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The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices

The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices

When you think of healthy eating, you’re probably filled with thoughts of less fat and carbs, more fruits and vegetables and portion control, but this is just the beginning.  Healthy eating doesn’t stop here, you have to take it to the next level in order to have your food help you. Herbs and spices help any dish go from bland to astonishing. Most people associate their seasonings to the type of cuisine you’re cooking and not what medicinal attributes they may have. From raising your spirits to aiding in digestion, there are many herbs and spices that can help your body become healthier.

Cleanse ?

Cooking dinner every night can become extremely boring without an extra pick me up.  Herbs and spices are the way to go. One in particular, sage, is used most during the holidays for stuffing and dressing. Try incorporating it into other dishes because sage is believed to aid in digestion especially when accompanied with fatty meals.

Clogged arteries, high cholesterol levels, and beaucoup amounts of fat can cause an array of problems for you if you’re not careful. Part of the problem is free radicals, which can cause damage to your skin and precipitate health problems. In order to help keep free-radicals in check, sprinkle some oregano on your pizza, next time you have a slice or chop up fresh rosemary and toss with roasted vegetables.  If rosemary and oregano aren’t your bag, but black pepper is, don’t worry, this spice is believed to focus on stemming tumor development and protection against some cancers because of its high concentration of antioxidants. So the next time you’re at a home goods store, pick up a pepper mill so you get an extra fresh dose of black pepper in your food. 

Many home cooks are afraid of spicy foods with various different spice combinations, but you shouldn’t be. Yes, it’s intimidating to know how to combine five or six different spices and make it taste good, but it’s worth it. In India, the use of cardamom, cumin, tumeric, coriander (cilantro) and saffron are said to guard against digestive cancers as well as thought to protect against breast cancer.  Becoming familiar with these exotic spice combinations is necessary.

More common herbs like thyme and basil seem to find their way into almost every dish.  Whether it’s a salad or pasta, chefs across the world are adding copious amounts of these healers and you should thank them. Both can fight off stomach ulcers. On its own, thyme helps with indigestion and is great on a first date because it has been used as mouth wash in many countries. Basil, on the other hand, is an antibacterial that relieves fevers, colds, congestion, and joint pain. 

Relax ?

With Americans working harder every year and even longer hours, you may be looking for something special to calm your nerves. At first glance you may think wine is the way, but try something different …tea. Even though wine is believed to fight against heart problems, choosing the right tea can help you just as much if not more. Chamomile, a common household tea, often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Known for its calming effects, chamomile can also prevent gum disease and gingivitis. If you’re pregnant and looking for a bit of relaxation, combine peppermint tea for soothing and cooling with a knob of ginger to ease nausea. 

Once you’ve started your quiet time, why not ease into a bath of cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, the homey aroma will have you craving more quiet time with this holy trinity. The nutmeg eases migraines, while cinnamon fights cramps and inflammation.  Cloves help stimulate your mind and body and takes your stresses away. If you’re looking for a romantic touch, try rose and jasmine. Jasmine is an external soother of dry and sensitive skin as well as a reliever of tension through its aromatics.  Rose or rose petals are known for their antidepressant capabilities. Couple these two amazing herbs together for a special night of peace and quiet. Once you’re ready to get tucked in to bed, slip a lavender satchel underneath your pillow for a refreshing nights sleep.

Starting with these herbs and spices in your arsenal can make a considerable difference in your life. Sometimes, it’s better to take the time to buy fresh herbs and special spices than the vitamin supplements. Making sure you have all the healthiest and freshest ingredients are key to making them work for your body. Although these herbs and spices pack a powerful punch, if you have any symptoms that persist after a couple of days, please consult your physician. You made need something else to work with your healthy ingredients to make you feel better.

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