According to Suzanna Zick, a naturopathic physician and researcher at the University of Michigan Health System , adding spices such as basil, oregano, garlic, curry, and rosemary to one's diet can benefit health.
"Adding herbs and spices can help you maintain a healthy weight. Plus, they can help prevent certain cancers, and even lower blood pressure, control blood sugar and improve cardiovascular health," Zick said in a prepared statement.
Traditional seasonings like sugar, salt and fat when replaced with herbs and spices not only improve overall health but also improve the flavor of your food.
Herbs as medicine
Herbs such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley and garlic bring out the natural flavors in a meal and can replace salts.
Garlic lowers B P and cholesterol. "For maximum benefit, you need to have about three medium cloves of garlic per day. Dry garlic, or garlic left out too long, loses its healthy benefits," said Zick.
Rosemary is an antioxidant that improves memory and possibly helps prevent cancer.
Basil, oregano and rosemary fight colds.
Thyme treats chronic coughs. "The health benefits of thyme are unique. It has been traditionally used to treat coughs, even whooping cough," said Zick.
Turmeric cures back pain. A substance known as curcumin found in turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties.Turmeric can be used alone or added to curry. Curcumin also shrinks pre-cancerous colon polyps.
"Warming spices," including ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, pepper, and cayenne pepper, decrease blood pressure.
Ginger soothes stomach. Gingerols in ginger also control nausea.