1. Turmeric – Traditionally used in Indian Cuisine, this bright yellow gem of a spice has been used as medicine for centuries. Over the past 10 years more studies have emerged on the health benefits and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric. Research has also linked turmeric to cancer prevention and treatment. Turmeric is fat soluble, therefore to reap the health benefits make sure add to food that contains fat. Sprinkle turmeric on your eggs, add turmeric to your favorite coconut chicken dish, or combine turmeric and lemon juice with olive oil and use as a salad dressing.
2. Cayenne Pepper – The capsaicin in cayenne pepper is well-known for it’s anti-inflammatory effects and as a digestive aide. Cayenne pepper has been used as a supplement to help ease pain with arthritis as well as relieve headaches. Add a kick to your food by adding cayenne pepper to fish, chicken, poultry, or vegetables.
3. Cinnamon – Loaded with antioxidants, this spice has been used for years for it’s medicinal and healing properties. Lab studies have found cinnamon to be an effective supplement for reducing inflammation. And some research has found cassia cinnamon to help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. There is no established dose recommendation for cinnamon, but some studies have found that just 1 tsp a day can provide the health benefits to decrease inflammation and blood sugar. Please note that very high doses of cinnamon can be toxic and if you do take a supplement, please consult with a registered dietitian and your physician. Add a dash of cinnamon to your morning oatmeal or mix with cottage cheese, apples, and almonds as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up snack!
4. Dill – The oil from the dill plant is rich in monoterpenes, which are known for its cancer fighting properties. Dill is also known for it’s antibacterial properties and is high in antioxidants. Enjoy fresh dill with chopped cucumbers added to Greek yogurt or season your favorite fish with cayenne pepper, lemon and fresh dill!
5. Mint – Mint has been used for ages as a healing herb. It is best known for it’s ability to sooth the digestive system and is often used as a natural remedy for nausea and motion sickness. Nature’s first breath spray was actually fresh peppermint leaves! To reap the benefits of mint, add fresh mint leaves to water, sip on mint tea, or add chopped mint to fruit salad.