Variety is the spice of life. Variety of spices is a healthier life. Everyday herbs and spices add not only flavor but significant health benefits.
You don’t have to know the chemistry to know what tastes you like and how spices enhance food. Without them, eating would be much more bland and boring.
Knowing the nutritional intricacies may influence what you use and how much of it. Each spice–and family of spices–has its specialty, and all a delicious joy. Extra incentive to use the following and other spices is their ability to not only maintain healthy systems but to go above and beyond, detoxifying our bodies from the environmental and chemical toxins with which we often come into contact.
The very young, the very old, the sick, and the immunocompromised are most susceptible to toxins all around us but there’s virtually no one who can’t benefit from a dash of this and a pinch of that to help our bodies maintain (or re-gain) health.
Here are ten spices and herbs that you can easily find at your neighborhood market and some insights into all they do for you.
Cloves contain a compound called eugenol that has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, analgesic, and anesthetic properties (let’s just call it a superspice).
The National Institutes of Health has rated hundreds of the most common foods in the North American diet based on their antioxidant properties, called the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity scale (ORAC). Cloves are Number One. This aromatic spice protects cells from oxidative stress, helps digestion, calms a toothache, kills cancer, and wards of mosquitos. Tastes great in pumpkin pie and hot chocolate.
There’s little that a little garlic can’t fix. Its strong taste and smell make Mediterranean dishes delectable but that’s only a bonus to all the other things garlic can do.
It has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer by almost half and combats infections, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart and neurodegenerative disease.