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Beneficial Herbs and Spices to Add to Your Diet

By Karen Heslop

There is no doubt that the foods we eat have a large influence on our overall health. Eating the right amount of healthy foods is ideal but what about herbs and spices? Well, in this post we'll look at a few options that not only create flavorful dishes, but they also have some great health benefits. 

Garlic

Long regarded as a powerful antibiotic, garlic contains a compound known as allicin. It's only released when the clove is cut or crushed so adding pieces of garlic to your dishes is best. Studies show that garlic can help to reduce high cholesterol and high blood pressure while also lowering the risk of heart disease.

Rosemary

This fragrant herb contains rosmarinic acid and 1,8-cineole, among other compounds. It's been suggested that rosmarinic acid has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve the symptoms of allergies and nasal congestion. Researchers have also suggested that 1,8-cineole can boost brain activity, which helps with memory-based tasks, critical thinking, and other mental activities.

Ginger

You may already know that ginger is effective against nausea but have you heard about its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties? In certain studies, ginger has been shown to be helpful for pain management. In one case, it was found to be as effective as ibuprofen when combined with mastic, cinnamon, and sesame oil. 

Sage

While sage has been used in non-traditional medicine for some time, research on its potential health benefits have been recent. Studies suggest that sage stops the breakdown of an important chemical in the brain, acetylcholine. The breakdown of acetylcholine has been associated with the loss of brain function and memory. Persons in the study experienced notable improvements in their brain function after being given sage extract.

Cayenne Pepper

The spicy kick that these peppers are known for come from capsaicin. Capsaicin has been shown to boost the metabolism and can help to keep blood vessels healthy. If you're used to spicy foods, though, the effects may not be as impressive.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a great multi-purpose spice because you can add it to a variety of dishes or teas. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make cinnamon useful for managing pain, lowering cholesterol, as well as regulating blood sugar levels.

It's important to note that these herbs and spices are most effective when you add the real thing to your diet. By doing that, the essential compounds remain fresh and you don't have to worry about losing anything through processing.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hoboken, N.J.

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