I use spices and herbs every time I cook. They add a wonderful depth and flavor to dishes, which allows me to decrease the amount of salt and fat a recipe may call for. Not only do herbs and spices make dishes more flavorful and healthy, but they pack some surprising health benefits. There are hundreds of spices and herbs to choose from. My favorite herbs and spices for their flexibility and ability to enhance many different types of food are garlic, rosemary, cinnamon, chili powder, and sage. Here are some of the the health benefits of spices and herbs to help motivate you to add them to your family meals.
The Health Benefits of Spices and Herbs & How To Cook With Spices & Herbs
- Garlic: Allicin is the main compound found in garlic, it can help combat colds and boost immunity. Garlic may also lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. I add minced garlic to roasted potatoes, soups, and sauces. I use whole cloves in roasted poultry and meats. Garlic powder is fantastic for chili, canned vegetables, and dry rubs.
- Rosemary: The active ingredient in rosemary is called Rosmarinic acid, which helps prevent allergy symptoms and nasal congestion. I use rosemary on salmon, chicken, and beef. I infuse olive oil with fresh rosemary for dipping bread.
- Cinnamon: A certain type of cinnamon, cassia cinnamon, may lower blood pressure in people with diabetes. Cinnamon is full of antioxidants and can reduce inflammation. I add cinnamon to my coffee grounds. I also sprinkle it over yogurt and fresh fruit.
- Chili Powder: Capsaicin, the ingredient in chili peppers, can suppress appetite and lower blood pressure. I add chili powder to fish and meat when I am making tacos. I use chili powder in marinades and dry rubs. It is wonderful on popcorn with a squeeze of lime.
- Sage: Like most herbs, sage contains polyphenols, which help fight inflammation. Sage has been shown to improve brain health and function. I pair sage with cheese and eggs. Sage adds delicious flavor to dressing recipes. This herbs makes an excellent rub or marinade for pork and chicken.
Both dry and fresh herbs and spices offer health benefits. If you are using dry herbs and spices, make sure you check the expiration date. The herbs and spices should not look faded, and they should have a strong aroma.
Did you know about the health benefits of spices and herbs? What a quick and easy way to boost your family’s health!