Most of us know that eating fresh whole foods is good for us, but it can be hard to come up with new and exciting flavor combinations. Rest assured, eating whole foods never has to be bland or boring. Instead of using store-bought condiments (which are usually chock full of sugar and additives) to liven up your meal, why not explore the wonderful world of spices?
Spices add both flavor and nutritional value to your meals — and they are Cleanse-friendly to boot! Here are some of my favorites spices, and some recipes to get started.
I think of garlic as nature’s antibiotic — so if you feel an illness coming on, be sure to use it widely. I enjoy adding it to veggie stir-fries, on roasted chicken, or simply sautéed with organic spinach and extra-virgin olive oil. It can also be used in dry-rub spice blends.
This powerhouse spice is a strong anti-inflammatory that can reduce nausea and boost your immune system. I love having a cup of ginger tea before I eat to get my digestive juices flowing. It’s also wonderful in a green smoothie or as a component to so many dishes, including this Spicy Spinach and Mushrooms recipe.
A powerful anti-inflammatory, turmeric can be used to make tea — I find turmeric tea to be a soothing drink before bed — or in any number of cooked dishes, including this Indian-inspired vegetable curry. I also supplement with curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, in order to maximize the health benefits. Try our Be Well Curcumin Supplement, in addition to trying your hand at cooking with turmeric.
Packing 80 bioavailable minerals, sea salt (specifically Pink Himalayan sea salt), is an incredible addition to my meals. Ditch conventional table salt (here’s why), and you’ll receive great quality and taste with just a few twists. I sprinkle sea salt on top of wild canned salmon on salad and also rub it on cruciferous veggies with extra-virgin olive oil before baking. Once you experience sea salt, you’ll never want low-quality table salt again.
Paired with other spices, as in this roasted salmon dish with mustard and dill, freshly cracked black pepper helps to boost your immune system and metabolism and ward off illness. It also helps to make the active compounds in turmeric more bioavailable. I love adding it to eggs, or as an ingredient in delicious salad dressing, like this lemon vinaigrette.
Last, but certainly not least, cinnamon is by far the most-used spice in my cupboard (I buy the Ceylon variety). Cinnamon is an excellent support for lowering blood sugar and inflammation. I love adding it to smoothies, chia seed pudding, on top of berries, and even to roasted sweet potatoes.
I’m all about creating “win/win” scenarios in my diet, and utilizing spices — which are both delicious and nutritious — accomplishes just that. There are so many other healing spices out there, so be sure to go where your palate takes you!