A little flavor can go a long way—but these 5 spices go above and beyond the call of duty! Apart from being delicious (and easy to work with), they have health benefits that you wouldn’t believe!

1. Ginger

Ginger is the perfect way to add an Asian flavor to any meal. It’s aromatic, zesty, and has medicinal value that can’t be beat. To soothe an upset stomach, or even to fight arthritis pain, try cooking with ginger or making it into a tea.

2. Rosemary

Rosemary has one of the most distinct and wonderful smells in the culinary world. As if that’s not a good enough reason to use it more often, it has also been shown to fight foodborne illness and help mental focus. It pairs especially well with heavy dishes such as meat or potatoes, so get smart and get cooking!

3. Chili Pepper

Everyone knows chili peppers have a kick that can clear the sinuses but research suggests that it can also help kick your metabolism into high gear. Use it to give your food a Hispanic flair or even add it to some chocolate for a dessert that won’t quit!

4. Cinnamon

Here’s a spice that you can use in dishes sweet and savory alike! Sprinkle it over your dessert or throw it in the slow cooker to reap the benefits cinnamon has to offer. It may help to stabilize your blood sugar as well as put a smile on everyone’s face.

5. Sage

You’re no stranger to the common cold, especially in the cold winter months. But, the solution might be simpler than you could imagine. Sage is one of the most common herbs in the US and has a very warm flavor that has been known to soothe sore throats. It also can help preserve your memory—never forget to throw some in the pot again!