Compared to fruits and vegetables, oregano has 4 times the anti-oxidant power of blueberries, 12 times more than oranges, and 40 times more than apples.
Here are the spices and herbs you should have in your kitchen and use with reckless abandon:
Well known as an aid to digestion, parsley also supports kidney and gall bladder health by flushing excess fluids from the body.
Used regularly, parsley can also reduce joint pain because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
A recent study from the University of Missouri suggests that a compound found in parsley (and celery) may inhibit breast cancer.
Parsley is definitely much more than a decoration.
Nutmeg has traditionally been used to reduce anxiety and treat insomnia.
More recently, a study from the Journal of Medicinal Food discovered that nutmeg seeds have an antidepressant-like effect; comparable in potency to commercial antidepressants.
Nutmeg is also used for:
Tumeric, or Curcumin, has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. The powerful yellow spice found in curry powders, has undergone intense research in various parts of the world.
According to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, tumeric blocks key biological pathways needed for melanoma and other cancers to develop. Results showed that regardless of how much was used, the spice still worked to stop the growth of melanoma.
Other studies have shown turmeric to be effective at controlling diabetes, weight loss, and relieving arthritis.
Used as a food preservative in hot climates, chile peppers can add heat to dishes anywhere.
The main compound in chiles – capsaicin – has a thermogenic effect that may cause the body to continue to burn calories for up to 20 minutes after eating.
Cultures that eat very spicy foods are well known to have lower incidence of heart attack and stroke. This may be because of the anti-inflammatory effect of capsaicin in chile peppers.
According to the American Association for Cancer Research, capsaicin has the ability to kill some cancer and leukemic cells.
Chile’s are powerful, and an acquired taste, but one well-worth acquiring.
Cloves are among the most powerful herbs in your spice rack, they also have a sweet, aromatic flavor that enhances many foods. Used in folk medicine for relieving gum and tooth pain, cloves have many more health benefits including:
Ginger has a well-earned reputation for improving digestion, and also has numerous therapeutic properties, including as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. A recent study on motion sickness showed that ginger was far superior to Dramamine.
Garlic is well known as a natural health remedy and for many good reasons:
Garlic strengthens the immune system and helps to fight chest infections, colds and congestion.
Garlic helps to remove LDL cholesterol deposits from veins, improving blood circulation, and reducing heart disease.
Garlic is an effective treatment for hyperthyroid conditions.
Bladder cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and stomach cancer have all been shown to have their tumors reduced when treated with garlic.
Garlic releases Allicin which is a sulphuric compound that is a natural antibiotic.
Garlic has shown many benefits to reproductive health, including: treatment of bacterial vaginal infections, increased birth weight, and as a treatment for impotency.
Garlic can help regulate blood sugar to assist in the control of diabetes.
Garlic is even rumored to keep vampires away!
Spices are an excellent way to add flavor and healing properties to your diet, but remember that spices, just like drugs and supplements, should not be considered “cures.” And they should not be taken every day or you run the risk of developing an allergy to them.
But when given a choice between bland and spicy… go for the spice!
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