Spices and herbs are botanically classified as
fruits and vegetables. And since they no longer contain the water that makes up
a significant part of the fresh produce, spices and herbs offer an even higher
level of antioxidants. In addition, spices and herbs also are rich in
phytonutrients, such as carotenoids, flavonoids and other phenolics, all of
which possess health-promoting properties. With the additional flavor of spices, you could be satisfied with less and support your weight loss journey. Many spices and herbs appear to have
some beneficial effects, but here are the seven super spices with the greatest
health-enhancing potential and tips to include them in your meals.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is rich in natural compounds called polyphenols. Research suggests that these compounds may act like insulin in our body to help regulate blood sugar levels.
Oregano: One teaspoon has as much antioxidant power as three cups of chopped broccoli. Oregano is among the highest in antioxidants of the dried herbs and it goes flavorfully into familiar, everyday foods. It is great sprinkled on tomatoes along with a little ground pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Rosemary: The compounds in rosemary appear to help reduce inflammation in the body and inflammation is a trigger and indirect risk factor for many chronic diseases. Rosemary is also being studied for its role in heart health.
Turmeric: Researchers are looking into the role of turmeric in brain health and protecting against cognitive decline associated with aging.
Thyme: In addition to the antioxidant advantages, research is looking at the role of compounds in thyme in relation to respiratory function.
Ginger: One teaspoon of ginger has similar antioxidant levels as one cup of spinach. And ground ginger can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Dried Red Peppers: Spices derived from red peppers include cayenne, crushed red pepper and paprika. Dr. Wendy Bazilian says, “Red pepper in its various forms is showing promise for enhancing metabolism, increasing satiety and potentially stimulating fat burning, too.”