THIS IS A GUEST POST BY JANE SANDWOOD – FREELANCE WRITER
The use of herbs in the preparation of meals goes a long way back and produces enormous benefits on the health. Spices and herbs not only give taste but also promote good nutrition and encourage good health. Adding them in food helps cut down use of salt, sugars or fat that are not beneficial to your health. If are thinking of spicing up meals, here are some herbs and spices that you should consider for their taste and medicinal values.
Cilantro and Coriander
Antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antifungal, the list of medicinal benefits derived from consuming cilantro is impressive. Another awesome attribute: cilantro may be effective at removing heavy metals from the body (Aga et al, 2001), a great plus for this herb considering that we may be consuming lots of contaminated foods daily. For cooks and chefs, cilantro has an amazing flavor and aroma that gives dishes a citrusy and tangy taste. Adding cilantro to food is also a way to discover new tastes and palates. But, that’s not all. Cilantro is the leaf of the plant and once it flowers, seeds form called coriander. These seeds also burst with flavor and goodness. Coriander is great at treating urinary tract infections and provides protection against inflammatory diseases. Some researches even indicate that it may even help cancer (Esiyok et al, 2004).
Pepper and Chilies
Known as the ‘king of spices’, pepper is used in nearly all dishes. Many varieties exist in the world, both sweet and spicy. Black pepper or Piper Nigrum L. is a powerful antioxidant and possesses anti-inflammatory & anti-microbial properties making it effective in preventing chronic ailments (Butt et al, 2013). Recent studies suggest that the active ingredient in pepper is effective in halting the progression of cancerous tumors. It is also an anti-depressant and has a gastro-protective function. Eating spicy peppers has a health value as well. A 2017 University of Vermont study revealed that eating hot spicy chili peppers can reduce overall mortality by as much as 13%.
You probably mainly associate cinnamon with perfumes, scents and baked goodies. However, this spice, native to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) has been used and traded since the times of ancient Egypt and China. It stimulates good colon health and improves bad breath. Cinnamon is a coagulant which means that it is effective at reducing or stopping bleeding. It has also antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The best news is, cinnamon has been used for so long now without reported side effects.
Whether you are a serious cook or just want to experiment, using herbs and spices in the kitchen has many benefits. They add flavor, taste & color and offers health benefits that many of us need.
About the author:
Jane Sandwood is a professional freelance writer and editor with over 10 years’ experience. She is passionate about cooking for her family and testing out new recopies, the more unusual the better!