A little bit of salt here, a little bit of pepper there . . . When it comes to cooking up healthy and delicious meals, a little bit of seasoning can go a long way.
But which herbs and spices should a healthy cook always have on hand? We’ve got a few ideas!
Here are seven flavorful and nutritious seasonings to consider adding to your spice rack:
Whether you keep it crushed, powdered, or dried, chili peppers can add a spicy kick to any meal. And this burn won’t just make you sweat—it might help keep you healthy!
You see, capsaicin, the compound that gives chilies their heat, offers a number of benefits to health-conscious eaters. For one thing, capsaicin has been shown to help boost your metabolism, allowing your body to burn calories faster. At the same time, it has been shown to stimulate your brain and make you feel less hungry.
In fact, one study revealed that adding just one gram of red pepper to meals reduced appetite and increased fat burn in people who did not regularly eat peppers. Sounds like hot stuff to us!
Cinnamon adds a warm and comforting flavor to lots of classic dishes, from oatmeal to apple pie. Even better, cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, and has been shown to help reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and even help alleviate nausea.
This classic spice, which comes from the dried bark of a tropical evergreen tree, is also a good source of calcium, iron, and manganese.
Whether served up alongside sushi or grated or minced into soups, marinades, and stir-fry sauces, ginger adds a delicious boost to all sorts of culinary concoctions. Nibbling on pieces of candied baby ginger can be a pretty sweet treat too!
And ginger isn’t only popular for its sweet heat. Like sage, it’s been revered for its medical properties for centuries, and for good reason. Ginger is a great way to help settle an upset stomach, fight inflammation, and soothe muscle aches and pains.
Peppermint adds a sharp, intriguing flavor to yogurt; pairs perfectly with a rich, roasted lamb; and can make for a nice cup of tea on a cold day.
And that’s not all! There’s ample evidence that consuming mint can truly help pep up your health!
Mint is a great source of Vitamin A, and it has been shown to help aid digestion. In fact, there is evidence that peppermint can be particularly helpful for sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). One review of studies found that, compared with a placebo, taking peppermint oil improved IBS symptoms significantly.
Rich and fragrant, rosemary is a wonderful herb to pair with your favorite meats, or to stir into a delicious sauce for pasta and pizza.
And rosemary not only tastes great—it’s great for you! Rosemary is rich in antioxidants that can help prevent cell damage. It has also been shown to help reduce nasal congestion, suppress allergic reactions, and even help boost brain function.
One particularly fascinating thing about rosemary? You may not even have to eat it to experience some of its health benefits! In one study, researchers found that people who smelled rosemary performed better on memory tests and other mental tasks, compared with those who didn’t.
A sprinkle of sage can liven up everything from roast chicken to dinner rolls. It’s also a delicious ingredient in some specialty teas.
However you get it, adding sage to your diet can help you feel healthier in a variety of ways. Sage has been noted for its healing properties since the middle ages, and has been shown to help relieve sore throats and upset stomachs.
Oh, and don’t forget about this: Sage has also been shown to improve brain function and memory. In particular, researchers believe that sage can help people with Alzheimer’s disease. One study revealed that sage extract could produce significant improvements in brain function in Alzheimer’s sufferers, thanks to the way it protects acetylcholine, an important chemical in the brain.
Turmeric is equally known for its unique, bright yellow color and its amazing health properties!
The big benefit of turmeric is that it’s a great source of curcumin, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce inflammation, help manage pain symptoms, and even lower the risk of suffering a heart attack.
Turmeric has long been lauded as a medicinal wonder in India, and doctors all around the world are looking at this spice with fresh eyes. Many researchers believe that it can offer even more health benefits, including helping to reduce your risk for developing cancer and assisting in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
And now, the Enrollment Specialists would like to know: What’s in your spice rack right now? Do you like to pile on the seasonings when you cook, or keep it mild? Be sure to let us know over on Facebook, where we keep the health and wellness conversation going all day long!
While we love to talk about health and nutrition, our passion is cooking up the perfect custom health and life insurance plans for our clients. Led by our owner and principal consultant, health and life insurance superhero Matt Peebles, the Enrollment Specialists believe there is a perfect plan for everyone—and we’d like to help you find yours!
Ready to say “I Got A Guy!” for all things health and life insurance? Drop us a line today to get the conversation started!