Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018
Most people are taught to “eat their vegetables” growing up, but what about eating spices? Spices are not nearly as emphasized, but can provide many of the same health benefits. Because spices are dried and ground up, they are highly concentrated with vitamins and antioxidants. Not only does this improve the body’s day to day functioning, but it can also help reduce our risk for chronic diseases, like diabetes or dementia, according to some recent studies.
Spices are also calorie free and, unless it’s been added, salt free. This makes them a great addition to any meal.
To use more spices in your diet, homemade salad dressing is a great start. And if making things from scratch isn’t your thing, you can always add spices to prepackaged foods, such as canned soups or frozen veggies.
Keep in mind, spices can lose their flavor and potency overtime. They should be replaced every two years in order to maintain maximum flavor and effectiveness.
Tips for using more spices:
- -add cinnamon to oatmeal, cereal, or granola
- -add ginger to stir fry dishes or frozen vegetables
- -stir in cilantro and cumin to taco meat
- -make colorful dishes you might not have tried before, such as coconut curry
Some commonly used spices and their benefits:
- -Cinnamon: reduces inflammation, LDL cholesterol , and blood pressure.
- -Oregano: exhibits antimicrobial properties, hinders the growth of tumors
- -Rosemary: high amounts of calcium, iron, and B vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Improves digestion and neurological function.
- -Parsley: relieves bloating, shows antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, is high in antioxidants.
- -Basil: reduces the damage done by free radicals. High in vitamins A, K, and C.
- -Cumin: rich source of iron, promotes digestion, reduces LDL cholesterol.
It’s best to consume spices and herbs as part of your diet; herbal supplements are not well-regulated and should be taken with caution.