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The Top 10 Super-Spices that Protect Your Body

Posted on July 10, 2011 by Warrick Dowsett | 2 comments

Every time you flavor your meals with herbs or spices you are supercharging your food. You can transform something ordinary and bland into something truly extraordinary tasting and good for your body, just by generously adding herbs and spices to your meals or by just adding a tablespoon or two of our condiments which are packed with healthy spices and fresh ingredients making eating healthy easy.

Did you know that certain herbs and spices contain a wide variety of some of the most potent antioxidants of any food? In fact, many herbs and spices rank even higher in antioxidant activity than many fruits and vegetables, with some spices such as cloves, turmeric, and cinnamon having as much as 10 to 50 times more antioxidants measured compared to blueberries.  All of our specialty foods are packed with super food and high antioxidant ingredients.  For instance our North African Chermoula Dressing and Marinade is made with over 7 spices.  One drizzle of this dressing over your salad or over your chicken dinner and voila, antioxidant punch without the effort.  Our Indian Spiced Beet Spread is made with fresh local beets and our own slow cooked blend of powerhouse spices.  It's liver cleansing and delicious and you don't have to deal with the mess of cooking beets.

The benefits of the antioxidants in spices include some very powerful protection against many serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s and overall aging.

Herbs and spices add tons of extra flavor, and when combined with the nutrition in other foods, they actually exponentially boost the natural antioxidants, phytonutrients, and anti-inflammatory power of the food.

Besides the super antioxidants, herbs and spices can also:

  • Assist in Fat Burning and Boost Metabolism - many herbs and spices are thermogenic, which means they naturally help to increase metabolism, partly because they are so nutrient-dense.
  • Control Blood Sugar - Some spices are also good at regulating blood sugar and controlling insulin--even as good as some diabetic drugs! When your blood sugar is well controlled, you are more likely to burn fat and not store calories as excess weight.
  • Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Properties –Studies show that herbs and spices can actually work as better than some medications at calming inflammation without the negative side effects of chemical drugs.
  • Anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal - Many herbs and spices contain properties that effectively kill dangerous pathogens like viruses, bacteria and fungi. The natural properties in these foods work against many microbes that are resistant to conventional medications.

Here are 10 of the most potent super food herbs and spices you can eat:

1.Cinnamon - This spice has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice.

Cinnamon is highly effective at helping to stabilize blood sugar levels, making it very effective for those with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). In one study of people with type 2 diabetes, just two teaspoons a day reduced blood sugar as much as 20-30%, as well as lowering LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Cinnamon also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and helps relieve pain and stiffness in muscles and joints, aiding in arthritis. Cinnamon has a positive effect on brain function, and smelling cinnamon, or chewing cinnamon flavored gum, can possibly help improve memory and attention. Cinnamon also reduces inflammation in blood vessels that leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Cinnamon is a common ingredient in our spiced vinegars.  Using only slow infusion methods we infuse whole bark cinnamon and a plethora of spices (all packed with antioxidants) to create fresh fruit vinegars with depth and intense flavor.  All our vinegars including our Spiced Strawberry Rhubarb Vinegar, Spiced Beet and our Spiced Pear Ginger Vinegar use a medley of these aromatic spices including cloves, bayleaf, and cinnamon infused with whole fresh fresh fruit, resulting in these delicious vinegars.
Add our finishing vinegars to your everyday salad or use as a finishing sauce to grilled meats, fish, veggies or even cocktails and drinks.  It makes it easy to get the benefits of cinnamon without very much effort!

Fresh Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Spiced Candied Nuts and our Pear Ginger Finishing Vinegar infused with whole bark cinnamon and spices.

 

2.Basil - Basil is a very effective anti-inflammatory herb with amazing healing benefits that work for arthritis, allergies, and IBS symptoms, to name a just a few. In addition, basil helps kill harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning.

 

Basil is also an excellent source of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radical damage. Free radical damage is the primary cause of heart disease, cancer, and many other serious health conditions, as well as aging. Because of its dark green color, it is an excellent source of vitamin K, calcium and magnesium, which is good for the bones. It is also a great source of iron, manganese, vitamin C and potassium.  Use both fresh basil and dried basil generously in your foods to maximize it's healing benefits.

A fantastic blend of farm grown fresh basil, fresh apple and spices including cinnamon comes in our Spiced Basil Cider Dressing.  Apply to all your salad greens or drizzle over pork and chicken.  A health boost and delicious.


3.Cloves - Cloves have a unique sweet and spicy flavor, but also contain powerful natural medicine. Cloves have strong antiseptic and germicidal ingredients that help fight infections, relieve digestive problems, and arthritis pain. One of cloves’ best known uses is its ability to relieve tooth and gum pain.  Cloves have been noted as having the highest antioxidant level of all spices and herbs.

The oil in cloves kills bacteria and is very effective when applied to scrapes, cuts, fungal infections, rashes, bites, burns, or bruises. Cloves also help digestive problems like indigestion, nausea and vomiting, gas and bloating. And the smell of cloves helps to encourage mental creativity too.

Cloves can be a great healthy addition to hot teas.  We use both an in house Indian Garam Masala blend and a Moroccan Ras Hanout blend which combines over 15 super spices including clove, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin and bay leaf. Some of those products include our Indian Spiced Beet Spread & Moroccan Tomato Onion Relish



 

4.Cayenne - This hot spice not only heats up your dishes, it heats up your body and raises your metabolism, helping you burn fat faster. And an interesting research study showed that when a person consumed an appetizer with red pepper flakes, they ate 15% less food. And for those of you who avoid cayenne because you think it bothers your stomach, cayenne pepper is actually healing to stomach tissues, it stimulates digestive enzymes, and helps prevent stomach ulcers.

Cayenne reduces LDL cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and decreases the formation of harmful blood clots, all of which prevent heart attacks and strokes. Cayenne is a very effective anti-inflammatory and pain remedy for everything from headaches to arthritis and muscle aches, as well as clearing sinus congestion and boosting immunity.

Try cayenne in your morning eggs, in soups, stews, or chili for a little metabolism boosting spice!


5. Cumin - Cumin also high in antioxidants is better known for being especially good for digestion. It stimulates the gallbladder and pancreas to secrete enzymes and bile that break down food into nutrients your body can use. Cumin also helps detoxify the body, and is highly effective for respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis.

Cumin, like cinnamon, helps keep blood sugar levels stable, which means cumin is great for those who suffer with diabetes or those who are considered borderline diabetic. Cumin assists in less chance of weight gain and excess body fat. Cumin has been proven to work as well as some commonly used diabetic drugs at regulating insulin and glycogen. Cumin is also a very good source of iron, vitamin C and vitamin A, which benefit the immune system. 

Cumin goes great in chili and we use it in quite a few of our products.  Our Moroccan Tomato Onion Savory Relish is packed with cumin as well as our Spicy Tomato Kasundi.  Our Indian Spiced Beetroot Spread also is made with a slow cooked blend of Indian spices including cumin and coriander seed. 

Try our Spicy Tomato Kasundi on a burger or steak for a meal with the added benefits of a medley of spices.

6. Turmeric - Turmeric’s yellow-orange pigment, curcumin, is the main active ingredient in this power spice. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory benefits are actually comparable to drugs like hydrocortisone and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines like Ibuprofen and Motrin. Unlike the drugs, curcumin is not toxic at all.

Curcumin is more effective slowing down the development of Alzheimer’s disease than many medications, because it decreases inflammation and oxidation in the brain. This spice also speeds up the recovery time from strokes as well. Turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, are also highly effective against diseases like irritable bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and arthritis. Turmeric also improves liver function and prevents heart disease.

Most importantly, turmeric is one of the most potent anti-cancer spices that helps protect you.  Turmeric is currently being studied in alternative cancer treatments.

A dressing and marinade that is packed full of turmeric is our North African Chermoula.  It's bold lemon zingy marinade and dressing that is super healthy!  It's delicious over couscous salads, grains, chicken, seafood, grilled vegetables and lamb.

 

{North African Chermoula - Packed Full of Moroccan Spices, Cumin, Saffron, Ginger, Garlic, Cilantro, Coriander, Paprika and Turmeric}

For more details on turmeric and a greater list of super foods, take a look at Dr Kevin Currans website: Ethno Herbalist

7. Rosemary - Rosemary contains active ingredients that are both potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Rosemary has long been known to improve concentration, boost memory, and lift mood decreasing depression. Rosemary also strengthens the immune system, improves circulation, stimulates digestion, and fights cancer.

Rosemary is highly effective for respiratory problems including asthma, bronchitis, chest congestion, and respiratory infections. While rosemary adds a delicious savory flavor to meat dishes, it also helps digestion by stimulating the gallbladder to release bile as well. Rosemary will protect your body against harmful carcinogenic toxins and prevents colon cancer, stomach, breast and lung cancer. 


8. Ginger - Ginger is extremely powerful for your health!  Ginger contains over 25 different antioxidants, which makes it very effective at fighting free radicals throughout the body. Ginger is best known for its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting, as well as motion sickness. Because ginger does not have harmful side effects like many drugs, it is very good for nausea from pregnancy.

Ginger is also a soothing remedy for sore throats from colds and flu because of its antiviral properties. Ginger also helps coughs and is an effective expectorant. Try a tea made with hot water, a few slices of ginger and a good dollop of raw honey and sliced lemon for a soothing drink when you are sick. 

Because ginger is such a strong anti-inflammatory, it helps reduce the pain and swelling of arthritis, and muscle aches. Ginger also fights cancer, reduces cholesterol, and prevents blood clots that lead to strokes or heart disease.  Try our Thai Orange Ginger Savory Relish atop turkey burgers, broiled fish and seafood for a condiment packed with fresh ginger, carrot, fresh orange and spice! 

 Thai Orange and Ginger Savory Relish - made with fresh peppery ginger, fresh carrot, oranges and Thai spices.  Full of healthy ingredients- just spoon over grilled fish or chicken!

9.Thyme — Thyme’s active ingredient is known for treating bronchitis, sore throats, chest congestion, laryngitis and asthma. Thyme is so effective it is often an ingredient in cough drops and mouthwashes to treat inflammation and infections. Thyme is also effective as a soothing stomach aid to relieve gastritis, indigestion and colic.

Thyme assists in preventing cancer, improving memory, battling Alzheimer’s, calming the nerves, and alleviates depression and insomnia. A new discovery about thyme shows that it actually boosts the amount of DHA (an important ingredient in omega 3 fatty acids) in the brain, heart and kidney cells.

10. Oregano - This herb contains an oil that is a very potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent, rosmarinic acid, also found in you guessed it...rosemary.   Oregano oil has been used to treat a wide range of conditions from bacterial and viral infections, to parasites and fungal infections.

Oregano also relieves internal and external inflammation and can offer relief from allergies, aches and pain, without side effects.

 

Here are some other health benefits of some of the most popular herbs and spices:

 

• Rosemary, turmeric, ginger and basil are powerful anti-inflammatories.
• Cumin, turmeric, and sage help fight dementia.
• Cayenne, cumin, coriander and cinnamon help to regulate insulin and blood sugar levels.
• Lemon grass, nutmeg, bay leaves and saffron are shown to have a calming effect.
• Garlic and mustard seed are excellent for the heart.
• Basil and thyme help your skin become softer and smoother.
• Turmeric, garlic, basil, cinnamon, thyme, saffron, garlic and ginger boost the immune system.
• Coriander, rosemary, cayenne, allspice and black pepper can help fight depression.

All of our products contain a wide variety of super healthy herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables.  We  make it easy for you to enjoy delicious condiments that pack a ton of flavor and add nutritional value.  A few more of our healthy offerings which are all hand crafted by us include: 

Spiced Beet Vinegar - made with fresh beets known to aid in liver cleansing and detox and full of spices including cumin, cinammon, bay leaf, clove and orange peel.

Super Hot Chili Sambal - packed full of fresh Thai chili's which aid in fat burning metabolism and weight loss.  An did you know chili's pack as much Vitamin C as oranges? Our Super Hot Chili Sambal also is full of fresh ginger, lemon and garlic! 

Kiwi Lime Salsa Verde - this fresh tangy and lively salsa is full of fresh kiwi, fresh tomatillos, fresh cilantro and jalapenos!  Kiwi's are an excellent antioxidant which aids in neutralizing free radicals which lead to disease and aging. Cilantro has antibiotic, anti inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.  It also is a strong source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids which are proven effective against heart disease.  Another quality of cilantro is that it is one of the few herbs that is used as a heavy metal detox agent. 

Thanks For Reading About The Top 10 Super Spices and Thanks For Checking Out Our Page!

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Note: Always check with your physician to be sure certain herbs and spices don’t interfere with medications you may be taking and check with your doctor before you stop taking any current medications.

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Comments

  • Belen

    Love everything about this pin
    love all the natural spices❤

  • Diane Reed

    Do you have any recipe books or pamphlets?

 

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