Staying healthy is on top of all of our minds. Being fit, having a strong body, and feeling good is and will forever be a top priority, but also a great challenge for most of us.
The good news? Food can help. What we eat can dramatically change how our body works, which means we should pay attention to what we serve on our plates.
Herbs and spices have been part of ancient traditional medicine for centuries, and for excellent reasons. As science shows today, many plants and spices are great for us.
Here are the five healthiest herbs and spices you can add to your diet today to start feeling better.
Turmeric is widely used in curries and Asian-inspired stews; it adds an indescribable warmth and a lovely bright orange-hued color to food. Still, turmeric is not only useful in the kitchen, but it’s also the single most potent condiment for your health.
For starters, turmeric has a bioactive compound called curcumin that has proved to be a potent anti-inflammatory.
Chronic inflammation causes many cancers and heart diseases, so controlling it is essential for enjoying a long, plentiful life — If you can do it through food even better.
Turmeric also has a positive effect on our brain and might reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
- Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne peppers, and all hot peppers, for that matter, have a healthy compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin gives peppers their heat, and although you might not love spicy food, it’s excellent for your health.
Capsaicin boosts your metabolism, lowers your pressure, and promotes the production of the happy, feel-good hormone dopamine. This all means that eating spicy food seasoned with cayenne peppers or any other spicy pepper can help treat depression and is an all-natural pain killer.
Rushes of adrenalin released when your palate feels the heat are quite healthy too, as they get your heart pumping, and that’s a great exercise.
Ancient Asian cultures have been using ginger not only at the heart of their traditional food but also as medicine, and modern scientific evidence backs all the health claims.
The active compound in the aromatic rhizome is Gingerol. Garlic is also a powerful anti-inflammatory but has many other health benefits, it’s a natural antibiotic that can kill harmful bacteria, and it lowers your blood pressure.
Consuming ginger regularly can also lower your bad (low density) cholesterol in your bloodstream, keeping your arteries clear and your heart in shape.
Having said that, ginger adds delicious aromatics to stews and stir-fries, it is a friendly companion to sushi, and it’s making its way into western cuisines too.
Rosemary is an aromatic herb commonly used in Mediterranean cuisines in all kinds of dishes, from seafood to steak. The needle-shaped leaves are tasty, yes, but also healthy.
Some studies suggest eating rosemary can keep your nervous system and brain healthy, preventing diseases like dementia. Other encouraging results have shown that the herb can help control the growth of skin and other cancers.
Popular in aromatherapy, both rosemary leaves and rosemary oils have still undiscovered health benefits that might soon change the way we look at medical treatments.
Sage, the sweet and savory herb prominent in Mediterranean kitchens and widely consumed in the form of tea, is quite powerful flavor- and health-wise. You only need a few sage leaves to change the flavor profile of a dish completely. Slight amounts of the leaf can also strengthen your health considerably.
Sage can lower our sugar levels, which is useful for people with insulin deficiency. It can also improve our brain health and memory while lower cholesterol levels in our bloodstream.
Acting on our bodies at different levels, sage is, without a doubt, one of the healthiest herbs you can enjoy today. As scientific research shows more positive results, we’ll be seeing the flavorful herb more often on menus and medical treatments alike.
It’s All About Balance
Adding the herbs and spices above will definitely give you a health boost, but remember, staying healthy is all about balance.
A balanced diet and an active lifestyle are the best way of staying fit or losing those few extra pounds. Spice up your life with healthy seasonings, and share the love! You can find out more about the health benefits of herbs at Chefbega.com.