Health & Fitness

7 health-boosting herbs and spices you should be adding to your dinner plate

Getty Author: Elle Canada Credits: Getty

Health & Fitness

7 health-boosting herbs and spices you should be adding to your dinner plate

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Health-boosting herbs and spices you should be adding to your dinner plate

Why herbs and spices?

You know all about superfoods. But your new health BFF may be herbs. Many have antioxidant properties, explains registered dietitian Jessica Begg from Shift Nutrition in Calgary. That means they reduce damage in our cells (this damage is both naturally occurring and comes from chemicals and pollution in our environment). So why is that good? Oxidative damage could be linked to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis; as well as an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.   READ MORE: 6 things I learned from giving up sugar, wheat, dairy and alcohol

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

Health-boosting herbs and spices you should be adding to your dinner plate

Garlic

So it’s not the best for when you’re smooching, but eating a half to one clove of garlic a day may lower cholesterol by up to 9 percent because of its anti-inflammatory effect, according to Begg.   READ MORE: Should you press pause on your DVD workout?

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

Health-boosting herbs and spices you should be adding to your dinner plate

Spirulina

Okay, you got us, sprirulina isn’t an herb; it’s an algae. But here's why we've included it: three teaspoons of spirulina has approximately the same amount of iron of a three-ounce portion of beef, says Begg. Just add a teaspoon or two to muffins, smoothies, or pancakes. You can find it in a specialty food store.   READ MORE: Kim Kardashian is on the Atkins Diet

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

Health-boosting herbs and spices you should be adding to your dinner plate

Cinnamon

“Cinnamon adds natural sweetness and depth of flavour to dishes and has been found to help regulate blood sugar levels,” says Lindsay Jang, a Vancouver-based registered dietitian. “Sprinkle it on your morning oatmeal or add it to baked goods. I also love adding a dash to my coffee or into chilis for an extra zing of flavour!”   READ MORE: What Gisele REALLY eats

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

Health-boosting herbs and spices you should be adding to your dinner plate

Rosemary

When you BBQ or pan-fry red meat, it produces heterocyclic aromatic amines or HCAs. HCAs have been found to causs changes in your DNA that have been linked to cancer. Rosemary may help prevent that. “Rubbing it on the outside of your steak before cooking has been shown to decrease the formation of HCAs by 85 percent,” says Begg.   READ MORE: 10 ultra-nourishing body products to combat dry winter skin

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

Health-boosting herbs and spices you should be adding to your dinner plate

Peppermint

Again, it’s not an herb, but we couldn’t leave this plant off the list. Peppermint is a great digestive aid because it soothes pain and bloating. Try it after meals or blend into smoothies, says Jang.    READ MORE: 5 amazing new mascaras to try now

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

Health-boosting herbs and spices you should be adding to your dinner plate

Turmeric

Jang calls turmeric “the queen of spices” because it contains powerful antioxidant curcumin. Try adding this to smoothies, curries and stews.   READ MORE: How to make a viral video according to Kendall Jenner

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada
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Health & Fitness

7 health-boosting herbs and spices you should be adding to your dinner plate