Thursday, July 5, 2012

Herbs and Spices

Most processed foods on shelves today use salt and other weird additives (most I can barely pronounce) to add flavor to meals. I’m sure you can imagine that this affects your health in many ways, such as high blood pressure, GI problems, and so on (I’ll save that rant for another day). However one healthy way to add flavor to foods is to use herbs and spices. They all have different health benefits, and are so much tastier than salt!

So here are a couple of common herbs and spices and their benefits:

Rosemary: Prevents DNA mutations (lowers cancer risk!), and may also stop damage to blood vessels (improving heart health, woo!).

Oregano: Has a very high level of antioxidants that improve immunity, and relieve stress put on the body (from smoking, pollution and other nasty stuff).

Cinnamon: reduces inflammation (relieving pain!), also lowers LDL levels (reducing heart problems!).

Cayenne pepper: Speeds up metabolism and fat burning.

Garlic: Prevents the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms in the body (can sooth an upset stomach and prevent infections!), and can also lower blood pressure.

You can buy herbs dried or fresh, just remember that dried are much stronger. The rule is use a 1 to 3 ratio in any recipe (ex. 1 teaspoon of dried or 3 teaspoons of fresh).

Both dried and fresh have nutritional benefits, but fresh will defiantly give you more for your buck (considering it hasn’t lost any oils, or aged significantly). The university of Colorado did some work on this and determined that fresh garlic has 1.5 times more antioxidants than dried garlic (hot damn!).

So grow some in your backyard or in a pot by your window!


  1. As far as your garlic rule, do you consider a store-bought jar of minced garlic to be "fresh"? It's not technically dry, so I figured I'd ask! Also, I love your blog Amanda! I'm trying to be healthier so I find your stuff very relevant. :)

  2. Thanks for reading; I'm so glad you love it! If there is anything you would like me to talk about in a post just ask :)

    As far as the cooking rule goes I would consider it fresh. Garlic powder or flakes would be considered dry (and much stronger to taste). Some people say that the jar kind is a little bit weaker than using a fresh clove, so you may want to even use a little extra (I honestly have never noticed the different, but then again I’m not that good of a cook). Just be sure to keep an eye on the expiration date of the jar since the older it gets, the less health benefits you will get.