Most people mainly use organic herbs and spices to flavor their food. And of course there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, that can be very healthy in itself: for example, you often need less salt to be able to eat tasty. However, some herbs and spices do a lot more than that.
They also add their own health benefits to your food. And in some cases this concerns fabrics with unique properties! Below we list ten of the healthiest herbs and spices. This gives you every reason to season your food firmly.
Difference herbs and spices
The difference between herbs and spices is not very clear. As a general rule of thumb, however, it is often taken that herbs are the leaves or petioles of green plants. Spices are the other parts of a plant, whether or not dried. It could be anything. Cinnamon sticks are the bark of the cinnamon plant, cloves are flower buds and ginger is a root.
Also seed usually falls into the category of spices, for example in the case of coriander seed or mustard seed. There are even plants that can be used both as a herb and as a spice. In addition to those seeds, coriander also has edible leaves that can add flavor to your dish.
We’ll start with five of the healthiest herbs. The good news is, you probably already have most of it in your kitchen cupboard! If not, they can be bought fresh and dried at practically every supermarket .
You probably know thyme as a medicinal herb from thyme syrup. This is often used against coughs and sore throat, and for good reason. It has an antibacterial effect and can therefore help against throat infections.
Thyme also contains ingredients that protect the ‘wall’ of the cell, the cell membrane. Your cells are less likely to be damaged, which in the long term helps against aging. Finally, thyme is also good for digestion.
Parsley contains, among other things, the substance apigenin. This has various health effects. There is some evidence that it can stunt the growth of tumors, although more research is needed to confirm this.
In addition, parsley contains antioxidants that strengthen your immune system. The various minerals – calcium, manganese, magnesium and folic acid – are good for your bones and kidneys, among other things. And not inconvenient either: chewing parsley helps against bad breath.
The name sage comes from salvers, Latin for ‘to help’. That already indicates how this plant was seen in ancient times! Today we also have scientific evidence for it. Sage mainly appears to help improve brain function.
This is most noticeable in people with Alzheimer’s. Sage reduces the decrease in acetylcholine, while this decrease is one of the most important aspects of the development of Alzheimer’s!
Rosemary contains, among other things, a substance with the original name rosmarinic acid. This can, among other things, reduce allergic reactions. In addition, rosmarinic acid helps to relieve nasal congestion.
Another benefit of rosemary is that it stimulates brain function so you can concentrate better! And finally, regular use of rosemary ensures that your skin can properly purify itself.
Note: this is not the same basil as the sweet Italian! Thai basil is also called “holy basil” in Asia, and for good reason. To begin with, the plant has an antibacterial effect and also protects against certain fungi.
In addition, it stimulates the growth of certain cells in your blood, making your immune system stronger. Finally, regular servings of Thai basil seem to help with stress and anxiety.
Also the healthiest spices are surprisingly common and commonly used spices. So you see again that it is often not necessary to spend a capital on so-called ‘ superfoods ‘! Please note that you prefer to buy these types of spices organic and of good quality.
We have written a whole blog about the health of ginger before, which shows how many benefits it has. For example, this root helps against nausea and stomach pain. Sometimes the smell alone is enough to significantly reduce that unpleasant feeling. When your digestive system is not working properly, ginger is an excellent stimulant to get things going again. It also works as a pain reliever, for example for pain and stiffness.
Turmeric is also called turmeric , which is no surprise when you see the color. It contains the active substance curcumin. This helps to prevent inflammation, for example, and has therefore been used to disinfect wounds for centuries.
In addition, it seems to protect against cardiovascular disease thanks to the same anti-inflammatory effect. Research even suggests a link to cancer prevention , but that needs to be looked further into.
Cinnamon also has a soothing effect on inflammation. It is not without reason that it is often used together with honey and lemon against sore throats and other similar complaints! But this spice can be used more widely. Cinnamon, for example, also seems to help with stomach aches and menstrual pain , and may reduce spikes in your blood sugar . You can read more about cinnamon in this article.
Nutmeg was already used by the Greeks and Romans to stimulate the brain. Even now it seems to help against fatigue and stress and can calm people slightly. Nutmeg is also an effective remedy for digestive problems. If you regularly suffer from flatulence and bloating , it may be worthwhile to eat a little more nutmeg.