Americans are very hung up on salt and sugar, everybody knows that.  What a shame really when there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of yummy spices out there that are actually GOOD for us, but we are hung up on the 2 that harm our health.

Well, if you are new to eating healthy and you want more flavor in your food (and who doesn’t?) you need to fill your spice cabinet with lots and lots of fun and healthy spices. You’d be surprised at how much fat and calories you can save yourself and your family by getting into the habit of coating your food with healthy spices (or lemon juice) instead of oils, gravies and cheeses (even some of the vegan gravies and cheeses can be loaded with fat and calories and give you very little nutrient value in return).   These spices are extremely low in calories and are SO good for you.  Here are some examples of spices to make sure you have in your cabinet:

  • Sea Salt: I had to start with this one since everyone is hung up on salt.  It’s still salt (same chemical make up as the “bad” salt), but it’s less processed (isn’t bleached or treated with aluminum), and contains trace minerals from the sea.  But you should still limit your intake.  It’s still sodium and it’s still not “good” for you.  Just less bad. Try Gomasio (which is sea salt mixed with sesame seeds and garlic, and at least the sesame seeds and garlic are good for you). Gomasio is a good substitute for bread crumbs in some recipes since the sesame seeds add a little crunch.  Sesame seeds are also high in calcium and contain none of the wheat gluten you get with bread crumbs.
  • Powdered seaweeds such as Dulse, Kombu, and Nori.  Tastes salty, so a GREAT substiute for salt (but don’t use too much because it will taste a little fishy if you use too much).  Seaweeds are high in LOTS of minerals from the sea that are otherwise hard for the body to come by—like iodine, which is essential for proper thyroid function.
  • Garlic powder: garlic is SO good for you.  It contains sulfuric compounds that inhibit viruses, fungi, and helps promote good bacteria and inhibit bad bacteria. Also, the powder form is easier to cook with than having to peel garlic all the time. Garlic is THE secret weapon to avoiding the common cold (but you’ve got to eat a lot of it).  Look for it in paste form also to add to dips and to spread on potatoes, bread and crackers.
  • Lemon Pepper: this is MY FAVORITE.  I put it on everything because it tastes SO darn good.  It also contains traces of the good stuff that lemons contain (Vitamin C for example) and black pepper helps stimulate the liver to release bile, which aids in digestion.
  • Oregano- helps promote good bacterial flora and inhibit bad bacteria, high in antioxidants, contains vitamin A, vitamin K, iron and manganese, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Basil-helps promote good bacterial flora and inhibit bad bacteria, high in antioxidants, contains vitamin A, vitamin K , iron and magnesium
  • Parsley-helps promote good bacterial flora and inhibit bad bacteria, high in antioxidants, contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, is a natural diuretic and aids in digestion
  • Red peppers such as cayenne and paprika: contains Capsicum which improves circulation (which means it helps the body get rid of fat!!!)  Use cayenne if you like it spicy and paprika if you don’t.
  • Cinnamon: helps regulate blood sugar, the scent has been shown in studies to raise the I.Q., has been effective in treating medication-resistant yeast infections, inhibits the growth of bad bacteria, contains manganese, iron and calcium
  • Tumeric: inhibits bad bacteria and encourages healthy flora, antiseptic, calms inflammation, reduces plaque buildup in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, and is a natural painkiller and Cox-2 inhibitor
  • Ginger: known for its effectiveness in treating all sorts of gastrointestinal issues from nausea to ulcers, has been claimed to be the cure for everything from cancer to migraines to herpes, it is also anti-inflammatory and an effective antihistamine and decongestant when taken in tea form

I will be adding to this list periodically.  But I have to get to the gym now, so check back in a couple days for even more fun spices.


2 Responses to Spices are Nice!

  1. melisa arebalo says:

    Wow!!! I had no idea that ginger was an antihistamine! I have the worst allergies pretty much year round, and I will be using ginger in my diet from now on! I’ve always loved the taste of ginger and now I have a medical reason to eat it more often!

    Melisa A.

    • Brenda Carey says:

      Have you tried Nettle tea? I find it works wonders for the runny nose symptoms I get when the wind is blowing around the pollution here in L.A. It’s supposed to do something to help with pollen and other particulate allergies.

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