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The History and Benefits of Five-Spice

June 28, 2021 2 min read


munchrooms are a mushroom-based snack that are both flavorful and nutrient-dense all at once! The three flavors of mushroom jerky that are offered by munchrooms are the Asian-inspired five-spice, cracked black pepper, and spicy chili pepper. Each unique ingredient has a history that dates back centuries and many mental and physical health benefits.

The History of Five-Spice:

Originated in Southern China, Chinese five-spice contains star anise, fennel seeds, szechuan peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon. It is believed that the Chinese were attempting to produce a “wonder powder” encompassing all of the five elements-- wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. These elements are represented by the five flavors (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and salty).

The Health Benefits of Five-Spice:

Szechuan peppercorns contain capsaicin which creates a feeling of heat which helps boost the digestive system. It is a rich source of vitamin A, carotenes, and pyridoxine. It is also a good source of minerals like potassium, copper, and iron (a vital substance in hemoglobin which carries the oxygen within red blood vessels). 

Cinnamon is anabolic in action. This means that it influences muscles and tissue gain. It promotes enzymes and pancreatic activities as well. Cinnamon contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects, helping to lower your risk of disease. 

Fennel seeds have rich antioxidant content strengthening the immune system. It includes potassium, folate, vitamin C and B-6. There is a significant amount of fiber and a lack of cholesterol, which reduces the risk of heart disease. 

Star Anise has a distinctive sweet taste and provides essential minerals like iron, manganese, and calcium. Studies show that star anise is high in antioxidants and helps prevent chronic disease by reducing inflammation. The main compound of star anise is shikimic acid which was used in the production of the drug Tamiflu to produce an antiviral medicine against the deadly Bird Flu. 

Cloves promote bile secretion, critical for digestion and absorption of both fats and fat-soluble vitamins. It helps prevent cancer through high isothiocyanate. It also boasts antioxidants, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Cloves provide high levels of vitamin A and improves digestion through boosting the production of digestive enzymes.

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