The health reasons to use herbs and spices more

5 powerful reasons to use herbs and spices now

Those tiny jars lost somewhere at the back of your cupboard? Well, it's time to use them. Herbs and spices offer multiple health benefits and a stronger immune system doesn't sound like a bad idea at all, does it? 

Herbs and spices are kitchen essentials, not only for the aroma and flavor they add to our meals but also for the many health benefits they provide. It's now time to include them in our dishes.

But first, what is the difference between herbs and spices? Well, it's quite simple. Herbs are the leaves of the plant, while spices come from the roots, bark, and seeds. 

We give you 5 reasons to welcome them into your cooking routine. Once you do, you'll never look back. 

1. Sources of vitamins

Parsley is a great producer of vitamin C

Not just a way of making meals look pretty. Herbs and spices are full of nutrients and vitamins. Take parsley. Recent clinical trials and meta-analysis have shown that people with higher levels of vitamin K experience almost a quarter (22% to be exact) fewer fractures than those with low levels of it. According to Medical News Today, only ten sprigs of parsley will provide the recommended daily intake of Vitamin K!

Italian flat leaf parsley holds up better to cooking so it's preferred for hot dishes. 

2. Sources of minerals

Pepper is rich in calcium

Most herbs and spices contain important minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Thyme contains large amounts of iron, while bay leaf and pepper are rich in calcium. Pepper is a good source of potassium, as is tarragon. 

Average values for calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, and potassium are higher in leaves (herbs), while spices from seeds are highest in phosphorus (Nutrient content of spices and herbs, Murphy EW, Marsh AC, Willis BW, 1978).

3. They may lower blood sugar levels

Cinnamon to prevent diabetes

 Some spices, such as turmeric and cinnamon are believed to stablize blood sugar levels and are commonly used in ayurvedic and oriental medicine

For instance, cinnamon’s ability to improve insulin sensitivity is highlighted in a review of compounds for people with diabetes, published by the International Journal of Molecular Science (2014).

An analysis published in 2007 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that only 6g of cinnamon reduces hyperglycemia after meals without affecting satiety. 

We love to sprinkle it on porridge or coffee in the morning. Yum!

4. They help to reduce the consumption of salt

Spices counteract the effect of sodium on the body

Using herbs and spices to enhance flavor in our meals will help reduce the amount of salt we use. Now, let's be clear. Salt isn't bad for us. In fact, we need salt and potassium because they pump fluid in and out of our cells. However, consuming too much salt will lead to excess fluid building up in your bloodstream. This leads to high blood pressure. And high blood pressure leads to kidney and heart disease. We will definitely prioritize herbs and spices from now on. 

Both the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and the United Kingdom National Health Service recommend that healthy adults limit their salt intake to about 1 teaspoon per day.

5. They can boost your metabolism

Curry helps you burn more calories

Spices such as chilli and cayenne have a thermogenic effect. Meaning they have the ability to increase our body temperature, which implies a higher caloric demand as our body goes into cooldown mode. As a result, we burn more calories.

A 2011 study conducted by MJ Ludy and RD Mattes found that people who don’t usually consume spicy food had better weight loss results when they started taking cayenne capsules.

Peter O Brien

Peter started out his professional life as a restaurant critic but ended up moving to the kitchen, realizing that his passion didn’t only lie in tasting the food, but MAKING it. Follow his delicious recipes, as well as useful articles about the many benefits healthy and delicious food will bring to your life.+ info

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