’Tis the season, or the day, of herbs and spices, which play an integral role in the kitchen. Without herbs and spices, food would taste bland or mundane. These seasonings can take us on a culinary tour of the world. From the complex flavor layering in an Indian curry to the richness of a heavily seasoned raw taco meat, herbs and spices make meals come to life and allow the flavors to dance on the taste buds. While growing herbs can prove difficult for some, fresh and dried herbs are easily found in many grocery stores.
Herbs and spices are tasty, aromatic, pretty, and they are usually loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. While taking herbal supplements can be a great way to absorb the nutrients of various herbs, you can also reap their benefits by adding them to your diet. We have listed some of our favorite herbs and spices below, and have detailed their benefits.
Containing a hefty amount of vitamin K, oregano is great for bone and cardiovascular health. It is also rich in calcium, iron, and manganese, all of which support bone health and reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Since rosemary has natural antibacterial properties, it can be used as a mouthwash to help freshen your breath. Boil a few sprigs of rosemary in water and strain it. Let the solution cool and keep it in your bathroom. Swish a small amount of the solution around in your mouth to help clean your teeth, gums, and freshen your breath.
Dill is actually packed with flavonoids and B-vitamins, both of which have a calming effect on the brain. Consuming dill seeds can help to freshen your breath and soothe the digestive system. Did you know that 1 tablespoon of dill seeds contains more calcium than one-third cup of milk? To keep dill fresh, wrap it in a damp paper towel and store it in the fridge.
Recent studies have shown that thyme extract has the ability to reduce the heart rate in rats with high blood pressure. Additionally, it was also helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. Thyme has many health benefits, including the ability to help the formation of red blood cells. It can also help relieve lupus, fibromyalgia, arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, and vertigo.
Not only does lemongrass benefit the nervous system, but it also can help the body absorb nutrients better and strengthen the body’s immune defense mechanism. Recent studies have shown that lemongrass has beneficial anti-inflammatory properties that work to encourage immune responses throughout the body.
The compounds and anti-inflammatory properties in cinnamon have been known to combat allergy symptoms by reducing inflammation and fighting histamine reactions. Additionally, cinnamon helps boost the immune system, which is beneficial for fighting off viruses and bacteria.
Curcumin, which is the active ingredient in turmeric, has been known to improve circulation and reduce inflammation. More recently, it has demonstrated that it can help to positively influence brain function. For people who have a history of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other neurological disorders, these findings are very exciting. Early intervention could help to reduce the burden, both by halting the disease and reducing the severity of the disease at hand.