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Herbs and Spices for Health

By Amy Silva

It's no secret that adding a variety of spices and herbs to foods can transform even the blandest of foods, but did you know they can also improve your health? Adding a sprinkle of cinnamon or a pinch of cayenne pepper here and there can do more than pep up food dishes. Herbs, spices and other foods that are used to top dishes can boost memory, help your heart and improve other areas of health. The good news is many people already have these common herbs and spices in their pantry and can implement them into their diets right away.

Health Benefits of Herbs, Spices and Similar Foods We Use to Add Flavor to Dishes

While not considered herbs or spices by most people, ginger, garlic and cocoa are used as such and can also improve health and aid in the prevention of certain diseases. Ginger is often used to help relieve nausea from various causes, even including morning sickness. It's also an anti-inflammatory, contains antioxidants and may even aid in preventing cancer. Garlic is another food that's a great addition to your diet. Studies show it can lower blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol. Cocoa is a spice, though we don't consider it one because we associate it with being sweet. It has antioxidants that may help reduce high cholesterol and blood pressure.

Popular spices include:

  • Turmeric - As a food with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric may combat Alzheimer's and arthritis and lower the risk of cancer and heart disease
  • Cinnamon - Some studies show cinnamon may reduce blood sugar and cholesterol, and combat inflammation
  • Cayenne pepper - This spice is often used in supplements to help weight loss because studies show it can help the body burn fat

Popular herbs include:

  • Sage - Sage can help the brain by improving memory function in all ages, and a study done on Alzheimer's patients showed improvement
  • Chives - Chives have antioxidants and vitamins and may lower the risk of gastric cancer, specifically
  • Rosemary - Good for helping to improve memory, rosemary contains antioxidants and can help improve memory, aid in congestion and allergy symptoms and improve cardiovascular health
  • Parsley - Parsley contains vitamins and antioxidants and according to studies, may stop cancer cells from growing and lower blood pressure

Adding herbs and spices to food and drinks is a good habit to get into. Adding flavor to foods that can be bland is a win, and there are a multitude of health benefits for mind and body. Try different mixtures of herbs and spices to add a new take to your favorite classic dishes.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lincoln, Nebr.

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