Eight Ingredients to Spice Up Your Health
The phrase “healthy eating” isn’t especially motivating for most people.
It may even conjure up images of a plain chicken breast, some steamed vegetables…and not much flavor.
The thing is…the older you are, the more important healthy eating becomes. As metabolism slows with age, maintaining a healthy diet becomes a day-to-day necessity…not just something you do for a couple of weeks here and there.
Having said that…if your diet doesn’t include interesting and satisfying food, even the strongest of resolve will eventually succumb to the temptations of unhealthy “comfort foods”.
We strongly believe it doesn’t have to be this way. Those healthy meals need not be boring and bland. In fact, it’s easy to make food interesting by simply adding some spices and other flavorful ingredients.
And here’s the bonus: Many spices and ingredients that add flavor contain powerful health benefits. In other words…it’s a win-win for your taste buds and your overall health.
Without further ado, here are eight ingredients you can use to make your healthy diet more interesting:
Sometimes called “the queen of spices”, cardamom is native to the Indian subcontinent. Its sweet, savory flavor and intense aroma make it an important spice within Indian cuisine. It’s often used in main dishes, desserts, and even beverages like coffee and tea.
Apart from its amazing flavor, cardamom reportedly has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains important minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium, and has been used for centuries in Eastern medicine to restore digestive health. Other reported benefits include regulating blood sugar and supporting heart and liver health.
Like your food spicy? Then cayenne is the ingredient for you.
Cayenne peppers contain capsaicin, which is the compound that gives peppers their heat. In addition to the nutrients contained within peppers (like vitamins A and C), capsaicin provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Use cayenne to spice up your food, or you can take capsaicin in supplement form for its health benefits.
We all know cinnamon is delicious, particularly in desserts and coffee drinks.
What you may not know is that the active ingredient in cinnamon, cinnamaldehyde, is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It also reduces LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, helps to control blood pressure, and is reported to reduce insulin resistance.
Cocoa is what gives chocolate its delicious taste, making it an excellent flavoring for food…especially desserts.
The phenols in cocoa also contain high levels of antioxidants. Research suggests these antioxidants can lower cholesterol, reduce the risk for developing cardiovascular disease, and may even prevent memory decline.
Be sure to look for dark chocolate, which contains more cocoa than lighter versions. The darker the chocolate, the healthier it is.
Cumin is a common spice in southwestern, Mediterranean, and southwest Asian cuisines. It’s commonly used in chili, tamales, and curries, to name just a few dishes.
As far as health benefits are concerned, cumin has historically been used to promote healthy digestion. But modern-day research has shown that cumin also contains valuable compounds including terpenes, phenols, flavonoids, and alkaloids. These compounds work to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, and help to improve blood sugar regulation.
Long before garlic was used as a seasoning for food, it was known for its medicinal properties. In fact, the Greek physician Hippocrates prescribed garlic for several medical conditions.
Today we know that garlic’s health benefits come from its sulfur compounds allicin, diallyl disulfide, and s-allyl cysteine.
Studies suggest that garlic can reduce the duration and severity of viruses like the flu and the common cold. It can also help to reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.
It’s important to note that garlic must be crushed, chopped, or chewed to release the sulfur compounds that make it beneficial. Garlic supplements can also provide raw garlic’s health benefits, but without the associated odor.
This flavorful root has been part of Eastern medicine for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
The active ingredient in ginger is a phenol known as gingerol. Gingerol helps to relieve nausea and joint pain and helps to reduce cholesterol. It’s also beneficial as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.
Fresh ginger root (either grated or chopped) can be used in just about anything…beverages, main dishes, or desserts.
The “king of spices” has been used medicinally for thousands of years…for nearly as long as it has been used in cooking.
Pepper’s active ingredient, piperine, has proven anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Piperine also stimulates brain activity, making it potentially useful in the treatment of degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Black pepper extract can also regulate blood sugar, control cholesterol, and help fight some cancers. It even boosts your body’s ability to absorb calcium, selenium, and turmeric.
Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Boring
It’s much easier to stick with a healthy diet if the food you’re eating is interesting and delicious. The eight ingredients listed above can contribute significantly to making sure your healthy food tastes good, while simultaneously providing some significant health benefits.
At Renew Youth, our goal is to help you improve your health through properly supervised bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, supplements, and healthy lifestyle choices. Are you ready to discover the New You?
Call us at 800-859-7511 or use our convenient contact form to schedule your free consultation.