Would you like to add more vegetables to your family’s diet, but don’t know how to?
What if you could increase your vegetable consumption by enhancing their natural flavors?
Or how about the fact that you’ll be able to optimize your health with nourishing tasty veggies in no time. And it doesn’t need to cost you a fortune.
If you answered Yes to two of these questions then you’ve come to the right place…
There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on expensive ready-made meals, or prepacked foods. You can do it all from the comfort of your home.
In fact, you can make any of these healthy salads if you prefer raw vegetables or you can take it a step further and make Lacto-fermented vegetables.
Because in this article, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best healing spices so you can start to enjoying food again.
Want to nourish your body while simultaneously preventing disease?
Vegetables and fruits are the way to go. Vegetables are beneficial for a number of reasons including high fiber, vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, and best of all, they are delicious.
There is a considerable amount of reasons on vegetarian eating:
The National Library of Medicine in this article talk about the benefits of a vegetarian diet:
Vegetarian diets are really more healthful! In the National Library of Medicine (NLM) research database at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, you’ll find about 750 studies with the word “vegetarian” in their title, and more than 100,000 study participants have had their diets studied in the context of vegetarian eating.
Reduced risk of chronic diseases is a well-documented health benefit of vegetarian eating, including reduced risk of the following conditions: atherosclerosis, cancers (select types), coronary artery disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
One way to enjoy vegetables in your diet is by spicing them up and switching it up– variety remember?
Now, if you are not a fan of vegetables, you can always supplement with a top notch multivitamin. I prefer the liquid version or in powder form.
There are several spices you may add to your vegetables and here are my favorites:
- Turmeric ~ Turmeric is a very powerful antioxidant that aids in clearing infections, it is one of the best anti-inflammatory foods to prevent and reverse cardiovascular disease, balances cholesterol levels, treats serious states of depression and even helps reverse the course of Type II Diabetes in pre-diabetic patients as a recent study conducted a the University of Ta. More on Turmeric.
- Ginger ~ Ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress according to this article. In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract). Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.
- Cayenne Pepper ~ Cayenne is an extremely versatile healing spice. Cayenne is a known circulatory stimulant. It increases the pulse of our lymphatic and digestive rhythms. By heating the body, the natural process of detoxification is streamlined. Cayenne also induces sweating—another important process of detoxification. Additionally, in vitro tests have found that CAY-1, a compound found in cayenne peppers, effectively suppressed the development of 16 different fungal strains, while remaining completely non-toxic to animal cells. Read more from the (source)
- Safron ~Saffron is known for having two components, crocin and saffranal, that in fact preserve pretty good levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine within the human brain. A number of research studies that saffron is as potent as or even more effective compared to fluoxetine and imipramine in managing depression. Try organic saffron here.
- Garlic powder ~
- Himalayan salt— Himalayan salts are mineral packed crystals which formed naturally within the earth made up of 85.62% sodium chloride and 14.38% other trace minerals including: sulphate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, bromide, borate, strontium, and fluoride (in descending order of quantity).
Because of these minerals, Himalayan pink salt can: Create an electrolyte balance, increase hydration, Balance pH (alkaline/acidity), prevent muscle cramping. Read more on Himalayan salt benefits here.
- Black Pepper ~ Peppercorns contain an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties. They contain anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-flatulent properties.
- Cumin ~ Cancer prevention, digestion, and iron for energy and immune function. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism. Research has shown that cumin may stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, compounds necessary for proper digestion and nutrient assimilation. (source)
- Paprika ~ Paprika provides large amounts of beneficial nutrients, especially carotenoids — a nutrient family that includes vitamin A, vitamin E, and Iron. Its lutein and zeaxanthin content benefits your eyesight by preventing harmful light rays from damaging your eye tissues, while its vitamin A content aids in night vision and plays a role in healthy cell development. A tbsp of paprika contains 3,349 international units of vitamin A — more than 100% of the daily intake requirement for both women and men, set by the Institute of Medicine. (source)
- Oregano ~ Oregano’s impressive health benefits include the ability to protect the immune system, digestive and heart health, prevent chronic disease. It has antibacterial activity due to the presence of thymol and carvacroland. Research demonstrates that oregano oil is one of the most powerful natural antibiotics. Read more from the (source)
Don’t be afraid, be creative. Mix colorful vegetables and sautee them in healthy oils such as coconut, grass-fed butter, or even olive oil– however, I prefer not to heat up olive oil.
As usual, I like to feature an ingredient in my articles. This time I am featuring black pepper, which I use in combination with turmeric to make golden paste, and of course use it often when cooking for its health benefits. Here’s why:
Featured Healing Food: Black Pepper
Peppercorns are composed of health benefiting essential oils such as piperine, an amine alkaloid, which gives strong spicy pungent character to the pepper. It also contains numerous monoterpenes hydrocarbons such as sabinene, pinene, terpenene, limonene, mercene, etc., which altogether gives the aromatic property to pepper.
The above-mentioned active principles in the pepper may increase the gut motility as well as the digestion power by increasing gastrointestinal enzyme secretions. It has also been found that piperine can increase absorption of selenium, B-complex vitamins, beta-carotene, as well as other nutrients from the food.
Black peppercorns contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, calcium, zinc, manganese, iron, and magnesium.
Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for cellular respiration and blood cell production.
They are also an excellent source of many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as Pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin and niacin.
Peppercorns are a good source of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C and vitamin-A. They are also rich in flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants like carotenes, cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin, and lycopene. These compounds help the body remove harmful free radicals and help protect from cancers and diseases. (Source)
You can’t go wrong with spices. However, some people who are allergic to oregano, saffron and even pepper may experience some discomfort while eating or touching these spices. Toss some herbs and spices into your next meal and see just how beneficial they can really be.