Herbs and Spices Rich in Antioxidants

While a major diet and exercise overhaul may seem overwhelming, the benefits are still indisputable. Baby steps help, and adding antioxidant-rich herbs and spices to your diet can be a baby step in the right direction.

| June 26, 2009

  • Spice up your menu and add antioxidants to your diet.
    Spice up your menus and add antioxidants to your diet.
    iStockphoto.com/Georgina Palmer
  • Add in more spices and herbs to boost the flavor of food and the antioxidants.
    Add in more spices and herbs to your food to boost flavor and antioxidants.
    iStockphoto.com/Nikolay Suslov

  • Spice up your menu and add antioxidants to your diet.
  • Add in more spices and herbs to boost the flavor of food and the antioxidants.

Warmer weather is here, motivating many people to eat more healthfully and exercise to get in shape. A dramatic diet overhaul and change in routine can seem overwhelming. That’s why the “small changes” approach is gaining popularity.

Shifting the focus to small, achievable steps is a concept that’s currently being championed by a task force of the American Society for Nutrition, Institute of Food Technologists and the International Food Information Council. The group says small changes are more feasible to achieve and sustain – and they can add up to make an even greater impact.

"Making simple lifestyle changes to boost health is easier than people think,” says Wendy Bazilian, author of The Superfoods Rx Diet. “For example, taking a four-minute walk or adding 300 steps each day adds up to an extra mile by the end of the week.”

One of Bazilian’s simplest – and most surprising – strategies to boost health and wellness is to add antioxidant-rich spices and herbs – like oregano, cinnamon and ginger – to meals, snacks and beverages. Instead of sacrificing taste when reducing some of those “off-limit” ingredients in the name of health, adding spices and herbs to foods enhances not only nutrition value, but also flavor.

While colorful fruits such as blueberries and pomegranates, and dark leafy veggies like spinach and kale are commonly known as “super foods” with powerful antioxidants, certain spices and herbs are actually rich in antioxidants, too.

“People might be surprised to learn that one-half teaspoon of ground cinnamon has as many antioxidants as one-half cup raspberries or strawberries, and just one-half teaspoon of oregano has as many antioxidants as three cups of fresh spinach,” Bazilian says.

7/4/2009 5:14:41 AM

chop parsley, garlic and lemon zest together and stir them through pasta. add some olive oil and grated cheese for a delicious meal - we just had some accompanied by a cup of ginger tea with lemon juice and honey. - it's winter here! xx



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