Following a meal plan of whole foods without processed ingredients makes shopping simpler, once you become accustomed to making healthy choices. You can skip most of the grocery aisles that are crammed with processed foods like snack bars, heavy sauces and boxed dinners. Just make sure you don’t skip the spice aisle on your next trip. As you expand your palate for cooking with whole foods, try different mixtures of herbs and spices in your recipes. If you roast chicken and vegetables on a weekly basis because it is easy and nutritious, you can make the dish taste completely different each week by changing your herb and spice selection. Many spices have beneficial properties for health and metabolism, without the additional calories and chemicals. Here are the top spices to use from a health perspective:
- Turmeric: This spice is most often used in Indian curries and has a bold flavor and color. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and has become famous as a medicinal ingredient. More on Turmeric below.
- Dulse: These red seaweed flakes are savory and salty. Seaweed contains iodine which is essential for thyroid function and this particular variety is believe to support kidney and hormone function.
- Ginger: Many people know that delicious ginger is soothing for an upset stomach and enhances digestion. It is also an anti-inflammatory and a natural detoxifier.
- Rosemary: This common herb contains iron and calcium. As an ingredient, it can decrease carcinogens of cooked beef. If that isn’t enough it may ease allergy symptoms, manage type 2 diabetes, and help relieve stress.
- Cayenne: Capsaicin is the active ingredient in this hot spice that is used externally for pain relief in arthritis. It has been associated with decreased appetite and increased metabolism when taken orally.
- Cinnamon: This fragrant spice also has anti-inflammatory properties and has shown to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics, enhance carbohydrate metabolism, and lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Sage: Along with parsley, this herb is also rich in Vitamin K, which is important for blood and bone health.
- Oregano: This herb is rich in Omega-3-Fatty-Acids that are good for your brain and heart.
This article provides a glimpse into the type of information available to patients into the Functional Nutrition Program at Austin Preferred. Furthermore, you can contact us today you are interested in scheduling a consultation to enroll in the program.
By: Nicole Griffis, HNP, APRN-BC