The Benefits of Cooking with herbs & spices

February 22, 2020

Using herbs and spices in the kitchen is for more than just for flavour. Getting into the ‘habit’ of cooking or preparing food with herbs and spices is an easy way to make your food tastier and nourishing at the same time.

Here are our top reasons for using herbs:

1. Natural flavours

The simplest benefit is that herbs and spices add a lot of flavour to a meal. Learning which herbs and spices to pair with different ingredients becomes intuitive, but there are many charts and sources available that can help you with this.

Using herbs and spices are better than adding sugar and salt to flavour your food. And especially better than adding commercial spices that often contain flavourings and additives such as MSG, thickeners and stabilisers.

2. Herbs have amazing health benefits

The number of herbs and their benefits is a wonderfully long list, but here are some of the most common herbs and some of their benefits.

  • BASIL
    : Helps aid
    digestion;
    Improves
    immune function
    and inhibits the growth of bacteria, moulds and yeast; balances
    blood sugar;
    Helps with
    lung
    congestion
  • ,CORIANDER
    : Helps
    remove toxins
    from the body; Helps prevent food poisoning; Settles upset
    digestive tract; Antibacterial
    and
    immune-enhancing
    ; One of the riches herbal sources of
    vitamin K
  • PARSLEY:
    Acts as a natural
    diuretic
    without removing excessive potassium; Promotes the health of
    kidneys and bladder;
    Helps support healthy
    bones; 
    Effective treatment of
    constipation;
    General
    tonic;
    Aids
    digestion
  • ,PEPPERMINT
    : Relieves
    IBS
    pain; May relief
    nausea;
    Helps to reduce
    bloating
  • ROSEMARY
    : Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant functions;
    Pain relief
    – especially for menstrual pain; Good for
    neurological
    conditions – restores memory; Alleviate
    headaches
    , hangovers; Helps
    recovery
    after long term stress and chronic illness; Flower tops have stimulating and astringent properties
  • SAGE
    : improves brain function and helps balance hormones
  • THYME
    : Helps ease sore
    throats
    , prevent colds and flu; Helps
    digest fatty
    foods; Destroys unwanted intestinal bacterial; Helps heal
    stomach ulcers
    Antibacterial and antiseptic  (thymol)

3. Spices have great health benefits

  • Cinnamon
    helps lower blood sugar
  • Turmeric
    helps reduce inflammation (add black pepper and eat with fats to increase absorption); anti-ageing; helps with arthritis; lower risk of heart and cancer
  • Cayenne pepper
    may lower blood pressure, helps reduce food cravings, pain relief, may reduce the risk of cancer
  • Black pepper
    is high in antioxidants; anti-inflammatory; blood sugar control; increases absorption of other nutrients; decreases appetite
  • Coriander seeds
    boost immunity; high in antioxidants; beneficial for heart and brain health; decreases blood sugar levels
  • Cumin
    – helps with weight-loss; good source of iron; helps manage diabetes; promotes digestion and helps prevent food poisoning
  • Fennel seeds
    – helps relief flatulence and bloating of the lower abdominals

4. Adaptogenic (Stress fighting) herbs and spices

Adaptogens are so important for us, especially with the modern city lifestyle. Adaptogens helps fight off the effects of stress because they are healing, balancing and restorative herbs. Adaptogen herbs and spices include:

– Turmeric

– Liquorice root

– Borage

– Ashwagandha

– Tulsi / Holy Basil

5. Easy and rewarding to grow

Herbs take up little space and resources and are relatively easy to grow, either from seed, cutting or purchase an already established herb.

It also becomes so convenient once the plant is established – which can take between 2 and 4 months to have herbs when or as you need them. This also encourages you to use more herbs in your cooking and food preparation.

6. Relatively cost-effective

Whether you buy a bunch of herbs, a pot of herbs or seeds to grow your own herbs, the cost is quite reasonable.

Sources:

  • Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS
  • Culbert, T, MD.
    Adaptogens and Nervines for Resilience in Body and Mind
    . 2018/12/20.
  • Leech, J, MS.
    10 Delicious Herbs and Spices With Powerful Health Benefits
    . 2017/06/04.
  • Vizthum, D.
    5 Spices with Healthy Benefits.

Related Articles

How to prepare nuts, seeds & legumes

How to prepare nuts, seeds & legumes

The optimal way of preparing nuts, seeds and legumes. Nuts are a really great snack! They are convenient, high in protein, low in carbs and keep you fuller for longer. Legumes should be a staple, especially in vegan and vegetarian diets - they are nutrient-dense and...

read more
The Ultimate Vegan Pancakes & Ice-Cream

The Ultimate Vegan Pancakes & Ice-Cream

If you love sweet breakfasts (or brunches), then this healthier version of pancakes and ice cream is for you!
This is an awesome breakfast or brunch for these hot summer mornings.

This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and made using whole food ingredients. It’s pretty much good enough for breakfast!

read more

Subscribe to our mailing list

0 Comments

Submit a Comment