The Amazing Power of Herbs and Spices

by | Mar 15, 2011 | Nutrition | 0 comments

I don’t know about you, but I like to add lots of spices and herbs to my recipes.
While many people just don’t want to bother, there are a few really good reasons to add generous amounts of herbs and spices to your favorite dishes.
In many recipes, herbs and spices are optional, but I would recommend that you add as many as you can! Every time you flavor your meals with herbs or spices you are supercharging your food without adding a single calorie!
You can change something ordinary and bland into something
truly extraordinary, by adding herbs and spices.

Did you know that herbs and spices contain some of the most potent antioxidants that you can find?

In fact, many herbs rank way higher in antioxidant activity than fruits and vegetables, which are obviously high in antioxidants too.

Herbs and spices add tons of extra flavor, and when combined with other nutrition-packed superfoods, it actually boost the their natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power.

In fact, the combination of certain herbs and spices with specific foods magnifies the antioxidant and nutrient value exponentially!

These spices have the highest amount of antioxidants and super-nutrients, so add them liberally to your foods:

Allspice

Basil

Cayenne or hot pepper flakes

Cloves

Cinnamon or its cousin Cassia (which is what we in the United States use)

Nutmeg

Oregano

Ginger

Marjoram

Sage

Thyme

Besides antioxidants, here are some of the other ways herbs and spices are a valuable addition to your diet:
  • Fat Burning – Herbs and spices are thermogenic, which means they naturally increase your metabolism and fat burning power, partly because they are so nutrient-dense.
  • Regulating blood sugar and controlling insulin – When your blood sugar is well controlled, you are more likely to burn fat and store fewer calories as excess weight.
  • Medicinal value – Scientific studies show that herbs and spices can actually work as well or better than some medications for certain health issues. (But check with your physician–before you quit any medications you may be on.)
  • Lowering blood sugar – cinnamon significantly reduces blood sugar levels. It also improves cholesterol and triglyceride levels. One study of people with type 2 diabetes showed that as little as two teaspoons of cinnamon reduced blood sugar similar to blood sugar medication.
  • Researchers found that the active ingredient in turmeric (curcumin) is more effective in slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s than some medications for this condition.

Herbs and spices can also increase your feelings of satisfaction and fullness after a meal, so you eat less.

An interesting research study showed that when a person consumes an appetizer with just half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes before each meal, they eat 15% less food.
Wow!
Red pepper and all hot peppers actually speed up your metabolism and help your body burn fat as well.
Here are more health benefits of some popular herbs and spices:

Rosemary and basil are anti-inflammatory.

Cumin, turmeric and sage fight dementia.

Cayenne, coriander and cinnamon burn fat and help regulate insulin.

Lemon grass, nutmeg, bay leaves and saffron have a calming effect.

Turmeric is cancer fighting and helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Oregano is antifungal and antibacterial.

Garlic, mustard seed and chicory are excellent for the heart.

Basil and thyme help your skin become soft and smooth.

Turmeric, basil, cinnamon, thyme, saffron, garlic and ginger boost the immune system.

Coriander, rosemary, cayenne, allspice and black pepper help banish depression.

So next time you cook, be sure to spice it up and enjoy the fat burning antioxidants of herbs and spices!
Till next time, stay healthy and lean, and Spice it up!
About Catherine Ebeling: I am Catherine (Cat) Ebeling. I am an RN with a Masters of Science in Nursing and Public Health. I have been studying diet, fitness and health for the past 30+ years–in addition to my clinical nursing experience, which includes anti-aging, preventative, regenerative medicine and bioidentical hormone therapy. I have had a life-long fascination with diet, fitness and nutrition, and have learned how to biohack my genetic capacity. I realized that we, as humans, have the ultimate power over our bodies and our health. Wanting to learn even more about human biology, nutrition, health and disease, I went back to school to study for a BSN in nursing. I just recently completed my MSN (at age 60). I’ve written six books on diet and health that have sold thousands–and even hundreds of thousands of copies all over the world through “The Nutrition Watchdog” publishing. I am an expert on diet and health and want to share that knowledge with you. I can be reached at caebeling@gmail.com or 314-369-6400 or on FB Instant Messenger.

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