Last week I shared tips to help you break up with salt. But I know what you’re asking yourself now... how, oh how, will food ever taste good again? Try one of these herbs and spices and enjoy the bonus of a wide array of health benefits to boot!
Curcumin is one of the phytochemicals in turmeric, which is the major ingredient in curry powder. It has been getting a lot of press lately for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant skills, but it has also been shown to lower cholesterol and blood sugar, combat obesity, prevent and fight cancer and reduce pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Experiment with turmeric using one of these healthy recipes:
- Coconut Shrimp Curry with Red Pepper and Spinach
- Turmeric Cauliflower Chowder
- Roasted Carrots with Turmeric
Popular in cuisines around the world, basil has anti-inflammatory properties and may protect against unwanted bacterial growth. It is also an excellent source of vitamin A (a powerful antioxidant) and magnesium, which improves blood flow. There are several different kinds of basil, but they all contain the same basic oils in varying quantities. Research on the health benefits of holy basil include its role as a cancer-fighter, pain/fever-reducer, diabetes-preventer, blood vessel-protector and immune-booster. Experiment with basil using one of these healthy recipes:
Ginger is a zesty spice that is often found in Asian cuisine. It is used to ease the symptoms of morning sickness, vertigo and postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). It can also reduce menstrual and osteoarthritis pain. Experiment with ginger using one of these healthy recipes:
Want to eat smart? Not only does sage have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it can also boost brain function and memory. Moreover, sage has been shown to reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, decrease the number of menopause-related hot flashes and improve cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Experiment with sage using one of these healthy recipes:
If you’re looking for a delicious pick-me-up treat, try some saffron. Studies have shown that saffron can relieve depression, PMS symptoms and menstrual pain. Experiment with saffron using one of these healthy recipes:
Garlic can reduce total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol), lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of developing colorectal and prostate cancer. It also reduces atherosclerosis – a plaque build-up in the arteries that causes them to harden and narrow, making it hard for oxygen-rich blood to travel through your body and leading to cardiovascular disease like heart attacks and strokes. Experiment with garlic using one of these healthy recipes:
- Garlic Lemon Parmesan Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Garlic Butter Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese
- Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Quinoa
Too much garlic? Cinnamon can kick bad breath, but it also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antidiabetic, antimicrobial and anticancer powers. It may be effective in treating cardiovascular disease and improving cholesterol levels. Experiment with cinnamon using one of these healthy recipes:
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