Weight Loss Wednesday: Spice Up Your Life- The Benefits of Seasoning Your Foods
Herbs and spices have been used for centuries for their power to impart flavor and aroma to things both in and out of the kitchen. Many were also used as medicinal remedies. Current research has shown that this wasn’t so far off base, and that many of them have potent health properties. Max out both nutritional benefits and flavor by choosing herbs and spices over salts and fats when seasoning foods. Here are a few to try and why:
Garlic: Before garlic was a favorite spice, it was used mostly as a medicine, due the same compound that gives garlic its characteristic aroma. Garlic is now thought to boost immunity, help reduce blood pressure and beneficially affect cholesterol levels
Turmeric: A member of the ginger family, this bright yellow root is responsible for the color in curry powder. Turmeric is an incredibly potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, suggesting that it may play a role in reducing not only muscle soreness and other local injury, but may play a role in preventing cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and heart disease. Due to the fact that the active chemicals in turmeric are only available to your body when mixed with a fat, try adding it to sautés and dishes made with olive or coconut oil for max absorption.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon challenge anyone? While I wouldn’t recommend attempting to go quite that far, cinnamon consumption is definitely delicious and has been linked to beneficial effects on inflammation, cholesterol and blood sugar, where it helps slow the digestion of carbohydrates when taken in therapeutic doses.
Rosemary: Rosemary is a fragrant, low-growing shrub that is native to the Mediterranean. In addition to being a tasty go-to for seasoning chicken and meats, this little guy is high in iron, calcium, and vitamin B6. It also is thought to have neuro-protective qualities and has been associated with enhanced memory and concentration, as well as decreased levels of brain aging.
Ginger: If you got a stomach ache as a child, chances are you might have been served a glass of ginger ale. While most of today’s ginger ales contain only negligible amounts of ginger, this practice is rooted in history and the knowledge of ginger’s powerful anti-nausea properties. Research has consistently shown that consumption of 1g or more of ginger can successfully treat nausea, including morning sickness! Ginger has also been linked to reducing inflammation and pain diseases such as colon cancer and arthritis.
In short, herbs and spices are the original healthy eats- adding amazing flavor and health benefits to foods while reducing the need for additional fats and salt. No mater what your health concerns, it seems to be a undiversal fact that "spice is nice". Try adding them to any meal for some flavor and wellness. Can you taste the health?
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