When we use various herbs and spices in cooking, our major focus is to enhance the taste of our food; in doing so we completely overlook the benefits that they have for our health. Not just these spices and herbs are blessed with magnificent taste and aroma but also with essential nutrients that can fulfill our health requirements. So when you are adding spice to your meals you are also adding health to it.
Don’t just restrict the word, “antioxidant” to fruits and vegetables because you will find them abundantly in spices and herbs as well, for example in 1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon, ½ cup of blueberries and 1 cup of pomegranate have equal levels of antioxidants.
Besides the fact that they are rich in antioxidants, there are also other health promoting benefits associated with these herbs and spices. What are those? Let’s find out:
When you take 1 teaspoon of oregano you are actually taking the amount of antioxidants found in 3 cups of broccoli. Amazing! Isn’t it? This is the reason why it is sometimes known as “Mini Salad”. Researchers claim that it has the highest amount of antioxidants out of all the herbs. It has also been found useful in soothing stomach muscles. The best way to use it is by adding it to pizza and pasta sauces or you can just add it to your grilled sandwiches.
Out of all the herbs mint is the most refreshing one, due to its refreshing properties mint is often used in drinks. Mint leaves are very effective in removing bad breath and also help whiten the teeth. It soothes the digestive track and also cures irritated bowel syndrome. Mint is a natural cleanser and purifies blood.
Ginger is effective for decreasing nausea and motion sickness. It is effective for relieving arthritis pain and also swelling associated with it. Ginger also has blood thinning properties. Ginger can be cooked with other vegetables such as carrots and potatoes. To avoid motion sickness it can be taken in the form of crystals or candies, available in the market.
Garlic saves us from Cancer. How? It destroys and stops the growth of tumor cells. Karen Collins, a nutrition advisor at American Institute for Cancer Research states, “Studies suggest that one or two cloves weekly provide cancer-protective benefits.” Garlic can be added to almost all types of meals, Karen Collin also suggests, “Let garlic sit for 10 to 15 minutes after chopping and before cooking so the active form of the protective phytochemicals develops”.
The brightly colored yellow spice has countless health benefits. It has useful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It has been found useful for curing cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and also improves heart health. You can add it to egg salads or try some Indian curries.
Read more about Health benefits of Turmeric here.
Since ancient times Fenugreek has been used to treat reproductive and hormonal disorders. It is also helpful to induce labor and reduces menstrual pain as well. Recent studies have proved that it helps to control cholesterol levels and reduces blood sugar, so it is effective for treating both, heart problems and diabetes.
From tooth aches to arthritis pains, cloves have the cure for all. It removes blood impurities and also stimulates its flow. Its anti-fungal properties can cure infections like Athletes’ foot.
Just like oregano, thyme also has antioxidant advantages. There are some important compounds found in thyme that are beneficial for respiratory functions. Make it a part of your daily diet by adding it to your salad dressings and stir-fries.
Basil is a natural remedy for curing stress and has skin clearing properties as well. According to International Journal of Cosmetic Science, basil has the power to combat with the bacteria that cause pimples and other skin related problems. The healthy herb is rich in Iron as well.
The commonly found black pepper is known for relieving indigestion. It is also beneficial for curing cough; just take a teaspoon of honey with a pinch of black pepper powder in it. It enables to remove harmful toxics from our body through sweat. It is also helpful in healing cuts, try it! When the next time you get one while working in the kitchen, sprinkle some black pepper on it. It will stop the bleeding and also heal the cut.
Cinnamon is the best natural remedy for curing diabetes. The researches prove that it contains some important compounds known as polyphenols. These natural compounds act like an insulin and regulate blood sugar levels in the body. There are a million ways you can use this magical spice, just add it your coffee or sprinkle some on your oatmeal cereal or just make a nice refreshing herbal tea with it.
Read more about Cinnamon – A Natural Herb here.
There are some essential compounds present in rosemary that have anti-inflammatory properties. It has been found to improve heart health and protects blood vessels from getting damaged, as well. You can use rosemary in your marinades as well as breads and rolls.
However, it is still unclear how much amount of these herbs and spices should be taken. Try to add them to your daily meals, soups and salads as much as possible.