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Whole foods provide you with everything you need for a balanced and healthy diet. But what about the spices that add a bit of extra flavor to your meals? Turns out, there’s no shortage of plants that contain health-promoting properties. Take a look at this list of the top 5 herbs you should start eating today.
Everyone in the health sphere has been raving about turmeric — and with good reason. This powerful herb packs a healthy dose of anti-inflammatory properties due to curcumin, one of its compounds that also lends the spice its golden color.
With inflammation being at the core of so many illnesses and diseases, turmeric can play a vital role in the path toward better health. In fact, numerous studies testing the effects of turmeric are already linking it to a long list of health benefits — including lower cholesterol, decreased anxiety, improved brain function, arthritis relief, reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, and more!
An herb? Spice? Vegetable? Vampire repellent? Though whether garlic is classified as an herb is up for debate, this plant is one you should stock in your kitchen.
Beyond its potential for minimizing cold symptoms, studies are also tying garlic consumption to the lowering of high blood pressure and bad cholesterol, as well as detoxifying heavy metals in the body. With cardiovascular diseases as the leading cause of death — responsible for every 1 in 4 deaths in the US each year — it’s no wonder people are adding garlic to their recipes in order to help reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Often brewed in teas or used as a palate cleanser to bring out the flavors of different dishes, ginger also possesses an array of health benefits.
One of the most common uses of ginger is helping to soothe an upset stomach due to its anti-inflammatory properties. But did you know that ginger’s anticancer potential is also well documented? Research is showing great promise in ginger’s ability to help treat cancer, including ovarian cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and more!
More than just an aromatic topping for sweet dishes or an added flavor in hot teas, cinnamon contains powerful medicinal properties that make is a must have herb for its health benefits.
Cinnamon has everything from antioxidants and antimicrobial properties, and has been shown to reduce inflammation, cholesterol, triglycerides, and insulin resistance. Though further research is still needed, cinnamon has also shown immense promise for protecting against cancer and improving cognitive functions, offering hope to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
On the other end of the flavor spectrum, chili peppers offer some unique health benefits in addition to the delicious, spicy flavor they lend.
Capsaicin is an active component in chili peppers and is largely responsible for the health benefits this herb offers. One of the benefits associated with chili peppers is its promotion of weight loss. Consuming capsaicin has been tied with increasing thermogenesis — the process of heat production and energy output throughout the body — helping to boost metabolism and force fat cells to be used as energy. This combined with its ability to diminish appetite makes chili peppers an effective weight loss food.
Stock up on these 5 powerhouse herbs today and start incorporating them into your recipes to maximize on the health promoting properties of plants.
Have a favorite herb not mentioned above? Let us know in the comments below!