Certain spices and herbs not only can make your food have zing to it but can also contribute to better health.

Using spices and herbs can help you cut back your use of fat, sugar, and salt in your cooking, helping your waistline, blood pressure and overall health.

Here are some examples of spices and herbs found in most kitchens that can have health benefits:

  • Basil used in pizza and pesto has anti-inflammatory properties, contains flavonoids which can shield a persons cells from radiation, antibacterial capabilities.
  • Cinnamon for baked treats and warm beverages, has implications it can help lower blood glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and improve lipid profiles.
  • Cilantro found in salsas, guacamole and salads, contains anti-inflammatory properties, is a good source of iron, magnesium, and manganese, can also help control blood sugar and cholesterol.
  • Chili pepper or powder used to turn up the heat in food does that to you as well, raising your temperature and heart rate thought to increase your metabolism. Capsaicin, found in peppers, accelerates energy expenditure, increases fat oxidation, decreases fat intake, and has anti-inflammatory capabilities.
  • Garlic, for the Italian in all of us, has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral capabilities. It can also lower cholesterol, lower your risk for some cancers and fight heart disease.
  • Parsley, sometimes sitting lonely at the edge of the plate, is a great source of vitamins A, C, and K and contains antioxidants for heart health.
  • Mint seen in tea, ice cream, toothpaste and more, contains vitamins A and C, has antioxidants and can decrease your risk for some cancers, treat upset stomach and heartburn, loosen congestion and calm the soul.
  • Ginger found in asian dishes has good gastrointestinal relief and may play a role in preventing inflammation. Due to its antioxidant properties it may also help prevent some cancers and boost immunity.
  • Tumeric (curcumin) found in curry powder, the curcumin, which gives tumeric its yellow color, may reduce your risk for some cancers, reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits as well.

So spice up you life and foods with this wonderful list of herbs and spices and get healthy!