Spice Up Your Life!

You’d all agree that most of us have herbs and spices in our kitchen, and sometimes get haphazardly added to recipes and gourmet delights. Besides improving the taste of the culinary creations, there are tremendous health benefits of herbs and spices. Herbs and spices enhance the taste of foods and preserve them for a longer duration. Who says, healthful food cannot be tasty? The rather aromatic flavorings have the ability to transform a dish sans fat and calories and help in maintaining healthy body weight promoting longevity. Interestingly, all spices originate from plants be it flowers, fruits, seeds, barks, leaves, or roots.

Benefits Galore

Herbs and Spices, the seasonings have antibacterial and antiviral qualities, high in vitamins and minerals, besides have disease-fighting antioxidants.

Thyme: This is a member of the mint family contains thymol- a potent antioxidant helps in gum infections. Teas made with thyme treat athlete’s foot and vaginal yeast infections and seasonal illness.

Rosemary:  With a high concentration of the antioxidant carnosol, benefits in cancer treatment, improves digestion, antiseptic qualities, fights aging and lowers cholesterol.

Oregano: You have probably used it a lot in your pasta, salads, soups and savory foods. It is antiviral, antibacterial, anticancer and antibiotic, high in antioxidants. Beneficial in winters for a cough, fever, congestion, body ache and illness.

Mint: An excellent herb calms digestive troubles, nausea, used as breath fresheners and a mosquito repellent. So drink a mint flavored drink or add it to your meat dishes or dessert recipes.

Dill seed: It has antibacterial properties and calms stomach related issues. It is a great addition to any fish, to dips and dressings, to omelets or meat dishes.

Fennel: This perennial herb is reputed digestive aid, soothes the gastrointestinal tract and gives high-fiber to the body. Incorporate it as is or add it to your curries.

Basil: It has anti-inflammatory, antiviral properties, prevents osteoarthritis, helps in digestive disorders and has anti-cancer properties. Indulge and sprinkle in omelets, baked or grilled veggies, in soups, on meats or salads.

Parsley: This wonder herb helps fight bad breath, helps pass kidney stones, battle deafness, and prevent build-up in the arteries.

Cilantro: It mobilizes toxins and heavy metals in the body and flushes them out, detoxifies the body thoroughly. Add it to everything edible under the sun.

Herbs and Spices For Weight Loss and Good Health

Dietician Shikha Sharma gives us plenty of good spice and herbs tips for good health below. She says, ‘If you are looking to lose some that extra weight, please do not try another malnutrition faded diet, being too restrictive on you will only cause malnutrition. Instead, focus on adding kitchen spices, changing your lifestyle and improving your health and well-being. The following are top tips for a successful, nutrition and stress-free weight loss: Talk to people about consuming food high in antioxidants, and chance are you’ll conjure up images of juicy blueberries, deep green kale leaves, oranges, kiwi. What people may not know, however, is that various herbs and spices are rich in source of antioxidant and helps in weight loss are following:

Dr. Shikha further opines:

➢    Clove

It promotes thermogenic weight loss herbs and spices, blasting up the metabolism furnace and stimulating digestion. Take three cloves a day with water or take half teaspoon of clove powder three times a week.

➢    Cumin

It is a popular spice around the world. The seeds are high in potassium, protein, iron and thiamine, and are potent antioxidants that enhance cumin’s ability to detoxify the liver and stimulate weight loss.

➢    Garlic

A good energizer that detoxifies the body and stabilizes blood sugar, it is a powerful cholesterol zapper. It also includes minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and fiber. It is an excellent weight loss herbs and also fight cancer and heart disease, lowers blood pressure and acts as an antibiotic and antifungal

Eat two to six cloves every other day.

➢    Cinnamon

It causes weight loss by heating up the body and stabilizing blood sugar by making cells more responsive to insulin. Use a half to one teaspoon of cinnamon every other day.

➢    Cayenne Pepper

It stimulates the metabolism by about 20 percent and may cause intense sweating. Besides being a weight loss herb it also a high content of vitamins, especially vitamin E. Use it in moderation.

Historical Uses of Herbs and Spices

The use of herbs and spices for medicinal, culinary and other functional purposes has persisted through multiple centuries and in regions around the world. It’s been reported that the first documented use of herbs and spices dated back to Egypt as early as 2600 BC, during the age of the pyramids. The Romans considered the scent of cinnamon sacred. Chinese courtiers of the third century BC are said to carry cloves in their mouths to ensure sweet smelling breath. India boasts a long history of using spices. There is just a handful of an example of the clever uses of herbs and spices throughout the history.

Healthy eating has never sounded more appetizing. Happy Spicing Up Folks!