Herbs & Spices: An Ultimate Guide to Health Benefits

When it comes to eating healthy – herbs and spices will become your new best friend. There are many of them and almost all of them have some type of health benefit, (usually more than one). They will make it easier for you to eat healthy, (as most healthy foods tend to be more bland than you’re used to).

Let’s talk about my favorite herbs and spices and their health benefits:

Turmeric

This is one of my favorite spices because it’s so diverse. It can be used for a lot of DIY beauty recipes and added to meals to give you some extra health benefits. What are some of the benefits of turmeric?

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Aids in lowering cholesterol
  • Improves Digestion
  • Improves skin conditions
  • Boosts metabolism & aids in managing one’s weight
  • Natural Antioxidant
  • Antiseptic
  • Helps purify blood
  • Cancer preventative
  • Helps cough and asthma
  • Speeds up healing
  • Immunity Boosting 🙂
  • May reduce depression
  • Delays Aging 🙂 🙂

Turmeric is simply AMAZING. There are just too many benefits not to add it to your spice collection. Discovering this spice a few years ago truly helped me boost my health. It’s a miracle spice, in my opinion, and, don’t worry, it doesn’t taste awful at all. I’ll talk later in another article about other impressive uses of turmeric.

Check out what Dr. Axe has to say about Turmeric

Basil

There are very few dishes I don’t add at least a bit of basil to. It also has lots of benefits and really helps brighten up a lame dish. Some of its benefits include:

  • Helps protect the liver
  • Aids in Stress management
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Immune Boosting 🙂
  • Helps to naturally reduce pain
  • Has disease fighting antioxidants 🙂
  • Aids in fighting Cancer
  • Increases libido 😉
  • Increases Cardiovascular health (Good for the heart <3)
  • Helps Detoxify the Body

So many benefits, plus it really does take kick bland dishes up a notch. It’s one of my favorite go-to spices when a meal really lacks taste. I love basil and, with all it’s benefits, it’s a meal-addition you should learn to love too.

Parsley

This is another one of my go-to spices that I just can’t be without. It has a fresh taste and is excellent to add to homemade sauces. I like to use fresh parsley and plan to add this spice to my window herb collection. Here are some of it’s benefits:

  • Relieves bloating
  • Improves digestion
  • Good Source of Vitamin K
  • Immune Boosting 🙂
  • Vitamin A – skin & eye health improvement
  • Heart healthy <3
  • Helps balance hormones

With all it’s benefits, it’s great to use as a garnish and to add to any salad to give it a health booster.

Cayenne Pepper

Like to add a little bit of spiciness to your meals? Cayenne Pepper is one of the best ways to do it. I personally like spicy food and have always used this spice. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered all its benefits:

  • Aids in Detoxifying the Body 🙂
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Has vitamin A
  • Has vitamin E (so, it provides anti-aging properties 🙂 ).
  • Helps digestion
  • Clears sinuses

It’s great for all chili recipes and an fantastic addition to any homemade sauce. It can be added to just about anything to give it a fresh, spicy taste.

Cilantro

Great in SO many dishes. Want to give any chicken dish a more appealing taste – add cilantro. It has a lot of benefits:

  • Lowers Anxiety
  • May help fight insomnia
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Helps rid body of heavy metals (Detox)
  • Prevents UTI’s
  • Helps Regulate Blood sugar

I’m also going to start growing this fresh in my window garden. It’s easy to grow and the benefits speak for themselves.

Thyme

Thyme is one of the main ingredients in my favorite brine for chicken and turkey. I also like to add this herb to lots of my favorite casseroles. Here are some of it’s benefits:

  • Mood Booster
  • Helps with Sore Throat
  • Lowers Blood Pressure

Oregano

Yum! Another addition to virtually any meal that not only makes it taste a lot better but has some great benefits:

  • Aids in Digestion
  • Has antibacterial and antioxidant qualities
  • Has potassium, iron & Calcium

It’s great to add to any meats to give them an extra boost of taste. I love oregano and use it in many of my healthiest recipes. I’m also a big fan of oregano oil.

Chives

They taste great and can be used as a garnish for many dishes. I usually always throw some chives into any soup. Here are a few of their benefits:

  • Lots of Vitamin C
  • Immune Boosting
  • Anti-Inflammatory

Anything that helps boost immunity is a great addition to any diet.

Dill Weed

Another excellent tasting addition to meals. Here’s some benefits:

  • Energy Booster
  • Helps maintain healthy menstrual cycle
  • Boost immune system
  • Beneficial for bones

Mint

I love having fresh mint in the house. First off, it’s a great addition to water. It not only freshens breath, but has lots of other health benefits as well:

  • Aids Digestion
  • Good for Oral Health
  • Helps improve memory
  • Treats nausea
  • Fights Fatigue & may aid in depression
  • Aids in Weight Loss

I love adding mint to infuse water. It tastes great and is easy to grow.

Rosemary

This herb is great on chicken and there’s lots of recipes it can be added to. It goes particularly well with Italian spices and recipes. Here are some benefits:

  • Immune Boosting
  • Hair health 🙂
  • Improves memory
  • Anti-Aging 🙂
  • Improves blood flow
  • Mood Booster
  • Helps detoxify the body

Sage

It’s a versatile herb that can be a great addition to most meats – even seafood. It tastes great and has the following benefits:

  • Filled with Protein
  • Blood health
  • May improve eyesight
  • Makes teeth & bones stronger

 

Bay Leaf

There are very few soup recipes that don’t become better by adding a bay leaf or two, (especially chicken noodle soup). I had always added them to most of the soups but became more confident in using them once I learned their health benefits:

  • Helps Aid Anxiety (I recently learned that if you burn a bay leaf, it releases a scent that has a natural calming effect).
  • Stimulates the respiratory system
  • Beneficial to heart health

Cinnamon

Though it’s a sweet spice and usually used in desserts, it’s surprising how many health benefits it has:

  • Protects heart health
  • Improves dental health & naturally freshens breath
  • High in antioxidants

A bonus – it can be used to replace sugar in many recipes, making them a whole lot healthier.

Cumin

This spice will add a nice, smokey flavor to any dish. It’s great to add to meat rubs. Here are some great benefits:

  • Increases metabolism
  • Reduces Stress
  • High in Fiber
  • Immune Boosting
  • Has anti-aging properties

Ginger

A sweet spice that has more uses than just cooking – but, I’ll talk about that in a later post. I really enjoying adding a hint of ginger to crock pot chicken. Here are some of it’s many benefits:

  • Aids in weight loss
  • Heart healthy
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Relieves menstrual cramps

Paprika

This spice is a must-have for deviled eggs :). It’s great for lots of other dishes as well. (It’s great on rice) – here are some benefits:

  • Anti-Aging Properties
  • Heart Healthy
  • Loaded with Antioxidants
  • Lots of vitamin C

When it comes to eating healthy – herbs and spices are essential. They’ll not only kick your meals up a notch – they’ll also improve your health. Make friends with herbs and spices. While eating healthy, they give you better taste and extra health benefits. Using them is a win-win.

I’ll start putting recipes up soon so you can start loving herbs and spices.

Keep living that healthy life 🙂

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