The 7 Most Powerful Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices have been used medicinally for centuries. The effectiveness of powerful herbs and spices can make a huge impact on your daily health and pain-free living. Cloves, oregano, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, rosemary and mustard contain high levels of nutrients known as antioxidants that help counteract the effects of damaging free radicals and prevent disease.
Cloves have been used since ancient times for treating toothaches and gum pain. Cloves contain the highest concentration of antioxidants of all spices and are great to use as a pain killer. Cloves can also ease colds and allergies, and serve as an antiseptic in mouthwash (oil of cloves).
- Add cloves to your favorite apple cider or mulled wine recipe.
- Next time you bake a ham, season it with cloves by sticking the “sharp” end of the cloves into the rind. Use one to two tablespoons of cloves.
Just 1/2 teaspoon of oregano contains the same amount of antioxidants as a quarter cup of almonds and four times that of blueberries! Not only is oregano a powerhouse of antioxidants, it is also rich in Vitamin K, iron and manganese. Wild oregano has been scientifically proven to effectively kill E.coli, salmonella and almost all food-borne pathogens. So, go make a healthy Greek salad and add plenty of oregano!
- Make a healthy Greek salad and add plenty of oregano.
- Braise lamb shanks or beef roast with oregano.
Ginger contains over 50 antioxidants, which help increase circulation and digestion. Ginger has been used in many cultures for hundreds of years to treat digestive upset and food poisoning. Ginger can also help reduce the inflammation of joint pain and arthritis and may contribute to cancer prevention. Those with diabetes can benefit from ginger to help increase insulin sensitivity.
- You can purchase crystalized ginger to take for an upset stomach.
- Create a marinade using balsamic vinegar, garlic and ginger for cooking your favorite meats.
Cinnamon significantly helps people with type 2 diabetes improve their ability to respond to insulin, thus normalizing their blood sugar levels. Clinical studies have shown that a consistent daily intake of cinnamon can help lower high cholesterol levels, which can be helpful in preventing atherosclerosis and heart disease. For sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome, the fiber in cinnamon may also provide relief from constipation or diarrhea.
- Add cinnamon to your favorite banana bread or zucchini bread recipe.
- Sprinkle powdered cinnamon on your oatmeal for breakfast.
The beautiful hue of turmeric is created by the phytochemical curcumin, which produces the bright yellow color. The powerful anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric act as a strong pain reliever, can eliminate cancer cells, and help reduce obesity and metabolic diseases. Scientists have found that by creating a new molecule from curcumin, called CNB-001, this molecule triggers the mechanisms that safeguard and restore brain cells after a stroke. This makes turmeric a valuable treatment for arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and even multiple sclerosis.
- Blend fresh turmeric root, grated ginger and almond milk for a tasty, soothing beverage.
- Take turmeric in capsule form as a healthy supplement.
Rosemary blocks HCAs or carcinogenic compounds found in your favorite grilled meats. Rosemary oil can improve cognitive performance by increasing levels of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Rosemary can also fight off free radicals that cause Alzheimer’s, stroke and dementia.
- Chop rosemary and garlic and press onto a pork tenderloin before roasting.
- Add a sprig of rosemary to beef stew as it’s cooking.
The compound AITC found in mustard seed is known to fight cancer, and especially to prevent colon cancer. This plant compound is also found in wasabi & horseradish. Studies show that AITC, stopped the growth of bladder cancer by 33%.
- Pan fry cutup potatoes with black and yellow mustard seeds for an Indian style dish.
- Create your own gourmet mustard using a blend of brown and yellow mustard seeds or powder.
Finally, here’s a tip that uses three of the above herbs and spices:
- Make your own pumpkin pie spice by combining 3 tbsp. ground cinnamon, 2 tsp. ground ginger, 2 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1½ tsp. ground allspice and 1½ tsp. ground cloves.
Herbs and spices contain powerful health benefits and should be an essential part of anyone’s diet. Cloves, oregano, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, rosemary and mustard, in particular, have incredible nutritional value because they’re nature’s richest sources of antioxidants.
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