The Healing Power Of Your Herb Cabinet.
We know we can support healing through our diet however maybe its time to consider optimising the use of herbs and spices, in our cooking, to optimise our health. They could be the ancient secret we’ve all been looking for.
The History of Herbs
Over the years, spices and herbs were used for medicinal purposes. They were also used as a way to mask unpleasant tastes and odors of food and later, to keep food fresh. The use of herbs and spices has been incredibly important throughout history, these ingredients were medicine to our ancestors and we can honour their wisdom by incorporating them so simply into our modern diet.
Herbs can carry remarkable health benefits, we just need to have the knowledge and confidence with experimenting with them in our dishes. Herbs and spices fight inflammation and reduce damage to your body’s cells. That’s because each one is rich in phytochemicals, which are healthful plant chemicals. Herbs and spices make food tastier while boosting your health, its a win-win situation and because they’re so flavourful, they make it easier to cut back on less un-healthy ingredients like salt, sugar, and added fat.
Supplements or Spices
Choose the Real Thing. You may have noticed that some herbs and spices are sold as supplements. Supplements are concentrated forms of the herb and can be beneficial to take ,if struggling with using ample amounts in food. We must acknowledge that anything in its purest state is its least processed, so it is best to eat the herb or spice instead of taking it in pill form. This is also because there is a beneficial combination of the absorption of the food and herb or spice together. Compounds from herbs and spices as well as the other foods you’re eating work together to provide health benefits. Like a beneficial dance.
Here our some of the healthiest herbs and spices, what they do and how to include them into your cooking:
Cinnamon has potent antioxidant activity. This helps fight inflammation and has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Cinnamon also has a strong effect at lowering blood sugar. Cinnamon can be added to sweeten anything from oatmeal and lattes to add into baking, on top of fruit, or to be paired with a little honey on a slice of toast.
Turmeric Contains Curcumin, a Substance With Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Effects. It matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. Turmeric has been used for years in auyerdic cooking and can be added to any curry or dhals as well as golden milks, made using turmeric as the star.
Cayenne pepper Contains Capsaicin, which can reduce appetite and may have anti-cancer properties. This spice is apart of the chilli family. It can be added to add heat and spice to any dish, try including it on top of avocado toast or to add a little kick to a pasta sauce.
Saffron is a spice that comes from the flowers of crocus sativus Linné. The crocus grows in the Middle East and parts of Europe. Its a powerful antioxidant and may improve mood and treat depressive symptoms. We can use saffron in teas and add to steamed rice.
Ginger is a popular spice used in several forms of alternative medicine. Ginger can treat nausea and can help with pain management. Ginger can be added to sweet dishes such as biscuits or curries and Asian dishes to add heat and fire or be taken through tea.
Fenugreek was commonly used in Ayurveda, particularly to enhance libido and masculinity. Fenugreek has been shown to improve the function of insulin, leading to significant reductions in blood sugar levels. Fenugreek can be added to top salads and to any Indian dishes.
Throughout ancient history, the main use of garlic was for its medicinal properties. Garlic can combat sickness and improve heart health. Garlic lowers cholesterol and has shown significant reductions in blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. Garlic also has antimicrobial power. Include garlic in any savoury cooking to add complimentary flavour.
Conclusion For Your Cabinet
Herbs and spices are a great way to add flavor, color, and fragrance to dishes without adding extra fat, sugar, or salt. They also provide powerful antioxidants, and have a range of other health benefits! So next time you’re in the kitchen get creative with the use herbs and spices to include medicinal ingredients into your meals.
Categorised in: Nutrition
This post was written by Amelia Crossley