Want to boost the flavour of your meals without adding fat or calories? Nancy Waldeck, a chef at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont, recommends starting with herbs and spices.
“There’s a distinction to be made between herbs and spices,” she clarifies. “Herbs are the plant’s leafy component, while spices are normally made from the seed, but both have similar health advantages.”
Chef Nancy revealed her top 11 health and wellness herbs and spices. The majority of them can be found in the produce or spice sections of your local supermarket.
Fiber, iron, and phytonutrients are all found in this herb, which is easy to buy in most grocery stores. Coriander seeds are also used because of their zesty flavour. They make summer foods taste even better.”
This spice is high in nutrients and is widely used in Indian and Mexican dishes. It gives your cuisine a lovely yellow hue and an earthy flavour, as well as acting as a powerful anti-inflammatory thanks to its main element, curcumin. Curcumin may help with arthritis and inflammation caused by cancer.”
Capsaicin, a potent antioxidant, is found in smoked peppers. This spice has a meaty flavour and is a terrific way to give your recipes a savoury flavour without using meat. Sautéed onions, veggie burgers, and baked beans all benefit from smoked paprika.”
In our Cancer Wellness cooking lessons, we use a lot of garlic. Garlic has been proved in studies to be an effective cancer fighter. It also provides a great deal of taste. If you use a fine grater to grate a garlic clove, it will melt into your food and contribute flavour without needing to be chopped. If at all feasible, purchase a whole clove. If you eat a fresh fruit, vegetable, or herb that isn’t in a container, you’ll get the most antioxidants.”
Cinnamon is one of the warm spices I use, along with ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom. For diabetics, it has a significant impact on blood sugar and lipids. Cinnamon is simple to incorporate into foods such as cereal or yoghurt. You may also add it to frozen yoghurt or fresh fruit if you mix it with honey.”
In some cultures, ginger is used to alleviate motion sickness, discomfort, edoema, and arthritis. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is one of my favourite spices to use in savoury meals, especially beans, veggie burgers, Asian cuisines, and salad dressing. Combine olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, ginger, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard to make a simple vinaigrette. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and serve over salad greens.”
Fresh basil has a wonderful aroma. In our kitchen club, we enjoy sharing a sprig around. It possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects in abundance. Basil was once even used to treat minor wounds. It also contains a lot of magnesium.”
This herb is commonly used as a garnish, but it also includes vitamins A, C, and K, as well as heart-healthy folate.”
Mint is used to adorn fruit and pastries at Cancer Wellness. It’s actually a basil relative. Fresh mint is one of my favourite additions to basil pesto. I use a blend of 34% basil and 14% mint. I use mint whenever I use basil or cilantro because it brings out the flavour of these herbs. It’s also wonderful for a stomach ache.”
This plant promotes blood vessel health and may lower the risk of heart attack. Rosemary goes great with toasted nuts. Spread almonds on a sheet pan and roast for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over the almonds after they’ve been removed from the oven, then season with sea salt, chopped fresh rosemary, and freshly cracked black pepper. Chicken, potatoes, green vegetables, vinaigrettes, and homemade tomato sauce all benefit from rosemary.”
Peppers, once again, contain the antioxidant capsaicin. It includes vitamin A and is thought to be a natural pain reliever. It also has the potential to lower cholesterol. Peppers have been shown in studies to boost metabolism, which I’m all for. If you like spicy dishes, this is a terrific method to boost your vitamin intake while also improving your health.”
Don’t worry if you don’t recognise the herbs and spices recommended by Chef Nancy. With some experience, you’ll be able to include them into your regular meals.
“I find that people are hesitant to try new herbs and spices,” she says. “Start by making a salad dressing with fresh herbs or adding them to your salad greens.” “Without adding fat or calories, you can truly give your cuisine more zest and nutritional benefits.”