Six herbs and spices with powerful health benefits

Do you associate holidays or certain family gatherings with the smells and taste of particular herbs and spices such as ginger, rosemary, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, and vanilla?

Many of us have experienced the yummy taste of roast beef or lamb cooked with rosemary, or the flavors of cinnamon in doughnuts and hot cross buns (GF of course :)), or ginger in gingernuts.

Aromatic herbs and spices are not only delicious, but they also have some impressive health properties.  Consider the following herbs and spices and make sure to add them to your food preparation:

  • GINGER decreases muscle soreness; improves sugar control in diabetics; combats nausea; helps with menstrual pain, PMS, and migraines; lowers triglycerides; and lowers inflammation in osteoarthritis. Ginger also has anti-cancer properties.
  • CINNAMON increases insulin sensitivity; improves blood glucose and lipids in type 2 diabetes; improves components of metabolic syndrome, and is an antioxidant and anti-microbial.
  • CLOVE promotes oral health and has been included in several trials of herbal mixtures used against gum infections and ear infections. It is also a topical anesthetic that may help with muscle pains and has even been used to help relieve anal fissures.  Clove has antioxidant and antifungal properties
  • ROSEMARY improves asthma symptoms and vascular function. It may be protective in Alzheimer’s disease, has antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties (prostate, ovarian), and may be a useful complementary agent in cancer therapy
  • BAY LEAF improves glucose and lipid profiles in type 2 diabetes and reduces the blood glucose response to carbohydrates. They also have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
  • VANILLA may have anti-cancer, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-AGEing properties.

Recently, I’ve been enjoying spicy chai tea. So even if it’s not at a therapeutic dose, it IS very appetizing.  While improved health is not guaranteed, some yummy tastes are!

 

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