The Benefits of Spices & Herbs
Using spices and herbs is an easy way to add flavor to your food while also adding extra health benefits to your dishes. What kind of health benefits? Read on for details.
And I bet you have many of these health-boosting spices and herbs in your pantry right now!
Rosemary - The rosemarnic acid in this herb is known to help with allergies, nasal congestion, and overall inflammation.
Cayenne Pepper - This spice adds loads of flavor and has some great potential health benefits. Capsaicin, an active ingredient in cayenne pepper, is thermogenic meaning it speeds up metabolism and helps burn fat.
Sage - This herb is antimicrobial which may help reduce dental plaque from bacteria in your mouth. It also has antioxidant properties and can help lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.
Oregano - Oregano has antibacterial properties and has been shown to have antiviral properties for certain viruses. You can get therapeutic amounts from oregano oil.
Turmeric - Turmeric contains curcumin which is known to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Use fresh turmeric root if you can!
Cinnamon - Studies have shown that cinnamon helps lower blood sugar. Ceylon is the specific kind of cinnamon that has the highest blood sugar lowering properties.
Spices are one of those things that we tend to collect in our cabinets. We purchase a spice to make one recipe and it sits on the shelf for an unknown amount of time. One thing to keep in mind is that freshness matters. But how do you know if a spice has gone bad? Let’s take a look!
Ground spices lose flavor quicker than whole spices. As a general rule of thumb whole spices can last up to four years, ground spices up to three years, dried herbs three years, spice blends two years, and fresh spices one week.
Here are a couple of other tips when it comes to organizing and managing your spices.
1. Remove the cap and smell the spice. Don’t just go by the sell-by date. If a spice or herb is no longer fragrant then it will not provide much flavor to your food. If you can’t smell it then it’s time to toss it.
2. When you buy a new spice write the date of purchase on the cap. This will help you keep track of the life of your spice. It’s easy for less frequently used spices to sit for years tucked away in your spice cabinet.
3. Ground or whole spices…...which is better? Pre-ground spices certainly are more convenient but whole spices will last significantly longer and have more of the health benefits as the essential oils are kept intact until your consume the spice. You will get more bang for your buck and longevity of the spice if you purchase whole spices and grind them as needed.
Keep your meals zesty, spicy, and full of flavor with herbs and spices! Just make sure they aren’t expired. 😉 This will make your dishes tastier and more nutritious.
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