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Herbs and Spices Ideas to Upgrade Your Health - Longevity Blog

Herbs and spices are known to help protect against chronic diseases. Studies have shown that their regular consumption provides many health benefits, some of them offering high antioxidant protection, although the results depend on their consumption amount and bioavailability.

Polyphenols, a type of plant derived micronutrient found in herbs and spices, can help address digestive issues, weight management challenges, cardiovascular conditions, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease. Polyphenols are also found in other foods such as berries, beans, vegetables and nuts. According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, many seasonings rank highest in their polyphenol and antioxidant content on their list of 100 richest foods.

Herbs and spices are commonly found in many food recipes and some cultures traditionally include specific ones in their cuisine. Seeking a variety of ethnic food recipes can bring creative ideas to add them to daily meals. In addition, they can easily be incorporated in other food preparations to ensure a daily dose of taste and healthy benefits, helping you reduce salt, sugar and unhealthy fats consumption:

  • chop fresh parsley or mint and add it to olive oil with crushed garlic for a delicious bread dip; alternatively, add dried oregano or rosemary for a great appetizer before meals. This can also be used as sandwich spread, over roast vegetables, mixed in mashed potatoes and salad dressings.
  • fresh herbs like mint, parsley or coriander add great taste to yogurt, soups or salads; tabouli salad is a great example to consume these herbs.
  • rosemary, a popular ingredient in many lamb and chicken dishes, is delicious prepared as a tea with honey (fresh or dried). It can also be used to infuse olive oil and it is versatile to be chopped in vegetables and baked goods (breads, cookies, muffins, etc.)
  • add turmeric to eggs, smoothies, pizza, pasta dishes, rice, roast vegetables, stews, seafood, curries, soups, dips, sauces and yogurt; you can add turmeric and honey to hot milk for a comforting and anti-inflammatory beverage.
  • add cinnamon sticks to your water and use cinnamon powder to flavour hot cereal, desserts, teas, lattes, hot chocolate, baked goods, greek yogurt, french toast or mix it with honey for a satisfying toast spread.
  • incorporate fresh or powdered chili peppers in eggs, pastas, stews, burgers, salsa, curries and chili recipes.
  • dried ginger, clove and cardamom can serve as a great addition to teas, bread batter or applesauce.

 

References:

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/79/5/727.full

http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v64/n3s/fig_tab/ejcn2010221t1.html?foxtrotcallback=true#figure-title

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/spices-and-herbs-health-benefits#3

 

 

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