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.
: Helps aid
and inhibits the growth of bacteria, moulds and yeast; balances
from the body; Helps prevent food poisoning; Settles upset
digestive tract; Antibacterial
; One of the riches herbal sources of
Acts as a natural
without removing excessive potassium; Promotes the health of
kidneys and bladder;
Helps support healthy
Effective treatment of
pain; May relief
Helps to reduce
: Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant functions;
– especially for menstrual pain; Good for
conditions – restores memory; Alleviate
, hangovers; Helps
after long term stress and chronic illness; Flower tops have stimulating and astringent properties
: improves brain function and helps balance hormones
: Helps ease sore
, prevent colds and flu; Helps
foods; Destroys unwanted intestinal bacterial; Helps heal
Antibacterial and antiseptic (thymol)
3. Spices have great health benefits
helps lower blood sugar
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
– 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:
– Liquorice root
– 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.
- Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS
- Culbert, T, MD.
Adaptogens and Nervines for Resilience in Body and Mind
- Leech, J, MS.
10 Delicious Herbs and Spices With Powerful Health Benefits
- Vizthum, D.
5 Spices with Healthy Benefits.