Importance of well balance diet:

All food contains all of the nutrients we need to be healthy, it is necessary to eat various foods in sufficient amounts. A good diet will include many different foods, and sufficient in quantity and quality to meet an individual’s need for food energy and other micro nutrients.

By eating HERBS AND SPICES you will have the following benefits.

HERBS AND SPICES

Typical serving size:

Varies according to recipe

HOW THEY HARM

Allergies

Pesticides

WHAT THEY HEAL

Digestion
  • Bloating and flatulence Inflammation High blood pressure Colds and flus Cancer Nausea and motion sickness Fainting Stomach cramps For thousands of years, herbs and spices have been used as flavorings, medicines, perfumes, dyes, and even weapons of war
    Today, they are prized for the variety they lend to the diet
    Both fresh and dried herbs provide a wide variety of active phytochemicals that promote health and protect against chronic diseases
    Herbs are the leaf of the plant while spices, which are usually dried and powdered, are the fruits, flowerbuds, roots, or bark of plants
    Rich in minerals and antioxidants, herbs and spices help prevent or treat a variety of ailments

    Health Benefits

    Aids in digestion
    Many spices, including allspice, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, and turmeric, have long been recognized as tonics for the tummy
    Allspice, which gets its name from its aromatic blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove notes, is believed to aid digestion
    Cinnamon, an ancient spice obtained from the dried bark of two Asian evergreens, is a carminative, a chemical that relieves bloating and gas
    Coriander seed is thought to be helpful in relieving stomach cramps and may have the ability to kill bacteria and fungus
    Large amounts of freshly chopped coriander greens (also known as cilantro) are a good source of vitamin C
    Ginger is a common motion sickness remedy, and sipping flat ginger ale may help to ease nausea
    Nutmeg has antibacterial properties that may destroy the foodborne bacteria E
    coli
    Turmeric, beloved by Indian cooks, is used by Ayurvedic practitioners to treat digestive disorders
    Fresh leaves or seeds of coriander may be chewed to ease indigestion
    Eases inflammation
    Ginger is an anti-inflammatory that may help reduce arthritis symptoms
    Turmeric is a natural antibiotic used to treat inflammation
    Lowers blood pressure
    Chives, tiny onion relatives, contain sulfur compounds that may lower blood pressure if eaten in large amounts

    QUICK TIP:

    Grow your own As long as you have a windowsill or even a sunny table or countertop, you can grow an herb garden
    Fill a large pot with several different herbs, or plant them individually in smaller pots
    Make sure that the pots allow for drainage and that the nearest window gets at least 6 hours of sunlight
    Fights colds
    Basil, a mainstay in many dishes, is used in larger quantities as a tonic and cold remedy
    Thyme can be brewed as tea as a gargle for a sore throat, or as syrup for a cough or congestion
    When oregano is brewed as tea, it is said to aid digestion and alleviate congestion
    Protects against cancer
    Caraway seeds, a popular flavoring for breads, cakes, cheese, and red cabbage, contain a chemical called limonene that may reduce cancer risk
    Cumin, a hot spice that seasons chili, curries, and hummus, is being investigated for potential antioxidant and anticancer effects
    Substances in ginger—gingerol, shogaol, and zingiberene—have antioxidant capabilities that may help prevent cancer as well as heart disease
    Mustard seeds contain allyl isothiocyanates, which studies suggest inhibit the growth of cancer cells
    25% of all prescription medicines containcompounds from herbs and other plants
    Helps prevent fainting
    Black pepper, which accounts for 25% of the world’s spice trade, may help prevent fainting attacks
    Sort of like sniffing salts, the odor of black pepper provides a zing that helps some folks snap out of a swoon

    Health Risks

    Allergic reactions
    Some people may be allergic to individual spices
    Curry, paprika, and fennel are among the common ones that cause reactions
    Pesticides
    Recent routine USDA testing found more than 30 unapproved pesticides on cilantro
    Cilantro was the first fresh herb to be tested in the 20-year-old program, so it’s possible that other herbs are harboring potentially dangerous pesticides

    Allergies

  • Stir-fry cauliflower with mustard seeds
  • Sprinkle nutmeg on sautéed mushrooms
  • Flavor baked butternut squash with cumin
  • Stir some turmeric into macaroni and cheese before baking
  • To make a simple pesto, blend fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, and olive oil until smooth, then simmer on high heat for 3 minutes
    Strain the mixture, then drizzle it over grilled chicken or vegetables

    Buying Tip

    s
  • Whenever possible, purchase whole spices to grind at home in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle
    The taste will be fresher and more pungent
  • Buy fresh organic herbs to avoid pesticide exposure
  • Fresh herbs should be brightly, consistently colored with no brown spots
  • Fresh herbs should smell robust, not moldy
  • Grab a handful of fresh herbs—they should stand on their own, not be limp
  • Spices are sold bottled in supermarkets and, less expensively, in bulk food stores and ethnic markets

    Storing Tips

  • The flavor of spices is lodged in their essential oils, which lose their pungency when exposed to light, heat, and air
    Store spices in airtight containers in a dark, dry cupboard
  • Replace spices and dried herbs annually
  • Store fresh herbs in a refrigerator to make them last a few days longer
  • Bunched herbs, such as basil, can be stood in a glass of water and stored in the refrigerator to last longer