Spices are a great tool to utilize in the kitchen for both flavor and health. A small amount of spice can go a long way in changing the taste of your meal and improving health biomarkers; all while keeping your total calorie value down.
Basil – antimicrobial properties, anti-inflammatory, reduces plasma cholesterol levels, cancer prevention, reduces atherosclerosis risk.
Basil is a great spice to use with summer time foods especially pasta and chicken
Black Pepper – enhances beta-carotene absorption, aids digestion, has antimicrobial properties
Black pepper is a year round spice that can be used with most people’s regular meals
Cilantro – aids with indigestion and removes toxic metals from blood.
Cilantro is a fresh herb that works perfectly with Mexican food
Cinnamon – increases insulin sensitivity, reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels, has antimicrobial properties
Cinnamon is great to use with fruits, oats, and shakes
Curcumin – anti-inflammatory, prevents many types of cancers, improves blood glucose levels in individuals with diabetes, helps prevent alzheimer’s disease
Curcumin is commonly used in many Indian dishes
Fennel – digestive aid, it’s oil may reduce inflammation and prevent cancer
Fennel is common from fall through spring and works great in soups, pastas, and salads.
Ginger – anti-inflammatory, calms nausea, prevents cancer (especially ovarian), eases migraines
Ginger is popularly used as a tea
Lemongrass – reduces cholesterol levels
Nutmeg – antibacterial & may act as antidepressant
Peppermint – helps with upset stomachs, has antimicrobial properties, alleviates headaches, relieves pain
Red pepper flakes – improves circulation, boosts metabolism, relieves pain, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, aids with respiratory problems
Rosemary – increases blood flow to brain, good for immune system, pain reliever, improves mood, anti-tumor properties
Thyme – antimicrobial properties, antispasmodic properties, anti-tumor properties
Tumeric – suppresses development of various tumor types
Dhingra, D., & Sharma, A. (n.d.). Antidepressant-Like Activity of-Hexane Extract of Nutmeg () Seeds in Mice. Journal of Medicinal Food, 84-89.
Mau, J., Chen, C., & Hsieh, P. (n.d.). Antimicrobial Effect of Extracts from Chinese Chive, Cinnamon, and Corni Fructus.Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 183-188.
World’s Healthiest food. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=85
American Cancer Society Capsicum. (n.d.). Retrieved fromhttp://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/capsicum