Thursday, June 21, 2007

Top 5 Ways to Spice Up Your Health

Spices. Was have been fought over them. Great explorers have sailed in pursuit of them. And gifting history was made by three wise men bearing them. Turns out that the ancients were on to something. Research is now showing that five spices we've long savored just for their flavor are also nutritional powerhouses. Toss these overachievers into your salad or sauce and get a whopping dose of disease-preventing antioxidants along with a flavorful punch.

1. Cinnamon
This natural germ-fighter also helps lower blood sugar, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels - ¼ teaspoon a day is a healthy goal. Sprinkle a little of the powder on freshly ground coffee beans when making your morning java.

2. Thyme
It makes it into grilled poultry, fish, and meat marinades by virtue of its minty, lemony flavor; it makes it onto the RealAge list of healthy herbs by virtue of its anti-cancer potency. It's also long been used as an antiseptic. Yep, that could be thyme oil in your mouthwash. If you've got a fresh bunch, mince some into your vinaigrette. Yum.

3. Cumin
Concealed in your humble chili powder is one of the world's most popular spices (it's a key ingredient in Indian curries too) and another anti-cancer soldier. Go exotic and add cumin to rice and grain salads and marinades, or try this heart-healthy Ultimate Beef Chili made with chunks of fat-trimmed meat.

4. Oregano
Thank our GIs for bringing oregano home from Italy after WWII. A food world superpower, leaves of the herb boast 42 times more antioxidants than apples. Wow. Use oregano to add a delicate flavor to salad dressings, garlic bread, and omelets, as well as your favorite pastas.

5. Turmeric
Called the "Queen of the Kitchen" by Indian cooks, turmeric (and its active ingredient, curcumin) has earned its crown. Studies show promise in fighting cystic fibrosis, colon cancer, arthritis, and even Alzheimer's. For an earthy flavor and yellow coloring, add a pinch of turmeric to rice, stew, or lentils. Hey, it might even help you remember where you left your keys last night.

RealAge - June 11, 2007

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Anything for my stomach???
I had an ulcer and take Nexium and if I don't it is very bad news!!