Variety is the Spice of Life - that gives it all its flavours!

The use of herbs and spices has been incredibly important throughout history.

Many were celebrated for their medicinal properties, well before culinary use.

Modern science has now shown that many of them do indeed carry remarkable health benefits.

Here are 10 of the world’s healthiest herbs and spices.

1. Cinnamon – has numerous health benefits, and is particularly effective at lowering blood sugar levels

2. Sage – there is promising evidence that sage extract can improve brain and memory function

3. Peppermint – the natural oil in peppermint provides pain relief for those with IBS. It also has potent anti-nausea effects when used in aromatherapy

4. Turmeric – studies have shown that curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, has major benefits for many aspects of health

5. Basil – appears to improve immune function and inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds

6. Cayenne Pepper – is very rich in a substance called capsaicin, which reduces appetite and boosts fat burning. It has also shown anti-cancer potential

7. Ginger – appears to be an effective treatment for many types of nausea. It is also anti-inflammatory, and can help reduce pain

8. Fenugreek – has been shown to improve the function of insulin, leading to significant reductions in blood sugar levels

9. Rosemary – Rosmarinic acid has anti-inflammatory effects that appear to suppress allergy symptoms and reduce nasal congestion

10. Garlic – can combat sickness including the common cold and improve heart health

Check out the video link below to find out about 5 spices that will make your food taste great and are also great for burning fat.

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Tips for cooking with Herbs

Fresh Herbs

  • Fresh are best added at the end of cooking, or after cooking
  • Toss a green salad with fresh herbs for extra taste
  • Pasta salad is delicious with fresh basil or added to a tomato based sauce.
  • Fresh chopped cilantro leaves in guacamole, or raw parsley added at the end of a sauce are delicious additions which provide a bright freshness.   These can’t be substituted for uncooked dried herbs which tend to have a dusty taste
  • Delicate, leafy herbs like parsley, tarragon, and chives are always better when fresh, and should be avoided when dried since they don’t add much flavour to a dish. They’re also best when raw or cooked for just a few minutes

Dried Herbs

  • Dried herbs benefit from some cooking, and should be added earlier to better develop their flavour
  • Great to use when making a sauce, stew, or soup that will bubble away on the stove or in the oven for more than a few minutes
  • After cooking a dish containing fresh herbs for 10 or 15 minutes, all of the volatile oils and esters cook away that make fresh herbs taste fresh. There’s no point in spending extra money when dried herbs will have the same effect
  • Some dried herbs have better flavour and are worth keeping in your pantry than others. Oregano, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, curry leaf, and fennel seed are all good dried
  • When using dried rosemary, be sure to chop the tough leaves before adding to a recipe
  • Dried herbs tend to lose their potency over time, and should be discarded after a year


The general rule for swapping dried for fresh herbs is to use 1/3 of the amount called for in the recipe. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, then add 1 teaspoon dried rosemary. The same rule applies in reverse. If a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of dried parsley, add 1 tablespoon fresh.

Check out the link to find out how long your herbs and spices last and how to store them


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