If you’re committed to getting and staying healthy, you’re going to need to cook.
Eating out is a fast way to drain your wallet, and sabotage your health goals.
Sure, you can usually find healthy food in a restaurant. But when you control your meals from shopping to chopping, the power is completely in your hands.
Focusing on healthy vegetables and lean protein is a good start. But how you spice your meals can bring not only great flavor, but also a healing “punch” to any dish.
There are dozens of spices with health benefits, so no matter what your tastes, you’re bound to find something that does your body good.
Things like ginger, or nutmeg, cinnamon or oregano… they’ve all got something going for them.
But if I had to break it down to a “Top 5,” here’s where I’d start:
1. Garlic powder: Garlic is the anti- nearly everything. Antibacterial. Antiviral. Antifungal. Anti-parasitic. Its power comes from allicin, and even when you don’t use fresh garlic (which I usually do) garlic powder still is an easy way to make your meals more flavorful and healthy.
2. Black pepper: If you watch cooking shows, you’ll notice chefs pepper nearly everything. It wakes your food right up. Plus, it’s a natural anti-inflammatory, and it also pairs beautifully with my next pick, because it helps it (and other nutrients) become more “bioavailable” to your body…
3. Turmeric: Simply put, this is powerful medicine, not just a spice. It’s anti-inflammatory, boosts your immune system, reduces pain, aids digestion, and supports your brain and mood. It’s even anti-cancer. Powerful stuff.
4. Cumin: Here’s another anti-inflammatory spice, which also aids digestion. And it makes for a great chili, let me tell you. Of course, no chili is complete without…
5. Cayenne pepper: I like it hot, I won’t lie. But you don’t have to heap it on to get some benefits. Cayenne is a natural appetite suppressant, it increases circulation, and gives your immune system a lift. It can reduce pain. It has vitamin C, B6, potassium, manganese and more. It’s great for digestion and can even help with headaches. Plus, if you’re stuffy in the nose, it can help open you up there too.
Before you ask the question “How much should I use?” I’ll answer it for you.
Use what tastes good.
Don’t get too hung up on how much. Just start using a variety of spices and know you’re doing a little bit of good with each bite.
If I’ve learned anything in the kitchen over the years, it’s taste your food throughout the process, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Would you immediately think roasted sweet potato chunks would taste great with cayenne pepper sprinkled on? I didn’t at first… until I tried it.
Spices and fresh herbs make anything you make at home a little more special, and a lot healthier too.
And no reservation required.
Editor, Patriot Health Alliance