Spices do not only add flavor to your dishes, they are extremely healthy for you and may even help protect against certain chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Polyphenols are the main compounds found in all these spices. You might of heard that wine, tea and certain fruits & vegetables also have an abundance of polyphenols.
My favorite aspect of using spices is it reduces your urge to use less healthier options like SALT and SUGAR while cooking.
Check out these awesome spices to add into your foods today!
- Cinnamon is one of the biggest antioxidant power spices. These antioxidants have been linked to lower inflammation, as well as reductions in blood glucose concentrations in people with diabetes.
- Add a teaspoon to either your oatmeal, yogurt, coffee, hot coco, baked sweet potatoes etc. Be creative!
- Chili Peppers contain a compound known as capsaicin, providing numerous of health benefits. It speeds up your metabolism, promotes sweating to get rid of an infection, improves blood circulation, helps you spice up your sex life etc. Check out my previous post Spice It Up on this spice in detail.
- Add it to make chili, soups, burgers, stews, salsa and even breakfast dishes like an omelet or a frittata.
- Turmeric is rich in curcuminoids, which are known for their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It's a natural liver detoxifyer, a natural treatment for arthritis, and turmeric is currently under investigation that it may have cured Alzheimer's disease. Also, according to a study, published in Planta Medica, taking turmeric in combination with black pepper, which contains piperine, improves turmeric absorbability throughout the entire body. They added 20mg of piperine to 2000mg Turmeric, and it increased the bioavailability of Turmeric 154 percent!
- Sprinkle some turmeric to a yogurt, an egg salad, to water while boiling rice, add to chicken and seafood casseroles.
- Garlic is known for its antioxidant protection. It has been used as a remedy for coughs, colds and flus. Garlic lowers fever by promoting sweating which eliminates toxins from the body.
- There are numerous ways to incorporate garlic into your diet, but the best way is in its raw form.
- Garlic goes well with potatoes, chicken, lamb and really just about anything. We use garlic on EVERYTHING in this house!
- Oregano is a nutrient-dense spice making it an excellent source of fiber. Diets high in fiber have been shown to lower high cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of colon cancer. Oregano is also an excellent source of vitamin K, a very good source of manganese, iron, and calcium as well as a good source of vitamin E and tryptophan.
- Sprinkle on just about anything you make: pasta, scrambled eggs, salad dressings, pizzas, marinara sauce, soups etc.
- Basil contain flavanoids, which protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage. Basil is also a good source of magnesium, which promotes cardiovascular health.
- Add basil leaves on salads of on top of a lasagna.
- Rosemary is part of the Mint plant family and has a ton of antioxidant properties. Rosemary can stimulate the immune system, increase circulation and improve digestion.
- Add dried crushed rosemary to mashed potatoes and vegetable omelets.
- Add fresh rosemary to omelets and frittatas.
- This herb also goes really well with chicken and lamb dishes.
- Another fun thing to do with rosemary is puree the leaves and mix with olive oil to use for dipping sauce for bread
- Parsley contains more vitamin C than most citrus plants, almost three times more than in your average orange! It's also known for its high iron levels and can help fight anemia and balance hormonal levels. It settles the stomach and improves the appetite. The high content of vitamin C is not only useful on its own, but also assists the absorption of iron.
- Add chopped flat leaf parsley to meatballs and meat loaf or sprinkle on an omelette
- Ginger is well known for its digestion properties, upset stomach, nausea and diarrhea. Ginger also provides a safe and effective relief of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds, which help alleviate the pain of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Also, in a new study, ginger was found to kill tumor cells in ovarian cancer patients. Overall, ginger can promote healthy immune system, by letting you "sweat it out" during colds and flus.
- Grate fresh ginger into quick bread batters and vinaigrette.
- Add chopped ginger to stir-fries. Sprinkle ground ginger on cooked carrots.
But be sure you use the the herbs and spices at their peak to get the most out of them, because the active compounds degrade with time. Check BEST BY label, store in air-tight container away from heat, moisture and direct sunlight.