Try using spices in your daily diet

Spices & Herbs
Spices & Herbs

When we talk about spices, we should talk about herbs and spices together. An herb is defined as a plant useful for its leaf, flower, stem, or root. Spices are the dried berries, seeds, or bark of certain trees and bushes, such as black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mustard. Herbs and spices enhance the flavors of foods, and add to the enjoy – ment of eating without much sodium and fat.

In the past there were doctors who did not permit any use of herbs and spices while on my Diet Program, recommend people to use them freely.

Those doctors thought that using flavor enhancers would act as an appetite stimu­lant. These days we use herbs and spices in the cooking of grains and vegetables and have not heard complaints that they have increased appetites. However, herbs and spices should be consumed with awareness.

After sufficient time using my Diet Program, especially if you are doing the basic Diet weekly, your palate begins to change. You will notice that you require much less added flavoring and enjoy your food much more thoroughly. When many Americans eat today, they aren’t tasting the food, but the salt that is used to flavor it!

Let me define the word spice – a spice is a seed, fruit, root, bark, or other plant substance primarily used for flavoring, coloring or preserving food. Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are the leaves, flowers, or stems from plants used for flavoring or as a garninsh. Sometimes, spices may be ground into a powder for convenience.

Many species have antimicrobial properties. This may explain why spices are more commonly used in warmer climates, which have more infectious diseases, and why the use of spices is prominent in meat, which is particularly susceptible to spoiling.

Spices are sometimes used in medicine, religious rituals, cosmetics or perfume production, or as a vegetable.

Spices are composed of an impressive list of minerals and vitamins, phytonutrients, essential oils and antioxidants that are essential for overall wellness. The components in the spices have been found to have an anti-clotting function and  may help in smooth digestion through augmenting intestinal tract motility and the digestion power and contain a good amount of minerals like Potassium, Manganese, Iron, and Magnesium.

Hippocrates proclaimed about 2500 years ago: “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”.

TIP:

Always taste the food item first, then season. Seasoning is a highly personalized thing, and not everyone likes the same flavors, but there are certain food / seasoning pairings that work well.

SPICE IT UP:

Food to be seasoned and suggested seasonings try one herb or spice at a time.
Asparagus: basil, chives, dill, nutmeg, sesame seeds, tarragon.
Beans (dried): allspice, chili powder, coriander, cumin, garlic, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme.
Beans (green): basil, bay leaves, dill, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, savory, tarragon.
Beans (lima): basil, chives, dill, marjoram, sage, savory, tarragon.
Beets: allspice, caraway seeds, chives, dill, ginger, horseradish.
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts (cruciferous vegetables): basil, caraway seeds, curry powder, garlic, ginger, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, thyme.
Carrots: caraway seeds, chives, cumin, ginger, marjoram, nutmeg, tarragon.
Corn: chives, coriander, cumin, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme.
Eggplant: allspice, basil, garlic, marjoram, oregano, sage, thyme.
Eggs: chili powder, chives, cumin, curry powder, savory, tarragon.
Fish: basil, bay leaves, chives, coriander, dill, nutmeg, sage, tarragon, lemon thyme, oregano.
Mushrooms: basil, chives, dill, garlic, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory, tarragon.
Peas: basil, chives, dill, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, tarragon.
Peppers (sweet): basil, chives, coriander, garlic, Italian parsley, marjoram, oregano, thyme.
Potatoes: bay leaves, caraway seeds, chives, coriander, curry powder, dill, garlic, mint, oregano, parsley, tarragon, thyme.
Rice: chives, cumin, curry powder, garlic, sage, tarragon.
Shellfish: basil, bay leaves, chervil, cloves, coriander, curry powder, dill, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, thyme.
Spinach: -basil, garlic, nutmeg, tarragon.
Squash (winter): allspice, cinnamon, cloves, curry powder, ginger, mace, nutmeg.

 

Squash (yellow and zucchini): basil, chives, coriander, dill, garlic, ginger, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory, tarragon.
Sweet Potatoes: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg.
Tomatoes: basil, chives, coriander, dill, garlic, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme.
Turnips: allspice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg.

 

TIP:

Fresh herbs are always best and can be easily grown or obtained in the supermarket. If you have never grown herbs before, do yourself a favor. If you plant them outside in the spring you will enjoy them for months, and years if they are perennials (they will often double in size by next year).

Cutting, preparing, or cooking with them freshly cut from your garden will connect you with the earth and the joys of eating fresh, whole, organically grown foods.

You can also dry or freeze them for winter use. The flavor of the dried herb is twice as potent as the fresh, therefore in converting a recipe that has dried herbs, multiply by two (1 teaspoon dried parsley equals 2 teaspoons fresh parsley).

References:

  • Burke, D., (2013), Growing and Using Herbs and Spices, New Holland Publishers;
  • De La Foret, R., Gallagher, J., (2017), Dietary intake of whole grains, The Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods & Remedies That Heal, Hay House Inc.;
  • Dobbins, L.A., (2012), Healing Herbs & Spices: Health Benefits of Popular Herbs & Spices Plus Over 70 Recipes To Use Them In (Healing Foods Series Book 1), K.Edition;
  • Hemphill, I., Hemphill, K., (2014), The Spice and Herb Bible, Robert Rose Inc.;
  • MacAller, N., (2016), Spice Health Heroes: Unlock the power of spice for flavor and wellbeing, Jacqui Small LLP.

 

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