We compiled a list from our previous posts of the 5 top healthy spices that enrich our meals and have numerous healthy benefits. You’ll find interesting details of the history of the spices and their modern usage.
Black pepper is the most popular of spice in the world. Native to India, Its prestige was so high in Ancient Greece that it was also used as currency and sacred offerings.
Today, black pepper is known as a good source for manganese and iron as well as for vitamin K.
Black pepper is not only enriching all types of meals, it’s also healthy for digestion and intestinal health. Black pepper has an impressive antioxidant and antibacterial effect and helps with weight loss because it stimulates the breakdown of fat cells.
Black, green and white pepper are actually the same fruit. The different colors only reflect the different stages of development and processing method. Black peppercorn are picked as half riped pepper berries and left then to dry.
Some of our favorite unusual uses of black pepper include: over strawberries and on top of sharp cheddar cheese and crackers.
The phrase Bay Leaf conjures up images of winter soups and fancy vegetables, but for the Emperors of ancient Rome the Bay Leaf was also a sign of triumph.
The Romans would make crowns of Bay Leaves for their leaders to wear during victory processions through the cities.
As a spice, the Bay Leaf also has an interesting. The Greeks believed it was a cure for everything from indigestion to nightmares.
The health benefits of Bay Leaf are numerous. It’s a useful herb for treating high blood sugar, migraine headaches, bacterial and fungal infections and gastric ulcers. Since ancient times bay leaves were used for ailments of the liver, kidney and stomach. Bay leaves can also alleviate wasp and bee stings.
Normally bay leaves aren’t eaten by themselves. Even when we only use bay leaves infrequently, it still provides numerous vitamins and minerals.
Bay leaves have a strong and distinctive fragrance through which they add depth and richness to meals. Bay Leaves are excellent seasoning for poultry, fish and meat. We also love to use it for vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. Try adding some bay leaves to these vegetables to make them taste better.
One of our favorite herbs is parsley. We use it in many of our meals as an herb and not just as decoration.
The taste of parsley can enhance many meals. We already wrote about another well-known effect of parsley: it neutralizes “garlic breath”.
Aside from it’s breath freshening benefits, parsley also has wonderful healing properties.
Parsley contains three times more vitamin C than oranges. Vitamin C is doubtlessly important for our health, even indirectly by assisting the absorption of iron.
Parsley is not only one of the best sources for vitamin C, but also for a wide range of minerals and trace elements.
It improves the appetite by settling the stomach. It’s also a valuable therapy for kidney stones and rheumatism, and it prevents diabetic heart disease.
Because dried parsley doesn’t provide the same taste and nutrients it’s the best to buy it fresh and freeze it. Simply cut washed parsley into small pieces and freeze it in a freezer bag. Enjoy the benefits of parsley often!
We’ll spare you the read, but we could write pages about mustard! Beginning with its origin, the production regions today, recipes and the health benefits.
Mustard seeds can be found in three different variations: white, brown and black. The white mustard seed is also known as yellow mustard paste. The traditional Dijon mustard is made of black seeds.
In any case mustard seeds are very healthy. For many years the anti-cancer effect of mustard has been known. The ingredients of mustard seeds can prevent the growth of existing cancer cells and protect against the formation of these cells.
Other healthy effects include reducing asthma, decreasing some arthritis symptoms, lowering the blood pressure, restoring normal sleep patterns, reducing the frequency of migraine attacks and preventing heart attacks.
If you eat mustard as paste or you add mustard seeds or powder to your meals, it’s both healthy and tasty. In the end you might find yourself like the French king Louis XIV, who never left home without it.
Hearing the name oregano most of us think of spaghetti. In fact it’s the most used spice for Italian recipes.
Did you know that oregano means “mountain joy”? The name’s Greek origin says that oregano is not only a symbol of happiness but also makes hillsides look beautiful.
Oregano arrived in the U.S. in the 1940′s carried home by soldiers from Italy. Today many of us couldn’t imagine having an Italian meal without this great flavor.
At the same time oregano has great health benefits. It’s a nutrient-dense spice and an excellent source for vitamin K. It’s also a very good source for iron, manganese and fiber. Thanks to these vitamins, minerals and fiber oregano can develop an anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant property. Oregano shows over 40 times more anti-oxidant activity than apples.
The best effects are achieved with fresh oregano but the dry form of this spice is great too. Fresh oregano is wonderful for salads. Oregano is also great for finishing a store-bought sauce or to give a recipe that Italian touch.