While there are no miracle cures to manage our health, there are little things we can do every single day that add up to a big difference. For example, when we season our foods, rather than using heavy, store-brought marinades loaded down with preservatives, extra sugars, and unneeded calories, we can make a delicious spice rub, strategically selecting the spices with the greatest health benefits to us. Which spices should you use for your chicken, beef, pork, veggies, shrimp, or other fish? It depends on what flavors you enjoy and what health benefits you are seeking.
One of the most commonly used spices is black pepper. This is a great spice to use because it helps to increase the absorption of vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin B, selenium, beta-carotene, and others. It also can help to maintain weight because the peppercorn has an outer layer that helps to break down fat cells.
Garlic isn’t just good for keeping away the vampires. Garlic has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. Some studies show it to be a powerful antioxidant and it can speed up metabolism.
The mustard you put on your sandwich has great health benefits. This low-calorie topping can inhibit the growth of cancer cells, especially in the gastrointestinal tract. Mustard can also reduce the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Love a spicy kick? Red pepper may be your best spice friend. It contains an active ingredient known as capsaicin, which is used topically to relieve pain and when ingested may aid in weight loss by giving the metabolism a boost.
If you love sprinkling rosemary on your chicken like I do, then you are improving your memory with every sprig you use. This herb is known to protect the brain from free-radical damage and reduce the risk of stroke. It also lowers your risk of cancer. Don’t forget the rosemary!
If oregano is your favorite herb, then you are consuming one of the most antioxidant-dense foods on Earth! It’s so powerful that it is known to protect against food-borne pathogens and can be used topically as an antiseptic. Oregano is believed to prevent many types of cancer and even to slow the aging process. Pass the oregano, please!
Remember that spices aren’t just limited to your meal. I love to season my coffee grinds with cinnamon, which an a powerful antioxidant that also protects against heart disease, Alzheimer’s and has been show to help control diabetes by increasing insulin activity. I also add cinnamon to my plain Greek yogurt to add some low-calorie flavor to this high-protein snack.
You can also add fresh mint to your water for a delicious flavor. I like to cut up some strawberries and add mint leaves to my water for a refreshing low-calorie summer drink. Mint has been shown to prevent cancer growth and can help sooth the stomach. Another added benefit is that mint is a source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Adding your favorite spices to your meal can be more than just a fun way to add flavor; the added boost to your health can leave you feeling amazing about the good choices you are making for yourself and your loved ones.