Culinary Herbs And Spices For Better Health

Aside from making our food tastier, herbs and spices also boost our health. It is recommended that we should be cooking with herbs and use several at a time. Adding them into our diet makes it easier for us to cut back on less healthy ingredients like salt, sugar, and added fat. They contain compounds that work together to provide health benefits (1).

Evidence showed that spices and herbs possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, , antitumorigenic, anticarcinogenic, and glucose- and cholesterol-lowering activities as well as properties that affect cognition and mood. Their health properties were attributed to certain bioactive constituents like alkaloids, tannins, sulfur-containing compounds, phenolic diterpenes, and vitamins, particularly flavonoids and polyphenols. According to research some of the excellent sources of antioxidants with high content of phenolic compounds are clove, rosemary, sage, oregano, and cinnamon (2).

Regular consumption of herbs may help prevent and manage chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Furthermore, it may also help to reduce blood clots (3).

Below are some of the best spices and herbs that we can add to our next meal:

Turmeric

This superfood is known for its ability to reduce inflammation. Its curcumin content has been found to be effective at reducing pain and swelling in people with arthritis as well as beneficial in people suffering from  Alzheimer’s disease and depression (4).

Cinnamon

This spice contains cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for its medicinal properties. It has potent antioxidant activity, powerful anti-diabetic effect, helps fight inflammation and has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood (5).

Holy Basil

Consumption of this herb has been linked to reduced blood sugar levels before and after meals, as well as treating anxiety and anxiety-related depression (6,7). Aside from this, it may also boost function of our immune system by increasing certain immune cells in the blood and inhibit the growth of a range of bacteria, yeasts and molds (8,9).

Rosemary

This very strong flavored herb may help prevent damage to blood vessels, aid with cardiovascular heath, reduce muscle and joint pain, improve memory function, and help with digestion (10).

Garlic

Garlic is a great flavor enhancer in stews and soups. It is well-known for its anti-cancer effects and ability to slow other diseases, including hypertension and even the common cold (10).

Ginger

According to a studies, this spice provides all-natural relief from migraine, ease a queasy stomach, and has inflammation-fighting compounds which some experts believe may help reduce osteoarthritis pain, soothe sore muscles, and fight some cancers (11).

Cayenne Pepper

Some considered cayenne peppers to be the king of medicinal herbs. Its capsaicin content has metabolism-boosting properties and may help lower cholesterol levels and relieve pain (12).

Sources:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/spices-and-herbs-health-benefits#2
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30651162/
  3. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/herbs
  4. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-spices-with-healthy-benefits
  5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-healthy-herbs-and-spices#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8880292/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19253862/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21619917/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9633630/
  10. https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition-pictures/healthy-herbs-and-how-to-use-them.aspx
  11. https://www.eatingwell.com/article/32764/eight-of-the-worlds-healthiest-spices-herbs-you-should-be-eating/
  12. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-benefits-of-cayenne-pepper#TOC_TITLE_HDR_10

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