Healthy spices and herbs are everywhere, but many people don’t consider them when shopping for nutritious and beneficial foods. The truth is that most herbs and spices are low in fat and calories, but can add mega flavor to your food. That’s great if you’re watching your weight. In addition, many of them offer up specific health benefits that make them something you’ll definitely want to toss in your grocery cart. Check out these healthy spices and herbs and let me know how you cook with them.
Who doesn’t love cinnamon sugar toast for breakfast? It’s definitely one of my favorites. I also like to mix cinnamon into pancake batter and French toast coating and it tastes wonderful sprinkled in oatmeal. It turns out that cinnamon is one of the best healthy spices you can choose. That’s because it can kill off harmful bacteria in your body, preventing illness and it aids in reducing the risk of blood clots. On top of that, cinnamon boosts cognition, promotes healthy digestion, boosts heart health and can control blood sugar. What’s not like?
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its beautiful yellow color. You can use it other things as well, but the payoff is great no matter how you cook with it. According to experts at the Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, turmeric can help inhibit the growth of cancer cells throughout your body. Try cooking authentic Indian dishes for a good dose of this healthy spice.
It might not come cheap, but saffron is a great healthy spice to incorporate into your cooking. It’s perfect for paella and other Spanish inspired meals. It’s an antioxidant, which means it helps fight the free radical damage that leads to health conditions like cancer and heart disease. Saffron also contains a wide range of nutrients including vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and calcium.
Ginger is a spice that works for so many things. I like to mix it with soy sauce and use it to marinate salmon or steak. It also works great in stir-fry sauces and really adds flavor to a cup of hot tea. Ginger is great for nausea and motion sickness. It’s also been explored as a remedy for various types of pain. Of course, check with your doctor before using ginger for either problem.
Research indicates that oregano is the spice with the highest antioxidant content out there. That means if offers mega benefits for your immunity and can help keep many health problems at bay. Use it to add flavor to pasta sauce, pizza dough or even to add tons of taste to your favorite homemade salad dressing recipe.
You probably can’t rely on rosemary to cut your risk of heart disease on its own, but it can certainly help. Certain plant compounds in the herb keep your blood vessels healthy and functioning properly. That helps reduce the chances you’ll suffer from a heart attack or other heart problem. Use rosemary in meat marinades or homemade salad dressings. Thick stalks of rosemary are the perfect substitute for wooden skewers when grilling kebabs.
I love to sprinkle paprika on homemade hash browns and it goes really well with eggs. It’s also the ingredient you find in several types of ethnic cuisine. No matter how you eat it, paprika has several benefits. It’s got plenty of antioxidants for cancer prevention, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties that make it helpful in combating many health issues.
What’s your favorite spice or herb to cook with? Have you tried all the ones on this list? Herbs and spices should be stored in the refrigerator if they’re fresh and in a cool, dark cupboard if they’re dried.