I spend a lot of time here venting about "Why We're Fat", the miserable state of things around the world, and all sorts of stuff that's bad for you, that I often forget about many of the good things out there.
Everyone needs some spice in their lives!
Aside from livening up leftovers and frozen dinners, herbs and spices have all sorts of other good things going for them aside from just being tasty.
All types of Chili Peppers, including the humble Bell Pepper (yes, they actually are chilis) contain Capsacin. Capsacin is the ingredient that gives the peppers their taste and their sometimes lethal heat. Capsaicin has many medicinal benefits including pain relief, heart health, fighting prostate cancer, and stopping ulcers. So, choose the hottest peppers that you can find and max-out your Capsacin!
If you don't already love Cinnamon in Pumpkin Pie, Cinnamon Rolls, Raisin Bread, or Cinnamon Toast, there are other ways to maximize the health benefits of Cinnamon. Add it to your Coffee, sprinkle it on Oatmeal, stir it into Peanut Butter to munch on with Celery sticks, add a dash on Sweet Potatoes or Carrots, etc. While Cinnamon brings out, and warms up, the flavors in the foods it is paired with, it also keeps your arteries healthy, manages your blood sugar levels, and can lower your cholesterol. Nifty, hunh?
Just because it's colorful, doesn't mean that's all there is to it. Turmeric comes from the same family of spices as Ginger, and that means both Turmeric and Ginger can reduce inflammation in arthritis patients and may possibly block the formation of some cancers. Our Indian friends have known this for centuries, so, have some Curry Chicken today and then add a few grinds of Black Pepper, since Black Pepper is believed to help the body absorb Turmeric for maximum effect.
The simple sprig of Parsley. Easily forgotten, discarded, or ignored, despite the fact that it's a potent all natural breath freshener. Parsley has been regarded since Roman times as one of the healthiest herbs in existence. Many people believe that consuming Parsley helps in passing kidney stones, battling deafness, and preventing arterial buildup. So, don't throw out that garnish!
Another "herby" gold mine. When you shake extra Oregano onto your slice at the local pizza shop you aren't just adding some "Italian" flavor to your pepperoni-and-mushroom. Oregano is a major source of Thymol and Carvacol, two major antibacterial agents that fight off infection. Oregano also has quadruple the amount of antioxidants over that other heavy hitter, Blueberries. Either fresh or dried, you really can't go wrong with adding some Oregano to your life.
Love it or hate it, you can't deny that Garlic is good for you, despite no scientific evidence to prove otherwise. A staple of many natural remedies and traditional medicines, Garlic has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Some studies have shown that Garlic can actually stop blood clots from forming in your arteries. Why argue?
Thyme, a major ingredient in virtually all "comfort foods", think stew on a cold wintry night, y'all. However, it's health benefits go beyond merely flavoring warm soups on cold evenings; the natural oils contained in Thyme leaves have antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Thymol, the active ingredient, is the principal ingredient in Listerine. Recent studies have shown that Thyme can kill MRSA infections, which are resistant to other antibiotics.
This is only a small sample. Maybe I'll make this a regular feature.
What do you think?
What do you think?