Healthy food doesn’t mean bland food. You can reap the long-term health benefits of eating without sacrificing flavor. People who want to increase their intake of nutritious food, or want to shift their diet from fried and fatty options make a mistake of sacrificing taste to change their eating habits.
Fortunately, you can come up with a bunch of healthy options and still end up with a sumptuous meal. You can find healthy recipes online or through other resource materials that include various herbs and spices known to enhance the taste.
To make sure they contain a high nutritional value, here are six ingredients you can spot in recipes. You won’t have to visit a lucky charm store to find to rely on good health.
If you want to add a tinge of sweetness and woody yet delicious scent, you grab a container of cinnamon. The spice has two varieties, Cassia and Ceylon. It also comes in different forms – oil, powder or stick.
The commercialized version and found in most groceries is the Cassia. It is also less expensive than Ceylon. Ceylon, on the other hand, is much difficult to find. However, both spices are still valid as they offer the same benefits.
Cinnamon has antioxidants which fight bacteria, viruses, free radicals and chronic inflammation in joints and muscle tissues. It also stabilizes insulin levels.
Most dessert recipes make use of cinnamon, but you can also add the spice in almost anything.
You may not recognize turmeric and may only be familiar with curry and mustard. You can call it the “cousin of ginger” as the spice has a similar yellow tinge. Its main component is Curcumin, which is also a powerful antioxidant.
Turmeric acts as the cells booster and functions the same as cinnamon. It has a strong taste, and it comes in powdered form. You can try different varieties of coconut curry to have a savory meal. Use Indian and other Southern Asian cuisines as an inspiration to prepare meals.
You can only use the root of the plant but don’t let its appearance fool you. Ginger has been around to provide cures to various ailments. People who grow them in their backyard know how versatile it is when it comes to cooking and medical treatments.
You can juice, dice, pickle or consume it raw. You can also purchase a powder version from the store’s spice racks. Asian countries are abundant in this root crop and mastered different recipes involving the superfood.
If you want an aid for digestive issues, muscle soreness, and cholesterol levels, you can bet that ginger covers it. A slow metabolism can also benefit from a cup of ginger tea.
Rosemary is an evergreen plant similar to mint. Its scent is similar to pine and has a distinct flavor. A sprig of rosemary along with other spices belonging to the same species – basil, mint, oregano, and thyme – recreates original Italian flavors.
Infusing meat marinades and recipes with rosemary provides a positive effect on memory, mood, digestion and cognitive health. It also improves blood circulation.
If you want to reap its benefits, you can infuse dried rosemary with olive oil. Allow it settle for a few days so you can get the whole experience, including the flavor.
The only time you think of consuming cocoa is when you think of grabbing something sweet from the fridge. A bar of chocolate may contain a healthy amount of cacao, but you may not be able to get its full benefits because of the other ingredients in the mix.
Pure cocoa or cacao beans are full of flavonoids. Flavonoid is a type of antioxidant effective in maintaining low cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It also keeps heart arteries clear of blockages and prevents intestinal diseases at bay.
The effectivity of flavonoids depends on the amount of cocoa available on the dish or dessert. Dark chocolate contains higher levels of flavonoids. However, it has a bitter taste compared to sweeter versions or chocolate bars.
Cocoa can come in powder form or by extracting the fat from the cacao beans to produce cocoa butter.
Parsley has myricetin, a type of flavonoid that can counter disease-causing agents in the body, particularly those that contribute to skin cancer. It also decreases insulin resistance that can lower blood sugar levels.
It is also rich in vitamin K. You can achieve the recommended daily intake by consuming ten sprigs of parsley. It’s great if you can crunch it in one sitting, but the spicy, peppery flavor is much better with potatoes, poultry, seafood, egg dishes, tomato-based sauces, and salads.
Fresh parsley is available in the vegetable section of supermarkets. Wash it off, remove the stem and its ready to use, or you can dry it out to achieve a different flavor and texture.
Recipes don’t require spoonfuls of these ingredients. These herbs and spices have a distinct taste. Hence, they may overpower other foodstuffs in the mix.