Spice and seasoning can turn the blandest foods into the most delicious meal. Not only do herbs and spices pack a punch, but they’re also so healthy. Adding herbs and spices to dishes can add an additional nutritional benefit to your meal and some taste so slight, you’ll hardly notice they’re there but the health benefits are worth it. These super herbs and spices should be an essential part of your pantry:
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There’s a reason vampires hate garlic! A long standing rumour is that garlic purifies and detoxes your blood, which may be why vampires were so repulsed by garlic, as they are about other “pure” things like holy water. Garlic is good for blood health in the sense that it helps maintain good kidney and liver health, but anything promising to “detox” your body is scam.
Garlic can also boost your immune system so it should be a winter staple if you want to ward off colds and the flu (on top of, getting the flu vaccine – we’re not anti-vax here!). Garlic is also full of antioxidants that can lower your risk of developing Alzheimers and Dementia later on in life, as well as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
Add garlic to spaghetti, Thai curry, and spicy chickpea snacks!
Ginger is another herb that can help you get through the winter as it helps alleviate nausea, soothe the digestive system, and even pain and muscle ache. It’s also a big winter spice as gingerbread lattes return to Starbucks! Due to these properties, if you’ve lost your appetite due to sickness, ginger tea is great. I’ve found drinking it when I’m sick not only settled my stomach but helped me eat more because my appetite returned.
Ginger can also ward off cardiovascular disease. This is because ginger thins the blood which can prevent blood clots from forming!
Aside from ginger tea and gingerbread lattes, you can add ginger to teriyaki, tikka masala, and salad dressings.
Tumeric is the big superfood at the moment, and for a very good reason. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory which means it can help with conditions like arthritis. It is also full of antioxidants, and can even boost brain function and brain health!
One thing to keep in mind is that a dash of turmeric alone in curry (or these addictive spicy crunchy chickpeas) isn’t enough to do much good. You either have to take turmeric supplements or consume turmeric with black pepper. The piperine in black pepper helps make turmeric more bioavailable and useful.
If you don’t like turmeric lattes, it’s a staple in many curry dishes!
Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices due to its sweet taste, but it’s even sweeter knowing that it’s healthy.
I can vouch for cinnamon’s anti-fungal and bacteria repellent properties as my fungus prone cactus never got hit with mould again when I added cinnamon to the top layer of the soil. This also applies to food!
When it comes to your health cinnamon can lower your cancer risk and reduce the effects of Dementia and Alzheimers. As well as being anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant, it can also maintain good eye health and help treat conjunctivitis and dry eye (along with turmeric).
Cinnamon can be added to sweeten teas, and in sweet treats such as two ingredient banana-oat cookies, and pumpkin spice lattes.
I sometimes forget that sage is edible because of its association with cleansing and smudging. Sage is burned to ward off negative energies and for spiritual purposes. Smudging is a big part of Native American culture, but today a lot of modern-day witches, Wiccans, and Pagans burn sage too.
As one of these super herbs and spices to add to your diet, sage is a good source of antioxidants. It can also promote good dental health, improve memory, and reduce bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It can even combat the first signs of aging, so our witchy friends don’t need to turn into Mother Gothel to stay young!
You can make sage tea or add it to soups and pasta dishes!
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, but it’s worth it! Saffron is a staple in my diet as I add it for a nutritional boost to my loose-leaf herbal tea! The taste is so mild that you can add it to almost anything and hardly notice it. It’s what gives paella it’s famous yellow colour!
Saffron is a good-mood food! Not only has it shown that it can help reduce depression but can help promote better sleep too. It can even help reduce age-related degeneration of eyesight, ease PMS, slow down tumour growth, and insulin resistance, to name just a few benefits of the spice.
If you don’t want to make saffron tea, you can add it to almost any curry or rice dish.
Chilli is one of the most popular spices as it adds heat to dishes, without going to extremes on the Scoville scale.
Spicy foods are praised for their ability to make you sweat out a cold, which is partially true as they stimulate the immune system to fight it off. Spicy food can also make you live longer! A seven-year study found that people who ate spicy food at least three times a week were less likely to get cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses. This is believed to be because it can reduce inflammation, and keep the respiratory tract clear.
So technically, going on Hot Ones is healthy?
Chilli can spice up anything from curry, noodles, soup!
The Bottom Line
Spice up your meals, life, and health with these amazing herbs and spices! Adding these super herbs and spices to your diet is a lazy but effective way to get in more nutrients.
Why don’t you stop by the Natural Health Market and spice up your life with these super herbs and spices?
Great post. I take turmeric supplements. I didn’t know that just eating it in foods doesn’t help.
I honestly don’t know how people can cook without herbs and spices! We have a cupboard jam-packed full of them because, without them, food is so bland. I had no idea about all these health properties though. It’s brilliant that some small changes to your diet can help your body perform better!
Beth x Adventure & Anxiety
I love using all of these spices, especially garlic! And any drink that has ginger in it, I HAVE to buy 😍 I’ve never thought about the health properties of most of these spices before though – that was really interesting! I might have to start using more saffron to fight off my depression and rubbish sleep 😂
Beka | http://www.bekadaisies.com
I totally adore Cinnamon, I add it to like 70% of what I drink or it. Its taste is inexpressible and adds a lot to the taste.
I love all of these ingredients, except chilli! I always how healthy, energised and great they make me feel 🙂
I usually don’t use sage and saffron in my cooking. I will be looking for sage the next time I am at the store so I can try it now that I am aware of its health benefits.
I absolutely LOVE this post, it’s packed full of interesting info – and I love your tip about adding cinnamon to the soil, I’m going to try that for one of Flora’s carnivorous plants, which is slowly dying from mould, thank you! Lisa
I don’t know how anyone manages to cook without a well stocked spice rack! I use all of these regularly other than sage which I can’t say I use a lot. Maybe I’ll look into trying to use it more. I’m not a cinnamon fan so I have to try and sneak it into other recipes where the flavour won’t be too strong for me x
I’ve been doing a lot of reading into the benefits of turmeric recently. Especially as someone who has had issues with my knees for most of my life – the anti-inflammatory properties are a big seller! It’s surprising that a simple spice can have such a positive impact on our lives when incorporated into our diets appropriately!
Lovely blog! It’s new to me, so just wanted to say that. I love spice too, but I had no idea tumeric needed to be taken with black pepper to be useful. I’ve used the supplements in the past though. Very helpful.