• Rachel Mason

Spice up your...food!


People often associate healthy food with being bland, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! If you’re looking to start eating healthy, but don’t know where to begin, we suggest spices. They add flavor without adding a lot of fat, carbs or calories. They are also full of various nutrients and can benefit your health in ways you didn’t even realise.

We think these are staple herbs and spices any cupboard should have. Rub into chicken, marinate your tofu or sprinkle on an omelet. Lets look at why:

Basil:

Dried basil is a great alternative if you don’t use it very often and the fresh stuff tends to go out of date. It still holds some of the nutritional values as fresh, just not as much. One tablespoon of dried basil provides 4% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, 43% of vitamin K, and 2% of vitamin C. It has about 33mg of omega-3 fatty acids.

Cayenne Pepper

Spicy food is known for boosting your metabolism, so this is a great one to stock in your cupboard if you can handle spice. The bright color signals its high content pro-vitamin A. Just two teaspoons provide about 6% of the daily value for vitamin C and more than 10% of the daily value for vitamin A. Cayene pepper has been used medicinally for years, particulaty for the digestive system and people who have siffered from heart attacks. It also increases the effectiveness of other foods and herbs when used with them. Bonus!

Ginger

Ginger is great for nausea, whether it be from motion or pregnancy, as well as being good for colds and flu.

Some other benefits include:

  • Lowering cholesterol

  • Help sore muscles the day after a work out

  • Anti-inflamatory

  • Can help with PMS symptoms

Ginger can be used in drinks such as fresh juices, smoothies and protein shakes, as well as food, so is a very versatile spice to add to your cupboard.

Curry Powder

Curry powder is usally a mix of turmeric, cumin, coriander, black pepper and garlic. An easy way to give your food an indian twist! This saves having to have each spice individualy and each spice packs a powerful punch.

Benefits include:

  • Aiding digestion

  • Improve brain function

  • Can help prevent cancer

  • Can help lower cholesterol

Oregano

1 teaspoon of oregano contains the same amount of antioxidants as a cup of sweet potato. Studies have shown oregano to have the highest total antioxidant capacity and phenolic content when compared with thyme, sage, rosemary, mint, and sweet basil. Add a couple of teaspoons to a tomato based pasta sauce, or sprinkle on a skinny pizza!

If you’ve had these sitting in your cupboard for a while, refresh them. They continue to lose nutritional value the longer you have them.


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