Using Herbs For Spice and Life

Increasing your intake of nutrients might also improve the flavor of your meals. Most people are afraid to add herbs and spices to their food, for fear they will ruin the flavor. In reality, spicing up the meals takes plain fruits and vegetables to a higher level and creates a healthier you. When you add herbs to your meals, you increase not just the flavor but also help your family live a healthier life.

A perfect example is the simple dish of sliced tomatoes. Adding a bit of olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper make them a wonderful side dish that’s delicious, nutritious and simple. Take the dish a step further and sprinkle in a few additional herbs for added health. Sprinkle some Italian parsley and garlic over the tomato before you drizzle it with olive oil and you’ll not only have a delicious side dish, you’ll have one that packs an extra nutritional punch.

The garlic is excellent for the immune system as it helps the body fight off disease. Folk medicine has always recommended a clove of garlic to fight off a cold and there is scientific proof it has validity. While investigating the properties of garlic, researchers found it has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Scientists also studied garlic in the fight against cancer. The garlic has phytonutrients that help block the formation of cancer cells.

Garlic has cholesterol-lowering properties and lowers the LDL, the bad cholesterol, while it raises the HDL, the good cholesterol. The subjects of a study showed a 9 percent drop in cholesterol levels when they ate two cloves of garlic a day. Garlic protects the aorta and helps control hypertension by thinning the blood. Garlic really spices up your life. A study on the effects of garlic on impotence found the compounds in garlic are important in the production of nitric oxide synthase, necessary for obtaining an erection. 

When you add the Italian parsley, you help neutralize the smell of garlic on your breath and pack the tomatoes with a lot more nutritional punch. Parsley contains vitamin A, K, C, folic acid, potassium and adds a little more fiber to your diet. It contains powerful antioxidants to fight off free radicals that cause everything from cancer to aging. Popeye could give up a little of his spinach if he added parsley to his diet. It has not just additional iron but also magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and trace amounts of zinc, manganese and copper.

Does the little sprinkle add enough to fulfill you dietary need? Absolutely not. The addition of spices and herbs to flavor your food simply increases the nutritional intake and flavor without raising the amount of calorie intake. Just a little change can make a big difference in your health when you do it at every meal.

A breakfast idea that increases your health while spicing up the start of your day is the addition of cinnamon to the breakfast fare. If you start the day with coffee, put a teaspoon or two of cinnamon into your coffee filter with the coffee. For those with a bit of a sweet tooth, add a little bit of sugar. Sprinkle cinnamon or ginger on your cereal. It’s especially good on oatmeal.

Cinnamon adds iron, calcium and manganese to your diet. It also helps regulate blood sugar in diabetics, lower cholesterol, attack yeast infections, help with certain forms of cancer, is an anticoagulant, is a natural preservative, improves memory and helps to block the growth of E. coli in unpasteurized juice. Researchers at Copenhagen University gave patients a teaspoon of cinnamon with a tablespoon of honey every morning for a month. In the first week, the patients showed significant signs of relief from the pain of arthritis. After the first month of the study, most could walk without pain. This combination makes a great topping for toast.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up good tasting food. On the contrary, adding additional spices to your food makes them even healthier. Look for ways to increase the nutritional content while also making the food rival with the dishes found in gourmet restaurants. Your family will love you for it and they’ll never suspect they’re eating healthier.

BOLA TANGKAS