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Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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Spices and Herbs With a Huge Impact

Medicinal herbs and spices have been used with great effectiveness from ancient times.

Find out how these seven spices & herbs can make a huge impact on your daily health.

Cloves – Found to have the highes
t antioxidant content of all spices an be used as a painkiller and has been used for centuries to treat tooth aches and gum pain. Eases cold and allergies, and oil of clo
ves is useful as antiseptic in mouthwash.

Oregano – 1/2 tsp has the same amount of antioxidants as a quarter cup of almonds and four times the antioxidant activity of blueberries…Go greek make a greek salad and sprinkle on the oregano Oregano is rich in Vitamin K, iron, maganese, and kills e.coli, salmonella, and virtually all food-borne pathogens.

Ginger – Over 50 antioxidants have been found in ginger. It helps increase circulation, calms digestive problems. Ginger has also been used to treat food poisoning, shown to lower cholesterol, treat arthritis, reduce inflammation, and can be used to help increase insulin sensivity in diabetics.


Cinnamon – Plays an important role in regulating blood sugar in people with diabetes. Clinical studies have shown a consistent intake of cinnamon daily help reduce glucose, triglyceride, and LDL cholestrol with type II diabetics.

Tumeric – The bright neon yellow color comes from the phytochemical Curcumin and can eliminate cancer cells, help reduce obesity, and metabolic diseases. Scientists have found by creating a new molecule from curcumin, called CNB-001, this molecule triggers the mechanisms that safeguard and restore brain cells after a stroke.

Rosemary – Blocks HCAs or carcinogenic compounds found your favorite grilled meats. Rosemary oil can improve cognitive performance and fight off free radical’s that cause Alzheimer’s, stroke, and dementia.

Mustard – The compound AITC compound found in mustard seed is known to be an anti-cancer compound – this plant compound is also found in wasabi & horseradish. Studies show that AITC, stopped the growth of bladder cancer by 33%.

source: www.foodlve.com


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20 Pain Killers in your Kitchen

A GREAT ALTERNATIVE TO TAKING MEDICATION
20 Painkillers in Your Kitchen

Make muscle pain a memory with ginger

When Danish researchers asked achy people to jazz up their diets with ginger, it eased muscle and joint pain, swelling and stiffness for up to 63 percent of them within two months. Experts credit ginger’s potent compounds called gingerols, which prevent the production of pain-triggering hormones. The study-recommended dose: Add at least 1 teaspoon of dried ginger or 2 teaspoons of chopped ginger to meals daily.

Cure a toothache with cloves

Got a toothache and can’t get to the dentist? Gently chewing on a clove can ease tooth pain and gum inflammation for two hours straight, say UCLA researchers. Experts point to a natural compound in cloves called eugenol, a powerful, natural anesthetic. Bonus: Sprinkling a ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves on meals daily may also protect your ticker. Scientists say this simple action helps stabilize blood sugar, plus dampen production of artery-clogging cholesterol in as little as three weeks.

Heal heartburn with cider vinegar

Sip 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water before every meal, and experts say you could shut down painful bouts of heartburn in as little as 24 hours. “Cider vinegar is rich in malic and tartaric acids, powerful digestive aids that speed the breakdown of fats and proteins so your stomach can empty quickly, before food washes up into the esophagus, triggering heartburn pain,” explains Joseph Brasco, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Center for Colon and Digestive Diseases in Huntsville, AL.


Erase earaches with garlic

Painful ear infections drive millions of Americans to doctors’ offices every year. To cure one fast, just place two drops of warm garlic oil into your aching ear twice daily for five days. This simple treatment can clear up ear infections faster than prescription meds, say experts at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Scientists say garlic’s active ingredients (germanium, selenium, and sulfur compounds) are naturally toxic to dozens of different pain-causing bacteria. To whip up your own garlic oil gently simmer three cloves of crushed garlic in a half a cup of extra virgin olive oil for two minutes, strain, then refrigerate for up to two weeks, suggests Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., co-author of the book, Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy. For an optimal experience, warm this mix slightly before using so the liquid will feel soothing in your ear canal.


Chase away joint and headache pain with cherries

Latest studies show that at least one in four women is struggling with arthritis, gout or chronic headaches. If you’re one of them, a daily bowl of cherries could ease your ache, without the stomach upset so often triggered by today’s painkillers, say researchers at East Lansing ’s Michigan State University . Their research reveals that anthocyanins, the compounds that give cherries their brilliant red color, are anti-inflammatories 10 times stronger than ibuprofen and aspirin. “Anthocyanins help shut down the powerful enzymes that kick-start tissue inflammation, so they can prevent, as well as treat, many different kinds of pain,” explains Muraleedharan Nair, Ph.D., professor of food science at Michigan State University . His advice: Enjoy 20 cherries (fresh, frozen or dried) daily, then continue until your pain disappears.


Fight tummy troubles with fish
Indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases…if your belly always seems to be in an uproar, try munching 18 ounces of fish weekly to ease your misery. Repeated studies show that the fatty acids in fish, called EPA and DHA, can significantly reduce intestinal inflammation, cramping and belly pain and, in some cases, provide as much relief as corticosteroids and other prescription meds. “EPA and DHA are powerful, natural, side effect-free anti-inflammatories, that can dramatically improve the function of the entire gastrointestinal tract,” explains biological chemist Barry Sears, Ph.D., president of the Inflammation Research Foundation in Marblehead , MA . For best results, look for oily fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout and herring.


Prevent PMS with yogurt
Up to 80 percent of women will struggle with premenstrual syndrome and its uncomfortable symptoms, report Yale researchers. The reason: Their nervous systems are sensitive to the ups and downs in estrogen and progesterone that occur naturally every month. But snacking on 2 cups of yogurt a day can slash these symptoms by 48 percent, say researchers at New York ’s Columbia University . “Yogurt is rich in calcium, a mineral that naturally calms the nervous system, preventing painful symptoms even when hormones are in flux,” explains Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a professor of gynecology at Yale University .


Tame chronic pain with turmeric

Studies show turmeric, a popular East Indian spice, is actually three times more effective at easing pain than aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen, plus it can help relieve chronic pain for 50 percent of people struggling with arthritis and even fibromyalgia, according to Cornell researchers. That’s because turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, naturally shuts down cyclooxygenase 2, an enzyme that churns out a stream of pain-producing hormones, explains nutrition researcher Julian Whitaker, M.D. and author of the book, Reversing Diabetes. The study-recommended dose: Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of this spice daily onto any rice, poultry, meat or vegetable dish.


End endometrial pain with oats

The ticket to soothing endometriosis pain could be a daily bowl of oatmeal. Endometriosis occurs when little bits of the uterine lining detach and grow outside of the uterus. Experts say these migrating cells can turn menstruation into a misery, causing so much inflammation that they trigger severe cramping during your period, plus a heavy ache that drags on all month long. Fortunately, scientists say opting for a diet rich in oats can help reduce endometrial pain for up to 60 percent of women within six months. That’s because oats don’t contain gluten, a trouble-making protein that triggers inflammation in many women, making endometriosis difficult to bear, explains Peter Green, M.D., professor of medicine at Colombia University .


Soothe foot pain with salt

Experts say at least six million Americans develop painful ingrown toenails each year. But regularly soaking ingrown nails in warm salt water baths can cure these painful infections within four days, say scientists at California ’s Stanford University . The salt in the mix naturally nixes inflammation, plus it’s anti-bacterial, so it quickly destroys the germs that cause swelling and pain. Just mix 1 teaspoon of salt into each cup of water, heat to the warmest temperature that you can comfortably stand, and then soak the affected foot area for 20 minutes twice daily, until your infection subsides.


Prevent digestive upsets with pineapple

Got gas? One cup of fresh pineapple daily can cut painful bloating within 72 hours, say researchers at California ’s Stanford University . That’s because pineapple is natually packed with proteolytic enzymes, digestive aids that help speed the breakdown of pain-causing proteins in the stomach and small intestine, say USDA researchers.


Relax painful muscles with peppermint

Suffering from tight, sore muscles? Stubborn knots can hang around for months if they aren’t properly treated, says naturopath Mark Stengler, N.D., author of the book, The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies. His advice: Three times each week, soak in a warm tub scented with 10 drops of peppermint oil. The warm water will relax your muscles, while the peppermint oil will naturally soothe your nerves — a combo that can ease muscle cramping 25 percent more effectively than over-the-counter painkillers, and cut the frequency of future flare-ups in half, says Stengler.


Give your back some TLC with grapes

Got an achy back? Grapes could be the ticket to a speedy recovery. Recent studies at Ohio State University suggest eating a heaping cup of grapes daily can relax tight blood vessels, significantly improving blood flow to damaged back tissues (and often within three hours of enjoying the first bowl). That’s great news because your back’s vertebrae and shock-absorbing discs are completely dependent on nearby blood vessels to bring them healing nutrients and oxygen, so improving blood flow is essential for healing damaged back tissue, says Stengler.


Wash away pain injuries with water

Whether it’s your feet, your knees or your shoulders that are throbbing, experts at New York ’s Manhattan College , say you could kick-start your recovery in one week just by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Why? Experts say water dilutes, and then helps flush out, histamine, a pain-triggering compound produced by injured tissues. “Plus water is a key building block of the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones, your joints’ lubricating fluid, and the soft discs in your spine,” adds Susan M. Kleiner, Ph.D., author of the book, The Good Mood Diet. “And when these tissues are well-hydrated, they can move and glide over each other without causing pain.” One caveat: Be sure to measure your drinking glasses to find out how large they really are before you start sipping, she says. Today’s juice glasses often hold more than 12 ounces, which means five servings could be enough to meet your daily goal.


Heal sinus problems with horseradish

Latest studies show sinusitis is the nation’s number one chronic health problem. And this condition doesn’t just spur congestion and facial pain, it also makes sufferers six times more likely to feel achy all-over. Horseradish to the rescue! According to German researchers, this eye-watering condiment naturally revs up blood flow to the sinus cavities, helping to open and drain clogged sinuses and heal sinus infections more quickly than decongestant sprays do. The study-recommended dose: One teaspoon twice daily (either on its own, or used as a sandwich or meat topping) until symptoms clear.


Beat bladder infections with blueberries

Eating 1 cup of blueberries daily, whether you opt for them fresh, frozen or in juice form, can cut your risk of a urinary tract infection (UTIs) by 60 percent, according to researchers at New Jersey’s Rutgers University. That’s because blueberries are loaded with tannins, plant compounds that wrap around problem-causing bacteria in the bladder, so they can’t get a toehold and create an infection, explains Amy Howell, Ph.D. a scientist at Rutgers University .


Heal mouth sores with honey

Dab painful canker and cold sores with unpasteurized honey four times daily until these skin woes disappear, and they’ll heal 43 percent faster than if you use a prescription cream, say researchers at the Dubai Specialized Medical Center in the United Arab Emirates . Raw honey’s natural enzymes zap inflammation, destroy invading viruses and speed the healing of damaged tissues, say the study authors.


Fight breast pain with flax

In one recent study, adding 3 tablespoons of ground flax to their daily diet eased breast soreness for one in three women within 12 weeks. Scientists credit flax’s phytoestrogens, natural plant compounds that prevent the estrogen spikes that can trigger breast pain. More good news: You don’t have to be a master baker to sneak this healthy seed into your diet. Just sprinkle ground flax on oatmeal, yogurt, applesauce or add it to smoothies and veggie dips.


Cure migraines with coffee

Prone to migraines? Try muscling-up your painkiller with a coffee chaser. Whatever over-the-counter pain med you prefer, researchers at the National Headache Foundation say washing it down with a strong 12- ounce cup of coffee will boost the effectiveness of your medication by 40 percent or more. Experts say caffeine stimulates the stomach lining to absorb painkillers more quickly and more effectively.


Tame leg cramps with tomato juice

At least one in five people regularly struggle with leg cramps. The culprit? Potassium deficiencies, which occur when this mineral is flushed out by diuretics, caffeinated beverages or heavy perspiration during exercise. But sip 10 ounces of potassium-rich tomato juice daily and you’ll not only speed your recovery, you’ll reduce your risk of painful cramp flare-ups in as little as 10 days, say UCLA researchers.


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Agave Nectar Spice Cookies

Cook Time  1 1/2 hrs        Serves 48      Calories 59
Protein 74 g     Total Fat 1 g       Saturated Fat .29 g       Carbohydrates 12 g       Dietary Fiber .32 g

Ingredients

1 cup palm sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups whole grain spelt flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp cloves, ground
1/2 tsp ginger, ground
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar

cookies

Preparation

  1.     In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of brown sugar with 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening.
  2.     Beat mixture at a medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3.     Add 1/2 cup of agave nectar and 1 large egg to the bowl, beat well.
  4.     In another bowl, mix 2 1/4 cups of white flour with 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  5.     Stir ingredients with a whisk.
  6.     Add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Beat at a low speed until blended.
  7.     Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for one hour.
  8.     Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  9.     Lightly coat cookie sheets with cooking spray.
  10.     Place water 1/2 cup of water in a small bowl and 1/4 cup of sugar in another bowl.
  11.     Lightly coat hands with cooking spray.
  12.     Remove dough from the fridge and shape dough into 1-inch balls.
  13.     Dip one side of each ball in water, then dip the wet side into the sugar.
  14.     Place balls, sugar side up, 1 inch apart, on baking sheets coated with cooking spray.
  15.     Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  16.     Remove from pans, then cool on wire rack before serving.

adapted from original recipe at: coreperformance.com


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The Top 10 Super-Spices that Protect Your Body

These 10 powerful spices help to control blood sugar, reduce inflammation, boost your metabolism, aid fat loss, and reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease


by Catherine Ebeling – RN, BSN & Mike Geary – Certified Nutrition Specialist
co-authors – 
The Fat Burning Kitchen


Every time you flavor your meals with herbs or spices you are supercharging your food without adding a single calorie. You can transform something ordinary and bland into something truly extraordinary tasting and good for your body, just by generously adding herbs and spices to your meals.


Did you know that certain herbs and spices contain a wide variety of some of the most potent antioxidants of any food? In fact, many herbs and spices rank even higher in antioxidant activity than many fruits and vegetables, with some spices such as cloves, turmeric, and cinnamon having as much as 10-50x more antioxidants measured by ORAC value (on a weight to weight comparison) compared to blueberries.

The benefits of the antioxidants in spices include some very powerful protection against many serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, and overall aging.

Herbs and spices add tons of extra flavor, and when combined with the nutrition in other foods, they actually exponentially boost the natural antioxidants, phytonutrients, and anti-inflammatory power of the food.

Besides the super antioxidants, herbs and spices can also:

  • Aid Fat Burning and Boost Metabolism – many herbs and spices are thermogenic, which means they naturally help to increase metabolism, partly because they are so nutrient-dense.
  • Help Stabilize Blood Sugar – Some spices are also good at regulating blood sugar and controlling insulin–even as good as some diabetic drugs! When your blood sugar is well controlled, you are more likely to burn fat and not store calories as excess weight.
  • Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Properties –Scientific studies show that herbs and spices can actually work as well or better than some medications at calming inflammation without the negative side effects of isolated drugs.
  • Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal – Many herbs and spices contain properties that effectively kill dangerous pathogens like viruses, bacteria and stubborn fungi. The natural properties in these foods work against many microbes that are resistant to conventional medications.

Here are 10 of the most potent superfood herbs and spices you can eat:
1. Basil – Basil is a very effective anti-inflammatory herb with extraordinary healing benefits that work for arthritis, allergies, and inflammatory bowel conditions, to name a just a few. In addition, basil helps kill harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning including: Listeria, Staph, and E. coli O:157:H7.

Basil is also an excellent source of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radical damage. Free radical damage is the primary cause of heart disease, cancer, and many other serious health conditions, as well as aging. Because of its dark green color, it is an excellent source of vitamin K, calcium and magnesium, which is good for the bones. It is also a great source of iron, manganese, vitamin C and potassium.  Use both fresh basil and dried basil generously in your foods to maximize it’s benefits.

2. Cinnamon – This ancient spice has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice.
Cinnamon is highly effective at helping to stabilize blood sugar levels, making it very effective for those with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). In one study of people with type 2 diabetes, just two teaspoons a day reduced blood sugar as much as 20-30%, as well as lowering LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Cinnamon also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and helps relieve pain and stiffness in muscles and joints, including arthritis. Cinnamon has a positive effect on brain function, and smelling cinnamon, or chewing cinnamon flavored gum, can possibly help improve memory and attention. Cinnamon also reduces inflammation in blood vessels that leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease, as well as having antifungal and antibacterial properties.

You can read another article we have here about how cinnamon can even help control belly fat in an indirect way.

Try cinnamon in your smoothies, yogurt, healthy baking recipes, oatmeal, mixed with berries, or as a healthy addition in your coffee or tea.

3. Cayenne – This hot spice not only heats up your dishes, it heats up your body and raises your metabolism, helping you burn fat faster. And an interesting research study showed that when a person consumed an appetizer with red pepper flakes, they ate 15% less food. And for those of you who avoid cayenne because you think it bothers your stomach, cayenne pepper is actually healing to stomach tissues, it stimulates digestive enzymes, and helps prevent stomach ulcers.

Cayenne reduces LDL blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and decreases the formation of harmful blood clots, all of which prevent heart attacks and strokes. And, cayenne is a very effective anti-inflammatory and pain remedy for everything from headaches to arthritis and sore muscles, as well as clearing nasal congestion and boosting immunity.
Try cayenne in your morning eggs, in soups, stews, chili, or meatloaf for a little metabolism boosting spice!

4. Cloves – Cloves have a unique sweet and spicy flavor, but also contain powerful natural medicine. Cloves have strong antiseptic and germicidal ingredients that help fight infections, relieve digestive problems, and arthritis pain. One of cloves’ best known uses is its ability to relieve tooth and gum pain.  Cloves have been measured as having THE highest antioxidant level (ORAC value) of all spices and herbs.

The oil in cloves kills bacteria and is very effective when applied to scrapes, cuts, fungal infections, itchy rashes, bites, burns, or bruises. Cloves also help digestive problems like gas, indigestion, nausea and vomiting, and eliminate harmful parasites, bacteria and fungus in the digestive system. And the smell of cloves helps to encourage mental creativity too.

Cloves can be a great healthy addition to hot teas.

5. Cumin – Cumin is another spice that is especially high in antioxidants, but cumin is known for being especially good for digestion. It stimulates the gallbladder and pancreas to secrete enzymes and bile that break down food into usable nutrients your body can use. Cumin also helps detoxify the body, and is highly effective for respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis.


Cumin, like cinnamon, helps keep blood sugar levels stable, which means cumin is great for diabetics or pre-diabetics, and it means less chance of weight gain and excess body fat. Cumin has been proven to work as well as some commonly used diabetic drugs at regulating insulin and glycogen. Cumin is also a very good source of iron, vitamin C and vitamin A, which benefit the immune system. 
Cumin goes great in chili!

6. Turmeric – Turmeric’s yellow-orange pigment, curcumin, is the main active ingredient in this super spice. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory benefits are actually comparable to drugs like hydrocortisone and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines like Advil and Motrin. But, unlike the drugs, curcumin is not toxic at all.

Curcumin is more effective slowing down the development of Alzheimer’s disease than many medications, because it decreases inflammation and oxidation in the brain. This spice also speeds up the recovery time from strokes as well. Turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, are also highly effective against diseases like irritable bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, and arthritis. Turmeric also improves liver function, lowers homocysteine and prevents heart disease.

Most importantly, turmeric is one of the most potent anti-cancer spices that helps protect you.  Turmeric and it’s derivatives are currently being studied in alternative cancer treatments.

Try this trick:  Using black pepper along with turmeric (I use this combo in my eggs every morning) helps to increase the absorption of turmeric’s curcumin in the body.  We also have a full article on the super health benefits of turmeric here.

7. Rosemary – Rosemary contains active ingredients that are potent antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory agents. Rosemary has long been known to improve concentration, boost memory, and lift depression. Rosemary also strengthens the immune system, improves circulation, stimulates digestion, and fights cancer, as well. 

Rosemary is highly effective for respiratory problems including asthma, chest congestion, and respiratory infections. While rosemary adds a delicious savory flavor to meat dishes, it also helps digestion by stimulating the gallbladder to release bile as well. Rosemary will protect your body against harmful carcinogenic toxins and prevents colon cancer, stomach, breast, and lung cancer. 

Fun fact:  If you’re going to grill meats, marinating meats for hours beforehand in liquid mixtures that contain rosemary and other herbs/spices can dramatically help to reduce HCA’s (heterocyclic amines), which are carcinogenic compounds that can form when meats are grilled.  So using rosemary, thyme, garlic, oregano and other spices in a meat marinade before grilling meats can drastically reduce any carcinogens that normally would form on grilled meat.

The antioxidants in rosemary and thyme from a marinade were specifically cited in studies at being powerful inhibitors of HCA formation when grilling meats.  But it was also noted that other spices such as garlic, oregano, and others can help to prevent HCA formation as well, so I suggest using a variety, which tastes great anyway!

One more important point about grilling meat: Remember that the more well-done a meat is cooked, the higher concentration of carcinogenic HCA’s can form, so rare, medium-rare, or medium are healthier choices than well-done.  I’ve never understood why anybody would want to ruin a good steak by burning it to oblivion anyway.  But hey, if you’re one of those folks that likes your steaks well-done, just remember that you’re eating a lot more carcinogens than a steak that’s cooked less, so make sure to load up on your antioxidants (spices, teas, berries, etc) to help combat those extra carcinogens.
Washing down your barbequed meal with a glass of unsweetened iced tea (rich in antioxidants) and also a good salad with lots of raw veggies can provide the antioxidants needed to counteract the effect of HCAs in your body from grilled meat.

By the way, even charring vegetables on the grill creates different carcinogens such as acrylamides, so don’t think that the negative effect of charring only applies to meats.

8. Ginger – Ginger is VERY powerful for your health!  Ginger contains over 25 different antioxidants, which makes it extremely effective at fighting free radicals in many different body systems. Ginger is best known for its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting, as well as motion sickness. In fact, ginger may even be more effective than Dramamine, one of the most common drugs used for motion sickness. And because ginger does not have harmful side effects like many drugs, it is very good for nausea from pregnancy. Studies actually show that just 1 gram of ginger before surgery is more effective than the standard anti-nausea medication given for post surgical nausea and vomiting.

Ginger is also a soothing remedy for sore throats from colds and flu because of its antiviral properties. Ginger also helps coughs and is an effective expectorant. Try a tea made with hot water simmered with a few slices of ginger and a small amount of honey and lemon for a soothing tonic when you are sick. 

Because ginger is such a strong anti-inflammatory, it helps reduce the pain and swelling of arthritis, and muscle aches. Ginger also fights cancer, reduces cholesterol, and prevents blood clots that lead to strokes or heart disease.  I like to use a slice of ginger root in my hot teas sometimes, in our batches of iced teas, and of course, I love piling ginger on top of sushi!  I take a couple capsules of ginger daily since it’s not as frequently used in dishes as some other spices.

9. Oregano – This herb contains an oil that is a very potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent, rosmarinic acid (also found in rosemary).   Oregano oil has been used to treat a wide range of conditions from bacterial and viral infections, to parasites and stubborn fungal infections. Although the oil of oregano is most often used for medicinal purposes, the herb itself can provide many of the same benefits when consumed regularly.

Oregano also relieves inflammation, internal or external, and can offer relief from allergies, aches and pain, without side effects.  Oregano is very high on the ORAC scale of measured antioxidant value.

10. Thyme — Thyme’s active ingredient is known for treating bronchitis, sore throats, chest congestion, laryngitis and asthma. Thyme is so effective it is often an ingredient in cough drops and mouthwashes to treat inflammation and infections. Thyme is also effective as a soothing stomach aid to relieve gastritis, indigestion and colic.
Thyme helps prevent cancer, improve memory, treat Alzheimer’s, calm the nerves, and alleviate depression, nightmares, and insomnia. An interesting new discovery about thyme shows that it actually boosts the amount of DHA (an important ingredient in omega 3 fatty acids) in the brain, heart and kidney cells.

Here are some other health benefits of some of the most popular herbs and spices:
• Rosemary, turmeric, ginger and basil are powerful anti-inflammatories.
• Cumin, turmeric, and sage help fight dementia.
• Cayenne, cumin, coriander and cinnamon help to regulate insulin and blood sugar, aiding fat loss.
• Lemon grass, nutmeg, bay leaves and saffron have a calming effect.
• Garlic, mustard seed, hawthorne, and chicory are excellent for the heart.
• Basil and thyme help your skin become softer and smoother.
• Turmeric, garlic, basil, cinnamon, thyme, saffron, garlic and ginger boost the immune system.
• Coriander, rosemary, cayenne, allspice and black pepper can help banish depression.

There are 3 specific spices that I personally believe are so powerful that I try to take them in daily capsule form as well, since they may not always be used in my daily meals… and those are:

Turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger.  They’re very cheap in capsule form too.  I usually take 2 capsules per day of each of these spices unless I use large amounts in certain dishes like a curry dish for example.
Spice up your life a bit, and enjoy all of those super health benefits!
Note: Always check with your physician to be sure certain herbs and spices don’t interfere with medications you may be taking—and check with your doctor before you quit any current medications.