Cooking with Herbs and Spices
Anyone who cooks knows that herbs and spices are used to flavor foods. They are what define the different regional cuisines of the world. Herbs and spices change plain foods into tasty dishes. Seasonings will develop and extend the natural flavors of the raw whole foods used in your meals. Herbs and spices have been used to preserve food for thousands of years before modern refrigeration was developed.
Highlights of Cooking with Herbs and Spices
- Good nutrition from eating a healthy diet is the foundation of the biomedical model of natural health.
- Herbs and spices are a concentrated source of antioxidants and other plant factors.
- Cooking with herbs and spices is a quick way to add diversity to your diet.
- Adding a moderate amount of herbs and spices to your food goes a long way towards boosting the health value of a meal.
Improve your Nutrition at the Advanced LevelHaving gotten rid of your sweet tooth and STOPPED eating adulterated Fast and Junk Food completely, you now are in a good position to concentrate on making sure that the healthy whole food that your are eating is supplying the right nutrients, in the correct ratios.
- Advanced Healthy Diet Guidelines
- Cook your food with Spice
- Get Carotenes from your diet
- Benefits of Whole-Grains
Fruits and vegetables have long been viewed as a rich source of antioxidant compounds and other plant factors that promote good health. The Health Establishment has, also, been urging people for years to eat more fruits and vegetables.
The antioxidant activity of culinary herbs and spices suggest that in addition to imparting flavor to food, they possess potential health benefits by inhibiting lipid peroxidation. Research indicates that adding a moderate amount of herbs and spices to your food goes a long way towards boosting the health value of a meal. Think of them as a quick and easy way to get a concentrated source of antioxidants and other plant factors - without all the extra calories of whole foods. They are also a quick way to add diversity to your diet.
Herbs are the leaves of herbaceous plants. Spices come from the other parts of the plant, such as the bark, root, bud, or berry.
Herbs actually have been shown to have higher antioxidant activity than fruits, vegetables and some spices, including garlic. The green leaves in general are richer in antioxidants than other plant parts because that's where the oxygen in the plant is produced.
In general, fresh herbs and spices taste better and contain higher antioxidant levels compared to their dried counterparts. For maximum spice flavor, buy spices whole and grind them prior to use. To release the flavor of dried leaves or herbs, crush them just before using. It is suggested that you grind up dried herbs in a culinary mortar and pedestal for maximum flavor. Use whole sprigs to infuse long-cooking dishes with flavor; but remove before serving. Remember that anything that improves your health is worth doing. There is nothing seriously wrong with cooking with dried herbs and spices.
Some herbs suitable for steeping as teas are oregano, rosemary, peppermint, sage, spearmint, savory, ginger, and thyme, all of which have been shown to contain significant levels of antioxidants. The antioxidant activity of herbs were retained even after boiling for 30 minutes. Try adding sprigs of fresh rosemary or oregano to the cooking water for tea, vegetables, rice, and pasta.
Cooking With Herbs and Spices
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum, especially C. verum and C. loureirii)
Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum)
Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Onion (Allium cepa)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis Linn)
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
- The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.
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