SPICES ARE HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS
Health-conscious chefs and nutritionists have long recommended including spices and herbs in dishes to add flavor without the fat, salt or sugar. But studies on the antioxidant richness of spices and herbs suggest using these flavor powerhouses as a way to add more health to your meals, too.
“It’s the ultimate in good nutrition news when adding a favorite ingredient increases the health benefits of the foods we’re already enjoying,” says Dr. Bazilian. For example, one teaspoon of ground cinnamon has the equivalent level of antioxidants as a half cup of blueberries and one cup of pomegranate juice. Just think of all the foods to which you add cinnamon!
The health benefits of spices and herbs
To advance the science of spices and herbs, McCormick created the McCormick Science Institute, an independent research organization where researchers are looking at antioxidants as well as other health-promoting advantages offered by consuming more spices and herbs.
Antioxidant power. Research has shown that antioxidants are substances — found in foods like fruits and vegetables –that may protect cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Antioxidants can protect you against heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Antioxidants include beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium and vitamins A, C, and E.
Anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers are investigating the unique protective properties of spices and herbs, and their role in possibly reducing inflammation. Inflammation has been identified as a precursor to many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, allergies, and Alzheimer’s to name a few. Spices and herbs can be included in an anti-inflammatory diet to not only add flavor but to also assist in healing the body.
Weight loss. Researchers are exploring the potential of spices to boost metabolism, promote satiety, aid weight management and enhance the overall quality of a diet. The capsaicin in peppers are believed to have metabolic boosting properties. In addition, if the food you eat is flavorful and satisfying, there is a good chance you will eat less and consume fewer calories, too.
What are the seven super spices?
Spices and herbs are botanically classified as fruits and vegetables. And since they no longer contain the water that makes up a significant part of the fresh produce, spices and herbs offer an even higher level of antioxidants. In addition, spices and herbs also are rich in phytonutrients, such as carotenoids, flavonoids and other phenolics, all of which possess health-promoting properties. Many spices and herbs appear to have some beneficial effects, but here are the seven super spices with the greatest health-enhancing potential and tips to include them in your meals. see more….