The use of healthy herbs and spices has been used for several decades for numerous different purposes. Many have been used for their medicinal properties well before culinary purposes. Modern science has now shown that many healthy herbs and spices do indeed carry important health benefits.
In this article, we have compiled 10 healthy herbs that you should add to your diet that can serve many various benefits.
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that has been used for thousands of years in Asian cuisine. It’s one of the most researched and has proven health benefits with its ability to help prevent and treat degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease.
The active compounds in turmeric called curcuminoids have anti-inflammatory properties and are thought to help prevent cellular damage associated with aging.
Cinnamon is a small, delicate, bark-like spice that comes from a tropical evergreen tree. It has been used for centuries to treat upset stomachs, cold symptoms, and even bad breath. Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and contains compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. It is also high in fiber and manganese, which help regulate blood sugar levels.
According to studies, cinnamon can reduce fasting blood sugar levels by 10-29% in diabetic patients, which is quite a significant amount.
Cumin is a great source of iron, calcium, fiber, and vitamin E. It’s also a good source of copper and magnesium, two nutrients that are essential for energy production. Studies show cumin is beneficial for weight loss, stress management, cholesterol, and so on.
Cumin seeds can be ground into a powder or added whole to soups, stews, curries, chilies, and dips. They can be sprinkled on popcorn or rice cakes.
Sage is one of the very commonly used healthy herbs, and it’s not hard to see why. Sage has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It’s rich in antioxidants and can help fight inflammation and boost the immune system. It also helps to lower blood sugar levels and even reduce bad cholesterol. You can use sage as an infusion or make it into tea.
In a 4-month study involving 42 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, sage extract added to their diet had significant improvements in brain function.
Peppermint is considered one of the excellent healthy herbs that can improve digestion and aid in settling an upset stomach. You can use peppermint essential oil or fresh peppermint leaves in your cooking or tea. Peppermint is also anti-inflammatory, making it a great addition to any diet.
Modern research shows it is effective in improving cardiovascular and pulmonary health, acting as a bronchodilator.
Echinacea is added to our list of healthy herbs and is commonly used as an immune booster, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties. It may help with hay fever, other respiratory issues, cold sores, and even urinary tract infections. It’s also been shown to boost immunity in cancer patients undergoing treatment.
Oregano is a Mediterranean herb that has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for many ailments. It’s being studied for its antioxidant properties and possible anti-cancer effects, but it’s also known to have antibacterial qualities that can help fight infection. Oregano may help reduce inflammation and relieve pain caused by arthritis and gout, which is why you should add this into your diet as one of the necessary healthy herbs.
Ginger is more than just a spicy root — it’s also an effective remedy against inflammation and pain relief. Ginger contains compounds called gingerols, which block inflammatory cytokines that cause pain in the body. Ginger has also been shown to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, which helps stop the release of prostaglandins involved in inflammatory processes like those associated with asthma or allergies.
Some studies show that ginger may have anti-cancer properties. This is largely due to its high antioxidant levels. Some evidence suggests that it may also slow down the growth of cancer cells, stop cells from dividing, and block certain activator proteins and signaling pathways that contribute to cancer. It should be noted that most of these studies took place in a lab, and more human clinical trials are needed.
Fenugreek is one of the healthy herbs that have a strong taste and smell. It’s traditionally used in Indian cuisine, but it has been used in many other countries as well. Fenugreek has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol as well as reduce inflammation. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, while the seeds are often used as a spice in curries and other Indian dishes.
Basil is a popular kitchen and medicinal herb. The leaves are used in cooking, while the essential oil is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics. Basil has also been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is definitely one of the healthy herbs you should add to your diet.