20 Anti-Aging Herbs and Spices to Add to your Diet

Sep 10, 2011
Veronica Brandy

The typical Western eating habits – high in simple carbohydrates and low in herbs and spices – makes us grow old. During the holidays, change your eating behavior.

Among other things, holidays are often a period of poor nutrition and food excess. Poor nutrition may appear even in the most developed countries, where food is plentiful, but where the entire diet is based on a wrong balance of foods.

Sounds familiar? The typical Western diet that is rich in simple carbohydrates – whiteflour, white salt, and processed foods – is making us grow old. We absorb all the main course, but no nutrients. So if you’re vegetarian or omnivore, you can begin to reverse aging by simply choosing to eat the right foods to give you lots of vitamins, vigor and vitality, especially during the holidays.

The best way to ensure that you have more nutrients in every meal, whether you are at an office cocktail or dinner with neighbors, is to choose foods that are loaded with spices. Whenever you want to increase the flavor of your meals with herbs or spices you will literally “level up” your food without adding a single calorie. You take something normal and turn it into something extraordinary, adding color, flavor, vitamins, and often medicinal properties. Here’s why:

1) Spices and herbs maximize nutrient density.

Herbs and spices contain antioxidants, minerals and multivitamins. At a dinner party, choose the Thai satay chicken rather than fried chicken slices.

2) The spices and herbs create a more thermogenic diet.

Because spices are nutrient dense, they are thermogenic, meaning that they naturally increase your metabolism. As your metabolism running at a higher rate, you burn more food you have eaten into fuel for your body, and you store less body fat. At dinner, finish the meal with coffee or tea sprinkled with cinnamon, which contains dozens of nutrients.

3) Some herbs and spices increase the feeling of satiety

Some herbs and spices increase your feelings of having a full stomach and satiety, so you eat less. A study conducted at the Maanstricht University in the Netherlands has shown that when one consumes a drink with half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes before each meal, the drink reduces caloric intake of meals from 10 to 16%. If you plan a menu for the holidays, consider starting with a tomato soup sprinkled with red pepper.

4) You can remove the salt.

When you add flavor to your food with spices instead of salt, you immediately see the health and physical benefits. The excess salt keeps water inside your body. Once you get rid of the habit of putting too much salt in the dishes, you will not have swollen bellies or water retention. You will also lose the cravings for salt and salty snacks.

The more you put salt over it to get used to put even more salt: after a while it is impossible to put only a pinch because you have trained your brain to feel like a salty taste for everything you eat. Over time, the use of spices will also decrease your desire for simple snacks low in nutrients because you do not have the nostalgia of a salty flavor. Stay away from salt and you do to your brain and your body a great favor.

5) Spices and herbs have medicinal properties.

Studies have shown the benefits of various herbs and spices.

A study at the Malmoe University Hospital in Sweden has shown that up to two hours after the meal, people who ate rice pudding spiced with cinnamon had measured levels of blood glucose significantly lower than those who ate a version of rice pudding without cinnamon spice.

Other studies suggest that cinnamon can decrease glucose levels in the blood by increasing the sensitivity of an individual to insulin. In 2003, a test focused on 60 people with type 2 diabetes reported that the simple act of eating two teaspoons of cinnamon daily for six weeks reduced levels of blood glucose significantly. This consumption has also improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels, possibly because insulin plays a key role in regulating body fat. So if you start adding spices to your diet now, you may be able to see real health benefits in the first months of the new year.

Every little bit helps, so spice your dishes! Change your eating habits, especially if your next meal is a lot of cheeseburgers. Choose more flavor instead taste fade whenever and try incorporate these herbs and spices in your diet to enjoy their medicinal:

20 herbs and spices to add to your diet

  • Cumin and sage in their power to fight against dementia.
  • Cinnamon, coriander for power control of sugar.
  • Turmeric for its power to fight against cancer.
  • Oregano for its power to fight against fungi.
  • Basil and thymein their power to keep skin young.
  • Turmeric, basil, cinnamon, thyme, saffron, ginger for their power of stimulating the immune system.
  • Coriander, rosemary, cayenne pepper and Jamaica pepper for anti-depressive property.

What do you think about these facts? Have you got some other secret to share with us to stay young by eating?

Photo by stevendepolo

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