Top 5 Most Nutritious and Tastiest Spices for Your Health

Jun 13, 2018

Most of us add flavor to our everyday meals at home with various herbs and spices, not really thinking twice about their ingredients – but these delicious little seasonings are actually packed with nutritional and health benefits! Certain spices (aside from simply being delicious) are incredible sources of nutrients, vitamins, and powerhouse antioxidants; and as you know, at Eat Clean, we are all about making each meal as healthy as possible!

Adding just one of these spices to a meal is a great way to boost your immune system and pack in a bunch of disease-fighting antioxidants in one go. Here’s our roundup of the top five healthiest and most nutritious spices – your taste buds will thank you, too!

1. Turmeric

Good for: Joint health & pain relief

Turmeric is a common ingredient in Indian foods, and makes a great addition to soups, curries, meat dishes, and sauces. The magic of turmeric lies in its Curcumin, which is a natural cancer-fighting compound that’s often taken for its ability to reduce inflammation and improve joint health. Curcumin has also been shown to help relieve arthritic pain and soothe pain brought on by dental procedures. As if that wasn’t enough, recent research shows turmeric may be an effective treatment for brain disease and for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Our Thai Yellow Curry Spice is an awesome way to add turmeric to your next healthy meal – we love it on chicken, meat, seafood, and all types of veggies.

2. Cinnamon

Good for: Lowering blood sugar

Cinnamon has the highest antioxidant value of any spice and is one of the healthiest out there. It’s been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar and blood triglyceride levels, alleviate nausea, increase sensitivity to insulin, and aid in fat burning. It provides manganese, iron, and calcium to the body, and its antimicrobial properties can potentially help extend the life of processed foods.

While cinnamon is an incredibly healthy and nutritious spice, it might be hard to branch out from its most common uses – cookies, muffins and other desserts, which are delicious, but not always the healthiest. One way to mix things up a bit is to add our Maple Doodle Seasoning (which is packed with cinnamon!) to sweet potatoes or a nutritious homemade dip.

3. Basil

Good for: Reducing inflammation

Basil is one of the most common spices out there, which means it’s easy to add to pretty much any dish – and it’s incredibly nutritious. Basil is packed with anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, and can also help prevent osteoarthritis and improve heart health. It’s been used in digestive disorders and is currently being studied for its anti-cancer properties.

We love our Tomato Basil Seasoning on all types of chicken, seafood, and veggie dishes; and you didn’t hear it from us, but it makes for an excellent pizza topping!

4. Cayenne Pepper

Good for: Weight loss

It’s spicy, but the health benefits of cayenne totally make up for it! The active ingredient in the spice is called capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce appetite and increase fat burning, as well as improve the absorption of other nutrients in foods. Capsaicin also activates transient receptor potential channels, which kicks off a chain of reactions that actually results in slowing down obesity.

In small amounts, it can be added to practically any dish, meat, vegetable or sauce (we love our Spicy Buffalo Seasoning on baked chicken!), and studies have found that adding one gram of it to meals brings out its medicinal properties. Bottom line: if you don’t already, now is a great time to start enjoying spicy food!

5. Garlic

Good for: Boosting immune system

Anytime we talk about healthy spices and herbs, garlic is bound to end up somewhere on the list (though technically, it’s neither an herb nor a spice; it’s actually a vegetable!). Garlic has long been known for its medicinal properties, mostly due to a compound called allicin – which is also responsible for garlic’s distinct smell. It’s extremely rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin C and vitamin B6. It’s also high in manganese, along with a handful of other awesome nutrients.

Bonus: on top of that, garlic can help you recover from the common cold and reduce the duration of the cold you already have – talk about serious immune boosting power! To pack some garlic into your next dish, try our Garlic & Herb Seasoning on chicken, seafood, or veggies

Head to our Spices page to shop our other seasonings, or check out our San Diego meal prep delivery options!

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