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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Healthy Herbs and Spices

Tonight I'm part of a healthy eating program at Jake's school, so I've been thinking "healthy" as I've been getting ready for that. 

I just was reading a story from CBS News about nutritionist, author and TV chef Elie Krieger.  She was talking about how it's not only the foods that we eat that can have health benefits, but the herbs and spices that we use to prepare those foods that can make them even more healthy for us.  You can read the story for more details, but here are a few things that she highlighted.
  • Rosemary: Either fresh or dried, rosemary is teeming with antioxidants that can help to prevent cancer and keep cholesterol numbers down.
  • Cinnamon: This is one of the most health beneficial spices of all.  It has the highest antioxidant amounts of any spice.  It's been known to lower blood glucose in diabetics.  Cinnamon also contains manganese, iron and calcium, as well as being known to help alleviate nausea and stomach ulcers.
  • Thyme: This herb contains some antibacterial properties as well as being a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Omega 3 fatty acids among other things.
  • Curry Powder: As you probably know, curry powder is a mixture of different spices.  It differs from region to region and sometimes family to family.  But one of the spices that all curry powder contains is turmeric and that's what makes it healthy (and gives it that distinctive color).  Turmeric has been used to treat arthritis and rheumatism.  Studies also show that it can help to prevent heart problems, cancer and Alzheimer's Disease.  In fact, Alzheimer's is 4 times less prevalent in India (where curry powder is eaten in huge amounts) than in the US.
  • Ginger: Ginger has been used for centuries as an anti-inflamatory and to treat circulation problems and stomach ailments.
So spice up your meals and reap the healthy benefits from all those great flavors!

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