In continuing with National Nutrition Month, the other day when I asked “What does eating right with color mean to you?” someone brought to my attention the health benefits of spices, and how you can eat with color by adding them to your meals. Remember, to get the most nutritional benefit, your spices should be as fresh as possible. The fresher they are, the better they’ll look and taste, too.
Health Benefits of Spices
- Cayenne Pepper: Adds heat, and may help burn fat through increasing the core body temperature. The capacisin also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects may also reduce cancer risk.
- Paprika: Capascin is also found in this spice, but as there is no recommendation of how much to consume every day, we recommend moderation.
- Cinnamon: Okay, so this one isn’t actually orange, but just a quarter to half teaspoon every day can help lower your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Tumeric: just 500 to 800 mg per day can help reduce your cancer risk.
- Ginger: helps with motion sickness and nausea. Eating more than 6,000 mg per day can irritate the stomach. For maximum benefit, stick to less than 2,000 mg per day, if you’re using a powder. Ginger can also prevent blood from clotting, so be sure to discuss it with a doctor if you’re going to have surgery soon.
- Rosemary: reduces your cancer risk by stopping gene mutation, and helps prevent damage to blood vessels that increase your heart attack risk.
- Oregano: The USDA conducted a study to show highest antioxidant values of herbs, to find oregano had the highest amount gram by gram, of 27 herbs used in food prep.
Obviously, many spices aren’t going to fall in the colors of the rainbow, but this shouldn’t deter you from eating them. Like garlic, for instance. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. It also helps destroy cancer cells and messes with a tumor’s metabolism. We’ll mention garlic in greater depth in a future post, because it is one of our favorites. There are many health benefits of spices and herbs–and they won’t rack up calories in your dishes, just flavor.
Check out these high quality spice stores if you want to really cash in on the health benefits of spices but don’t have a local store.
- Spice and Tea: We frequent this place often, as there is a location right here at home, but most of the locations are in Florida. If you’re coming to Type-A Parent in June, it’s right downtown, and I’ll be glad to show it to you!
- World Spice Merchants: We have a spice book written by the guy who owns this store in Seattle.
- My Spice Sage: We’ve ordered from these guys before. Good prices, reasonable shipping.
The health benefits of spices are right up there with fresh produce, so why not spice things up?
Image Credit: pgorrindo