5 Healthy Spices You Should Be Cooking With

My TOP picks for herbs and spices you should have on hand in your kitchen to cook with! They’re full of nutrients and add extra flavor to your meals without excess calories or fat.

Herbs and spices are an integral part to making any dish come to life. They enhance the taste of the all the ingredients you’re cooking with and make the whole dish more flavorful. Plus, most herbs and spices have health benefits of their own to contribute to the overall nutrient density of your food.

Today I’m sharing my TOP picks for herbs and spices that I always have on hand in my own kitchen. Not only do these choices add lots of flavor and compliment a ton of different foods, but they’re also some of the healthiest spices you can use to season your food. Check out the list to learn about all the awesome nutrients…

5 Healthy Spices You Should Be Cooking With | Health Chef Julia

Turmeric

Health Benefits: Turmeric can dramatically increase the bodies ability to absorb and utilize antioxidants. It’s also a powerful natural anti-inflammatory. The main compound turmeric is made up of, Curcumin, is an antioxidant that helps fight oxidative damage and boost the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. Turmeric has also been linked to: improved brain function, fighting Alzheimer's, reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, and relieving arthritis pain.

Favorite Ways to Use:

  • add it to a tofu scramble for flavor and more authentic “egg” coloring

  • homemade Golden Milk lattes

  • add to rice for color and mild flavor

  • sprinkle in soups to add a warming sensation

  • toss with roasted veggies like cauliflower, potatoes, and root veggies

Cinnamon

Health Benefits: Cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for all of its health benefits and medicinal properties. Cinnamon can help lower blood sugar levels and is known as an “anti-diabetic” spice. It also helps fight inflammation and lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

Favorite Ways to Use:

  • sprinkled in my coffee

  • mixed into oatmeal or pancake batter

  • stirred into homemade curry for a new flavor profile

  • blended into a smoothie

Oregano

Health Benefits: In ancient times, Oregano was used as an antiseptic. Today the compounds oregano is made from are used to treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract disorders…to name a few. It can also be applied topically (in oil form) to help treat a number of skin conditions, like acne or dandruff.

Favorite Ways to Use:

  • to season homemade tomato sauce

  • baked into a savory bread

  • making pesto with oregano instead of basil

  • season a whole roasted chicken

Rosemary

Health Benefits: The active compound in Rosemary is rosmarinic acid. Rosemary can help prevent allergies and clear nasal congestion. Rosmarinic acid has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

Favorite Ways to Use:

  • rosemary infused olive oil

  • rosemary and thyme roasted potatoes

  • rosemary sweet potatoes fries

  • stove-top popcorn with rosemary and parmesan

Thyme

Health Benefits: Thyme can be used to boost respiratory health and as a sore throat remedy. It is also rich in plant phenols such as thymol and carvacrol which makes it a good cough suppressant. Thyme also has antiseptic and antibacterial compounds that make it good for use in wound healing to guard against infections.

Favorite Ways to Use:

  • season soups

  • to season pork tenderloin or a pork roast

  • infused into a cocktail

  • remove the leaves from the stems and sprinkle them over a salad

What are your favorite herbs and spices to cook with in your own kitchen? Tell me in the comments!

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