Enhance your Health with Herbs & Spices
For many years, herbs and spices have been used by many cultures for their potent medicinal properties and their unique flavors. They are known to offer a myriad of health benefits thanks to their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
Believe it or not, a lot of people in the United States don’t use herbs and spices in their cooking or to supplement their health. This study found that many American adults were also unaware of their potential health benefits.
Here are a few of my favorite go-to herbs and spices. Below is a list of 5 of the most potent herbs and spices you can use to spice things up in the kitchen and enhance your health!
Cinnamon is a popular spice used in a variety of recipes, especially baked goods. Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, which is the compound responsible for cinnamon’s medicinal properties. Cinnamon may play a beneficial role in management of diabetes and its complications. This study highlights cinnamaldehyde’s ability to increase glucose uptake and improve insulin sensitivity.
Turmeric is the spice used in traditional curry dishes to provide a unique flavor and a vibrant yellow color. Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that is responsible for its potent anti inflammatory properties. This study determined that curcumin has great potential for use as a therapeutic agent for a variety of inflammatory conditions and cancer types. Hint: curcumin absorbs better when black pepper is around, so consider adding that as well!
Ginger is a popular spice used for its powerful medicinal properties and it’s unique, warming flavors. This study found that the compounds found in ginger, may be able to alleviate nausea and vomiting. Another study highlights ginger’s protective and therapeutic role in decreasing inflammation in the body.
Parsley is a powerful and flavorful Mediterranean herb used for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Parsley contains many antioxidants like flavonoids, carotenoids and ascorbic acid. This study found that the antioxidants found in parsley is effective in lowering stress-induced gastric distress. In Morocco, parsley is traditionally used as an elixir to treat hypertension, diabetes, cardiac and renal diseases.
Thyme is known for its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Thyme is particularly high in phenolic acids and flavonoids. This study found that thyme infusions (essential oils) are mostly used to smooth spastic muscles and improve digestion. Incorporating thyme as complementary of daily food, this herb can considerably enhance your health by protecting against oxidative stress and bacterial infections.
The Bottom Line
Long story short, herbs and spices like the ones mentioned above, add great flavor and provide health benefits from decreasing inflammation to protecting against infections. Incorporating fresh spices and herbs into your diet regularly is a great way to enhance your health.
RECIPE: Cinnamon, Ginger, Turmeric Tea
Here’s a great recipe that includes three of the herbs and spices mentioned above. This tea will leave you feeling healthy and energized. Makes 1 cup of tea.
- 1½ cups water
- 1” fresh turmeric, grated
- 1” fresh ginger, grated
- 1 stick cinnamon
- Juice from ½ a lemon
- 1 tsp honey
- Pour the water into a small saucepan with the turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric, Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Strain tea and discard ingredients the spices that are left behind. Stir in the honey and lemon juice and enjoy!
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