As I mixed and blended the ingredients for all the festive foods I prepared this holiday season, it made me think of all of the healthy benefits these treats would bring. There is a good reason that some of the same herbs and spices you find in your kitchen cupboard can also be found packaged for medicinal purposes. There are many health benefits that come from these tasty ingredients including anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and cancer fighting effects, to name a few. Here is a list of just a few of the most popular herbs and spices and the benefits they provide.
Cinnamon – This spice can lower blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL and total cholesterol and has properties that are anti-inflammatory and can improve circulation by thinning the blood. It also contains compounds that can relieve pain and act as a sedative. 1/2 a tsp. is recommended 2 times a day.
Rosemary – Helps to stop gene mutations that could lead to Cancer. The herb also helps prevent damage to blood vessels and reduces inflammation in the body.
Garlic – Destroys Cancer cells and disrupts tumor cells. Just 1-2 cloves a week can provide Cancer protection benefits.
Paprika – Contains compounds that are anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.
Ginger – Helps with nausea and stomach discomfort and aids in digestion. Ginger can also help to relieve the pain and swelling associated with arthritis and can thin the blood. Just one tsp. is equal to the anti-oxidant levels of one cup of spinach. 500-2,000 mg recommended daily.
Oregano – It is believed that oregano has one of the highest anti-oxidant levels of many fresh herbs. Just 1 tsp. is equal to the anti-oxidant power of 3 cups of chopped broccoli.
Red Pepper (Cayenne) – This truly “spicy” spice can enhance metabolism, increase feelings of satiety and promote fat burning. Cayenne can also lower blood pressure, triglycerides, LDL and improve circulation.
Thyme – This herb has anti-oxidant properties and can aid the respiratory system especially those weakened by chronic bronchitis and asthma. Thyme can also ease menstrual cramps and has antiseptic properties.
Cloves – This spice has anti-inflammatory effects that can help arthritis and helps to stimulate digestion. Clove oil can be used to relieve a tooth ache and is a good mouthwash.
These are just a few of the most popular herbs and spices but there are many, many more out there containing many similar health enhancing benefits. You can choose to buy your helpful herbs and spices in capsules for medicinal benefits but it is just as beneficial to get them from your food. Add a little spice to your life and sprinkle some healthy flavor in all of your favorite dishes.
Here’s to your health – Kristin Malone