The first thing I have seen people do when they’re trying to get healthy is sprint to their local nutrition shop, which laughably sells zero real food sources of nutrition. What if I told you that you could get supplement doses of minerals and nutrients through herbs and spices?
Herbs can hold up to 200 to 300% more nutrients than from fruits and vegetables. So yeah, they taste great, but they are powerhouses for your health. You can get the same amount of antioxidants from having 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano that you would find from an entire apple! Aside from enhancing the flavor of your cooking and adding some variety to your meals, some benefits of incorporating herbs and spices into your life include:
antitumorigenic (work to counteract formation of tumors)
anticarcinogenic (prevent or delay the onset of cancer)
flavonoids (which can help protect cells from oxidative stress that can lead to disease)
better blood sugar balance
better cognition and mood
The toughest part of incorporating herbs into your meals is simply making it a habit. While fresh herbs are wonderful from your own garden or the store, dried herbs are also a great option to get started. If the extent of your cooking right now includes salt and pepper, maybe start with 1 or 2 herbs you're curious about trying. There is no wrong way to incorporate these herbs, so get creative in the kitchen and find what works for you.
Pro tip: rather than keeping your herbs in the back of that hard to reach cabinet, perhaps keep them right out on your counter or spice rack to make using them seamless.
5 Amazing Herbs
Mint is known to aid in digestion, helpful for IBS, improving brain function, and decreasing cold like symptoms.
How to use: Add fresh or dried mint to yogurt bowls, smoothie bowls, greek dishes, garnish cocktails/mocktails, pair with basil for a fresh garnish over salads. Pairs well with pears and balsamic glaze, yum!
Basil has antibacterial properties and can help maintain skin health, boost digestion, and detoxify the body.
How to use: make your pesto, add to pasta, pizza, chicken, puree in soups, garnish avocado toast.
Parsley is a great source of vitamin C and A, and is rich in antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of disease.
How to use: Add to roasted veggies, meats, stews, pastas grains like rice and quinoa.
Rosemary is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds and can help to boost blood circulation and the immune system.
How to use: Incorporate with chicken and other poultry, potatoes, mushrooms, and grains.
Dill is packed with flavonoids, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
How to use: use with greek dishes, seafood, cucumbers, beets, salads, hummus, or various spreads. Also great on avocado toast with an egg!
To keep their nutritional value as high as possible, add them later on in the cooking process. This way they will have less heat exposure and will be more bioavailable when eaten.
5 Amazing Spices
Black Pepper is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, improve blood sugar control, cognition, and helps your immune system fight disease.
How to use: add to roasted veggies, potatoes, meats, soups, and sauces.
Cinnamon helps to lower and stabilize blood sugar levels, studies have shown it can benefit those with allergies, and can help fight against chronic disease.
How to use: Dash to use on sweet potatoes, sprinkle on coffee and matcha, yogurts, savory and sweet toasts, curries, apples, pears, and baked goods.
Turmeric was traditionally a spice for skin, upper respiratory infections, joint pain, and digestion. We now known it's anti inflammatory benefits span even greater than these!
How to use: Turmeric roasted cauliflower, rice, lentils, oats, and yogurt bowls, golden milk lattes.
Cayenne can help manage weight balance, improve digestion, clear congestion, and contains plant compounds that work to protect cells.
How to use: Add to robust sauces, dressings, marinades, enchiladas, Mexican dishes, tacos, fajitas, eggs, or avocado toast to bring in some spice!
Cumin contains compounds called flavonoids, which can help fight disease and lower blood pressure. It also can promote ease of digestion.
How to use: Add to soups, stews, rice, BBQ sauces, potatoes, meats, hummus, chili or beans.
There you go, your starting guide to adding in more herbs and spices, we can't wait to see all that you make! If you want to learn powerful and healing nutrition and lifestyle strategies, check out our KYPO Functional Nutrition Course.