kicker

‘I love to make chilli hot chocolate,’ says Tonia. For two delicious mugs, gently heat 700ml milk, 2tbsp cacao powder, 2tsp Manuka honey, 1 small, scored red chilli, and 1tsp coconut oil in a pan, stirring until smooth and without letting it boil. Discard the chilli before serving.

Discover the anti-ageing properties of coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and cumin, and how to use them, in the October issue of Top Santè.