Below is an article contained in a Healthy-Foods email newsletter (part of http://www.dollarstretcher.com) I received in my inbox this week. I thought others might find it an interesting read. My hubby and I were just talking about how different foods are said to resemble the part of the body they supposedly keep healthy and this article about herbs/spices is somewhat related to that idea!

Article Source: Healthy-Foods, Just for You By Leanne Ely, C.N.C. —  Volume 9, Issue 33, ISSN 1536-5085  August 15, 2008
Spice It Up! by Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

It has been reported recently, that there are copious benefits in the
spices we use to make our food more flavorful—aren’t you excited? Good
news for those of us who absolutely adore good Indian, Mexican and other
spiced up foods! Here is a list of spices with their healthy benefits as
well as ideas on using them…enjoy!

1. Turmeric –The reason curried dishes are yellow is mainly because of
tumeric. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants are
incredible—I take it myself daily in the form of a supplement for my
gallbladder. It’s delicious in rice, on fish and stir fried into veggies.

2. Basil — Ah, the taste of summer. Who can resist fresh basil and
tomatoes from the garden tossed with olive oil and garlic on a plate full
of pasta? Dried, it’s wonderful in soups, pasta dishes and chicken. Basil
is good source of vitamin A, plus C, potassium and calcium, with almost no
calories.

3. Dill — It’s not just for pickles. Try some dill sprinkled on fish,
chicken or even in a light cream soup. Dill is known for its antibacterial
qualities, as well as its iron content, fiber and magnesium.

4. Garlic — Nectar of the gods, well, bulb of the gods anyway. Garlic has
a way of making the most ordinary food gourmet. Try sprinkling garlic
powder (not garlic salt) into a prepared box of white cheddar macaroni and
cheese
. Surprise! It’s pretty good. Fresh, though, is best. Squeeze it
from a press into almost anything, except chocolate. Garlic has
anti-inflammatory properties and may help lower blood pressure.

5. Ginger — Sprinkle it in your stir-fry, try it on baked chicken breasts
with a little soy sauce and garlic. For fun, get it fresh (it’s that
alien-looking root mass in the produce department) and freeze it. It will
keep almost indefinitely when frozen. To use, hack off a piece, peel it
and grate into your recipe. Ginger tea helps quell nausea and an upset
tummy.

6. Nutmeg — I love nutmeg. If you can find nutmeg nuts and the itty,
bitty grater that comes with it, buy it. Once you’ve had freshly grated
nutmeg, the powdered stuff in the jar is beneath you. Obviously an
ingredient in baking, it’s also good grated on sauteed squash, green
beans, and carrots. Nutmeg may help with pain relief and stress.

7. Oregano — A staple in Italian cooking, it’s also good in stews and
salad dressings. Oregano is nutrient rich, a good source of fiber, plus a
fabulous anti-bacterial (oil of oregano is used in some natural cold
remedies), as well as a terrific antioxidant!

8. Rosemary — This beautiful plant grows wild in my garden and provides
an intoxicating aroma to meats, stews and root veggies. Try some crumbled
in your carrots for a change of pace. Rosemary stimulates the immune
system and helps with digestion, too.

9. Tarragon — An almost licorice flavor, this delicate herb takes front
and center in vinaigrettes, as a delicious sprinkle on the top of baked or
poached poultry and fish. Tarragon is known for stimulating the brain,
nervous system and digestive system as well.

10. Thyme – Definitely make time for thyme! It’s strong and adds a hint of
character to an otherwise pretty standard dish. Use it with chicken, soups
and beef. Thyme is an amazing antioxidant, is nutrient rich (vitamin K
content is off the hook) and may protect cell membranes from oxidization.

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