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The Power of Herbs & Spices

posted Apr 25, 2012, 7:17 AM by Amanda Bontempo   [ updated May 22, 2012, 9:06 AM ]
Herbs and spices are probably best known for their wide range of aromas and flavors but they've been used medicinally for centuries with first documented use as early as 2600 BC (thank you Egyptians!) The scientific and medical communities are only just starting to understand their potential in disease prevention.  

When talking about antioxidants and phytochemicals, we often conjure images of plump berries, leafy greens and maybe dark chocolate. Many people don’t realize that their spice shelves double as medicine cabinets. In addition to a big bang of flavor, herbs and spices provide powerful concentration of antioxidants. 

By definition, antioxidants are substances that protect cells from stress and damage that would otherwise cause aging and disease. Benefits of added herbs and spices include fending off age related wrinkles and prevent chronic disease such as heart disease and cancer. A little pinch going a long way.  Always opt for the real thing instead of wasting money on supplements that likely don't provide the same benefits.

Well known antioxidants include vitamins C and E, beta carotene, resveratrol in grapes, quercetin in citrus and capsaicin in peppers. The truth is hundreds of herbs and spices exist with each providing an array of naturally occurring and biologically active and protective compounds.

Bonus

  • Upgrade sans calories: Enhance usual ingredients and turn dishes into something unexpected and incredible by adding flavor, heat, color, vitamins and phytochemicals which offer medicinal properties
  • Improve metabolism: All spices are rich in nutrients, many of which provide a kick to increase your body’s metabolism
  • Instant gratification: once you substitute spices for salt, you’ll lose excessive bloating and water retention in less than one week. It reduces blood pressure and stops the salt cycle to cut cravings

More to come: Clove, Oregano, Ginger, Garlic, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Black pepper, Fennel, Rosemary

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