Eating clean doesn’t have to mean eating boring, but healthy foods often get a bad rap for have-ing “bad” or “bland” taste. Learning to incorporate spices into your clean eating diet can not only enhance the taste of your dishes but can also give you some extra added health benefits. We have a list of 6 spices to start incorporating into your diet to give your palette some enjoyment and your body some benefit.
1. Tumeric – This bright yellow spice has been used for generations in eastern cultures and is a great way to subtly add flavor to many base dishes. Tumeric is known for it’s anti-depressant and anti inflammatory qualities. Try adding it to rice or potatoes for a creamy and mellow flavor.
2. Nutmeg – Nutmeg might remind you of apple or pumpkin pie but it offers so much more than just being delicious. Nutmeg is jam packed with minerals and vitamins like; iron, potassium and calcium. Along with being a healthy little nut it also can help with; toothaches, memory en-hancement, clearer skin and as a calming/sleep aid. Use a pinch of nutmeg on baked apples or in milk with a splash of vanilla to deliciously enjoy all it has to offer.
3. Cumin – Cumin may be better known for the flavor in Indian dishes or tacos but the seeds of the cumin plant are a wonderful natural anti-inflammatory. Use cumin in a salad dressing to eat after strenuous workouts or for any inflammation pain you might have. As a bonus it also helps with upset stomaches and indigestion and it’s jam packed with iron!
4. Garlic – It is quite possibly one of the most delicious and widely used spices of them all. Gar-lic is a potent and incredible spice that acts as a heart super food as well as a helper to keep fat cell formation from happening (amongst a list of other benefits). To reap the full effect from gar-lic chop, slice, crush or grate your garlic before the rest of your meal prep to allow for the neces-sary chemical changes to take place prior to cooking.
5. Cinnamon – Whether it is in powder form, bark form or as an extract cinnamon is known to combat blood sugar levels as well as cholesterol levels. Sprinkle some cinnamon in your morn-ing oats or add some to organic honey and warm white rice and milk as sweet treat.
6. Sage – This baby-soft beautiful green leafy spice can help ease your menstrual and meno-pausal symptoms. It helps to relieve; bloating, night sweats, cramping and has other oestrogen-ic effects. Use it to spice up potatoes, fish or chicken or drink it as a tea steeped in hot water for 10 minutes.
If you are interested in learning more about incorporating spices in your diet check out your local food co-op for classes, research eastern cooking or visit your local library for cook books that focus on using spices.
Written by Danielle Maravelas of Babbling Ink “Outsourcing Professionals United”