Are You Ignoring Your Herbs And Spices?
Do you have a cupboard full of spices that you bought for a new recipe, used them once and haven't looked at them again? It's a a common trend for people to become enthusiastic about health, buy themselves new exciting, healthy foods and then slowly, as the ensthusiasm dies away, push the new foods to the back of the cupboard never to be seen again. This is particularly true for herbs and spices, which is a shame because these tiny items carry huge health benefits.
If you were picturing yourself when you read the description above, yo will be happy to know that I'm going to teach you the benefits of 3 fantastic spices that you most likely already have in your pantry.
Benefits Of Ginger
This is my personal favourite. Ginger is packed with goodness and over-flowing with health benefits. It's a fantastic herb to have in the winter as it is warming and improves circulation. It stimulates digestion, so have a little bit of ginger before your meals to improve absorption of nutrients. It's anti-inflammatory, meaning it helps reduce pain and inflammation. It's fantastic for cramps, tummy upsets and nausea too.
So, how do we use ginger?В Firstly, there are different types of ginger - dried and fresh. Both have very similar actions in the body, but dried tends to be stronger than fresh. If you're using dried (or powdered) ginger then the easiest way to use it is to add it to your meals or desserts. Add 1/2-1 teaspoon to meals such as stir-fry's, curries or rice as you are cooking them. You'll be surprised at the zest it gives your food.
If you're using fresh ginger, remove the skin and add the inner root to home-made juices, slice 1cm into small pieces and add to meals or grate it and make a tea by adding the juice of half a lemon, half a teaspoon of honey and pouring hot (not boiling) water over it.
Benefits Of Cinnamon
Cinnamon has a very unique flavour that people tend to either love or hate. Regardless of whether you like it or despise it, cinnamon is a fantastic spice with real health benefits. It's main benefit is that it helps to stabilise blood sugar. This is particularly important with all the sugary foods that people tend to eat these days. Therefore, having cinnamon on desserts or sweet treats will help your body to stabilise your blood sugar.
Cinnamon is anti-viral, anti-microbial and helps boost brain function. It's also warming, making it another great spice for winter.
How do we use cinnamon? Cinnamon is quite easy to use. It's extremely versatile and adds a beautiful flavour to foods. It's fantastic sprinkled on desserts, cereals, porridge, coffee and milk based drinks or even added to curries, meals and teas. It's quite strong so you will only need 1/4-1/2 teaspoon.
Benefits Of Rosemary
The benefits of rosemary are numerous. It's effective at improving circulation, memory and mood. It's high in antioxidants is antibacterial and even helps to freshen your breath. Rosemary also helps to detox the liver and improve the immune system.
How do we use rosemary?В Rosemary is an unusual choice of herb for many and is often only considered with lamb. However rosemary has many uses beyond this. В Rosemary, like ginger, is readily available both fresh and dried. Both are used in similar ways, but again the dried is stronger and so you will usually only need 1/2 a teaspoon.
Rosemary can be used to make a delicate tea by pouring hot water over 1/2 a teaspoon of it, covering and leaving to brew for 10 minutes. It can also be sprinkled on roast vegetables or added to tomato based sauces, fritata, soups and salads.
Don't Store Herbs And Spices Too Long
As a rule, most herbs and spices are better to use fresh. This is because they deteriorate more quickly once they are ground. However, it's not always practical to have all herbs and spices on hand and fresh, so a great way to ensure you are still eating these wonderful foods regularly is to store dried forms of them. Just remember that they do have an expiry date so don't keep them hanging around for too long or they will lose their goodness.
Now you can see the health benefits of herbs and spices, experiment with them in your cooking. You'll only work out how you like them best if you try!
If you find any new ways of using these lovely spices then share them by leaving a comment below.
Note that none of these recommendations are suggested instead of your prescribed medications. If you have any health concerns or conditions, ensure you speak with a professional health practitioner before trying any of the above herbs.