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Eating well – choosing healthful, nutritious foods that alsotaste great – can be a challenge. Don’t you wish there wassomething simple you could do for your health – something thatmight also make it easier to eat healthy foods?

There is – simply spice things up.

Smart seasoning not only makes your food taste better, it canmake it healthier too. A wide variety of spices – from chili to ginger,paprika to garlic – offer well-documented health benefits. If yourknowledge of spices, seasonings and herbs is limited to a littledab of garlic powder here and a dash of oregano there, you may wantto explore the wide variety of spices, combinations and blendsavailable.

The folks at Penderys, who have been selling spices and makingseasoning blends since 1870, offer some spice health basics to getyou started:

Ground anise seed – People in some Asian cultures chew aniseseed after meals to aid in digestion and cleanse the breath. It’salso used as an expectorant. Naturally antimicrobial, anise is akey ingredient in many over-the-counter natural remedies. Anise isgreat in baked sweets, curry dishes, Mediterranean stews and sweetpickles. Add it to your chocolate icing for a truly uniquezing.

Cardamom – Popular in Indian and East Asian cuisines, cardamomis associated with mental health and is thought to act as adigestive aid. The spice is aromatic and offers a sweet taste.Cardamom is not just for curries; use it to enhance meatloaf, sweetpotatoes, cakes, cookies, pastries and even good old American applepie.

Chili – Groundchile peppers are thought to influence a range of healthfactors, including blood pressure, cardiovascular health and evenweight loss. This favorite seasoning can be used on its own or in ablend to season virtually any dish, from meat to veggies orfish.

Ground ginger – Used as a digestive aid in India and China,ground ginger provides a spicy, sweet, pungent aroma and a hot,clean taste. Some research has indicated ginger may be useful infighting cancer and relieving different kinds of pain, frommigraines to menstrual cramps. Use it in marinades, pastries andpickles, or to season the flour for fried chicken.

Rosemary – The well-loved herb we use to season egg and cheesedishes, soups, stuffing, poultry, pork and lamb, is rich inantioxidants and is also used as a memory aid and to relievepain.

Turmeric – This bright orange spice goes well in egg dishes,with chicken seafood and rice, and is an essential ingredient incurries. It’s been used medicinally for thousands of years. Tumerichas been studied for possible applications in a wide range ofdiseases, including cancer, diabetic neuropathy, osteoarthritis,lymphoma, depression and Alzheimer’s, according to the NationalInstitutes of Health.

Spices andseasonings have been used to make food more enjoyable – andhealthier – for thousands of years. A little research, someexperimentation and a touch of adventurousness can help you reapthe many benefits of smart seasoning.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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