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Healthy Eating: A Guest Blog by Maria Dellanina, RDN

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Herbs & Spices

Unfortunately, in the American diet, we’ve replaced true flavor with added sugar, fat, and salt.

The addition of these ingredients have made highly processed foods exceptionally hyper-palatable while ignoring traditional spicing and flavor enhancers using natural and organic herbs that are easy to grow in a small container garden.

Excessive consumption of sugar, saturated fat, and salt is harmful if overconsumed, whereas the addition of warming spices and bright herbs are positive additions to anyone’s diet.

On average, American’s are consuming 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day more than double the 1,500 milligrams that the American Heart Association recommends as a result of salt added to packaged foods and the increase in meals prepared in restaurants either on site or as take home/delivery.

Sadly, we’ve lost the art of using herbs and spices to the cooking process – with most home cooks using only salt and black pepper.

Adding herbs/spices like ginger, turmeric, and cardamom, to name a few, are so important.

By using herbs and spices and reducing salt, we’re fighting cancer and chronic inflammation, as well as reducing our chance of high blood pressure.

Herbs have oils, as well as vitamins and minerals, that lend antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. Quite simply, they help our bodies fight disease.

Here are 5 simple ways to try herbs/spices this week!

1. Add cilantro and turmeric to morning eggs

2. Garnish tomato soups and sauces with basil and oregano

3. Flavor fish with thyme and rosemary

4. Top your rice and vegetable salad with parsley

5. Add cinnamon and cardamom to a bowl of oats

One of my favorite warm & inflammation-fighting drink recipes:

• approximately 8 oz dairy or plant based milk (I enjoy soy)

• 1/2 tsp coconut oil

• 1/2 tsp honey (or more if needed, desired)

• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

• 1/2 tsp ginger

• 1 tsp-1 tb turmeric

• Pinch of black pepper

Directions: Add the coconut oil and the honey to a small sauce pan. Add soy milk and stir. Add spices, stir. Heat until warm.

*Note: the black pepper and coconut oil aid in the absorption of turmeric. You can increase your amount of turmeric as you become more accustomed to the flavor

Dominican University


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