Herbs and spices have amazing nutritional benefits and can do wonders for your health! Here are some reasons you should use more herbs and spices in your cooking.
Ready for a flavor explosion?
If you are anything like me, then you love bold, flavorful food, and are utterly bored with bland, ho-hum flavors. Give me tons of spice and I’ll be totally content.
Not only does it please my tastebuds, but after realizing all the health benefits of herbs and spices, I’ve grown to love them even more than before!
But perhaps you are someone who has not experienced tons of spices in your cooking up until now. There are tons of ways to help develop your palate, even if it’s completely from scratch.
Before we get into developing your palate, let’s first discuss some of the amazing health benefits of herbs and spices!
- Many herbs and spices are chock full of antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals, leading to better protection of our cells.
- Anti-inflammatory benefits are incredibly common with herbs and spices, which can help with joint pain and inflammation without the side effects of NSAIDs.
- Many herbs are antibacterial and antiviral, helping to boost the immune system and assisting in healing from colds and infections.
- Herbs can provide assistance with digestion, nutrient absorption and upset stomach problems.
- Cancer-fighting abilities have also been studied with many herbs and spices.
- Herbs and spices are rich in many different vitamins and micronutrients, which many of us are deficient in.
Herbs and spices: small but mighty
So if you are looking for a breakdown of the worlds healthiest herbs and spices, the following always seem to top the list:
- Cinnamon – has an absolute ton of antioxidants, and has demonstrated the ability to improve insulin resistance and aid in blood sugar regulation.
- Turmeric – a powerful anti-inflammatory that has the potential to replace your Tylenol
- Ginger – incredibly powerful anti-nausea and digestive aid.
- Garlic – helpful in reducing the duration of colds, due to it’s powerful antibacterial properties.
- Peppermint – helpful for upset stomachs, headaches and clogged sinuses.
- Sage – great for your teeth and bones due to the vitamin K content. Also great for your immune system.
- Parsley – helps to freshen your breath, and is great for your body in general. It has powerful disease-fighting properties.
- Cumin – great for digestion and can aid in weight loss.
If you are just starting out, and don’t know where to even begin, here are some great spices to start with, as well as some tips for where to begin:
- Salt and pepper are common in American cuisine, and are a great place to start for an absolute beginner. Simply add more seasoning to your food than you usually would, bit by bit. Himalayan pink salt is great because the flavor profile is a little bit different and it contains many trace nutrients.
- Garlic goes well in pretty much any meal, and can really help to boost the flavor profile without too much effort. Start with about one clove, or a bit of garlic powder and build up from there.
- If you’re looking to branch out into Asian cooking, ginger and curry are common spices. When you find a recipe that looks appealing, use half of the spice ingredients that it recommends. If you are not into “spicy” foods, then be sure to omit the cayenne pepper (or jalapeno if another type of spicy cuisine).
- If a friend wants to go out for Mexican or Thai food, be sure to ask for mild level of spice, or no spice at all.
Give me some ideas!
Looking for some recipes to get you started? The following are some of my favorites from different types of cuisines, and have lots of delicious herbs and spices incorporated:
- Nut-free basil pesto
- Roasted Cajun chicken and cabbage
- Ginger citrus dressing
- Wasabi sauce (note: spicy)
- Cilantro lime dressing
- Rosemary and apple pork chops
- Candied ginger
- Chili lime dressing
- Chai shortbread cookies
If you start to use more herbs and spices in your cooking, please let me know what benefits you’ve experienced in the comments below. Also be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest so you don’t miss a recipe!
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