Have you ever found yourself mid-meal, making one of your signature dishes, only to peek into the refrigerator and find that you forgot your important secret spice? Hesitating as you reach for your back up, the “bottled stuff”, you bite the bullet and dash your herbs into the dish. After all your hard work and time, you hear the one question you were hoping to avoid, “Hmm, this tastes a bit different tonight, did you add something new?”.
Regardless of the obvious, using spices in your recipes are all important parts of your masterpiece, and if you have ever had to substitute a dried version of your favorite spice, then you already know the impact that can have. But what about the other benefits of using the real deal? We wanted to find out what the big difference was when it came to raw vs dried spices, and this is what we found.
Boost Brain Power
Keeping your spices fresh for the picking is very important when it comes to preserving many of the natural benefits these plants offer for your diet and health. For example, a lively pot of rosemary has been reported to help boost your brain activity and increase mental fortitude. Keeping a rosemary plant around the kitchen for general smell good, and the occasional pick and pull ingredients is a great choice for improving your health.
Everyone can benefit from cancer fighting compounds, and with so many bad influences in our world, having a healthy dose of parsley in your diet has been known to help with preventing breast cancer in studies conducted. Due to it’s natural high levels of apigenin, this herb is perfect for a salad combination or topping.
If you struggle with IBS, then peppermint may be a solution for you. A study done by the University of Adeliade in Australia, reported that consistent use of peppermint helped patients suffering from IBS by activating anti-pain channels in the digestive tract, reducing pain-sensing fibers.
Another great fresh herb that can help improve your quality of life is oregano. Oregano, in its natural form, has been known to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of certain substances that cause swelling. Reported through a study done by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they found that consistent ingestion of oregano increased the natural active ingredient of beta caryophyllin (E-BCP) fighting off inflammation.
Everyone knows that our body stores toxins ingested through various foods, body absorption and other exposures. Knowing how to battle this natural absorption is key to your health and it was reported that thyme had the second highest levels of antioxidants available on the market. In addition, thyme is a great source of vitamin A, C and iron to help boost your overall well being.
Preparing a healthy, delicious meal is only part of the benefits of using fresh herbs and spices, and while the right fresh ingredients can make or break your favorite dish, knowing how much benefit you are trading for fresh vs dried herbs is an important factor when considering your diet. With so many different ways to get the healthy support you need in your daily routine, finding the best choices of herbs for the right occasion can also prove to be both beneficial and tasty. So next time you are at the local market, why not pick up a fresh pack of rosemary, thyme, or oregano.
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