Herbs and spices have been used as traditional medicine dating back to the earlier civilizations, spices are extremely rich in antioxidants that help protect cells from damage caused by the effects of harmful environmental factors and free radicals that get past the body’s defenses. They boost the immune system and reduce inflammation, preventing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic ailments.
The Seven Super Spices according to McCormick, the world market leader in herbs and spices, are: cinnamon, ginger, oregano, red peppers, rosemary, thyme, and yellow curry.
Here's how they function as natural heath supplements:
- CINNAMON has one of the highest antioxidant levels found in any spice. Cinnamon is also rich in natural compounds called polyphenols, which function like insulin and help regulate blood sugar levels.
- GINGER contains as many antioxidants as a cup of spinach. Its active ingredient, gingerol, has long been associated with relieving pain and inflammation and is a natural remedy for indigestion, arthritis, nausea and migraines.
- OREGANO has one of the highest antioxidant levels. A teaspoon of dried oregano leaves has as much antioxidants as three ounces of almonds and ½ cup of chopped asparagus. Oregano contains Rosmarinic acid, which helps fight the growth of bacteria and parasites.
- RED PEPPERS. Cayenne or ground red pepper contains the most, yet all red peppers – including chili powder and the milder paprika – are good sources of antioxidants. Peppers also help boost metabolism by increasing calorie burning.
- ROSEMARY. Commonly found in Mediterranean cuisine, this aromatic herb is packed both with flavor and antioxidants.
- THYME. One teaspoon of thyme has the equivalent antioxidants found in a carrot or half a cup of chopped tomatoes. It also contains healthy compounds called flavonoids that increase its antioxidant capacity and may offer anti-inflammatory and age-related benefits, such as maintaining cognitive function and promoting heart health.
- YELLOW CURRY is a concentrated source of antioxidants, comparable to strawberries, raspberry and cherries. Evidence suggests that curcumin, the bright yellow compound in turmeric, may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells, reduce inflammation, and safeguard the brain against Alzheimer’s disease.
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