Many people try to find the key ingredient to a healthy lifestyle, but what they might not know is the secret could be right in their kitchen cabinets. Herbs and spices are usually used to liven up and create more flavoursome meals. However, they also have many health benefits that you can easily incorporate into nearly every meal.
What are they?
All spices and herbs come from organic life, such as roots, flowers, leaves, seeds, fruits and barks. They contain many healing properties as well as add flavours and aromas and can be consumed dried or fresh.
According to the experts at House Call Doctor, they also have many natural antiviral and antibacterial properties, as well as trace minerals and B vitamins.
These properties aid in reducing cancer risk, boosting psychological health, decreasing inflammation, lowering blood sugar levels, strengthening the immune system, preventing Alzheimer’s and regulating bowel movements.
Herbs are usually used in medicines, essential oils and herbal teas, which all have additional health benefits of their own.
Although herbs and spices can be bought at the supermarket, many of them can be grown at home.
Benefits of herbs:
- Cinnamon: This is a very common spice found in most homes and it has a high antioxidant value. It has been proven to lower blood sugar, ease nausea, aid in burning fat and increase insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon can also be added to help elongate the expiry date on foods.
- Aloe Vera: This fleshy and ragged herb has many healing properties. Aloe Vera is mainly used to heal burns and wounds, while drinking it can help with diabetes, cysts, skin infections and high levels of blood lipids.
- Rosemary: While rosemary is delicious to eat on roasts, it is also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, dietary fibre, manganese and folate. It stimulates the nervous system while also improving memory, aiding in muscle pain and improving digestion. Combined with other herbs, such as ginkgo biloba and St. John’s wort, it is said to help cure brain inflammation, so can help treat headaches and migraines as well.
- Basil: Basil is a herb that can be added to nearly everything, however, it also has many antiviral and inflammatory properties, which can be used to prevent osteoarthritis. It is commonly used for digestive disorders and might contain anti-cancer properties as well.
- Garlic: Garlic is one of the most delicious spices that is found in most households. Studies suggest that by having two fresh cloves a week, it can provide many anti-cancer properties and benefits.
- Oregano: This herb has many anticancer, antibiotic, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Oregano is rich in antioxidants and is shown to help fight against food-borne pathogens such as Listeria. Also, adding oregano to your spaghetti bolognaise can quicken recovery time from illnesses.
- Thyme: A part of the mint family, thyme contains thymol, which is a strong antioxidant (usually used in mouthwashes). This herb can be added to baths for treating wounds, swished in the mouth to fight infections and used in teas to treat yeast infections and athletes’ foot.
Many herbs and spices can help bring flavour to foods, while also aiding in your health. So, instead of using just salt and pepper, use different herbs and spices to season your dishes.