Spices and herbs have been around for many centuries and depending on what part of the world you live, some are used more frequently than others. We all have many spices and herbs in our kitchen cabinets. We use them for flavoring, unaware of how beneficial they are to our health.
Besides making food taste better, herbs and spices have many health benefits. Most herbs and spices are rich in B- vitamins and trace minerals. They have antioxidant and antiviral properties.
Spices originate from either flower, fruit, seeds, barks, leaves or roots. Not only do they add flavor to food, but also help to preserve it for a longer period of time.
When it comes to using herbs and spices, it is best to use organic, less pesticides and toxins.
11 Most Common spices
Cinnamon has a lot of antioxidant properties. It helps to lower blood sugar, reduce inflammation and lowers blood triglyceride levels. It is great if feeling nauseous and is loaded with iron, magnesium and calcium. It can be purchased in stick or powder form–both are great.
It can be used in hot or cold cereals or just to add a small amount to tea or desserts.
Basil has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It helps with digestive disorders, has anti-cancer properties and helps prevent osteoarthritis. It can be used on salads, veggies, tomato sauce or soups.
Arrowroot is a starchy herb that helps with irritable bowel syndrome. It is very soothing and highly digestible. It is used in gluten free recipes and can be added to soups or baked goods.
Turmeric has become very popular in the U.S. for its anti-inflammatory benefits, but has been used for many years in Ayurvedic Medicine. It is rich in antioxidants, helps reduce inflammation and improves joint pain. It is a very strong and bitter spice, but great to use in soups, sauces and legumes.
Garlic has great anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It is great to use in almost any dish. Fresh is always better.
Dill Weed is not only rich in nutrients, but helps to ease the stomach. This herb is best used in its raw form because heat reduces its nutrients. Best to use in cauliflower or broccoli rice, seafood or salads.
Mint is a very old spice that has been around for a long time. It is mostly used to help with digestion. It is also great for steaming to help reduce colds and flu like symptoms, sinus congestions, seasonal allergies and an effective treatment for headaches. Mint can be used in teas, salads or dessert recipes.
Oregano is a common spice used in Italian and Greek Cuisine. It has antiviral, antibacterial, antibiotic and anticancer properties. Oregano oil and leaves are used in treating cough, fever, congestion and body aches. When combined with basil, garlic, marjoram, thyme and rosemary, it creates a disease fighting blend that helps to boost and support the immune system. It is great to use in soup, salad, sauces or stews.
Cumin has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for a long period of time. It is rich in antioxidants and aids in digestion. Best to use with legumes to help reduce flatulence. It is also great in stews, meat dishes and sauces.
Rosemary is a great herb to help with cholesterol. It is rich in antioxidants and helps with digestion. It is great to use in soups, sauces and meat dishes.
Thyme is a member of the mint family and has great antiseptic properties. It is great to use as a mouthwash and helps to treat gum infections. Its fungicidal properties can help to alleviate athlete’s foot. It also helps to boost the immune system and lowers onset of colds. It can be added to soups, sauces or simply drink as tea.
One of the best things about herbs and spices is that they can easily be used as teas. You can mix different fresh herbs together with a little honey and enjoy!