Dried herbs and spices can pack a punch of 10 x the antioxidant power of nuts and seeds. Just a small sprinkle added to your favorite dish can go a long way.
Lets look at a simple example with a dish commonly found at the dinner table, spaghetti and marinara sauce. This doesn’t give you much in the antioxidant area, maybe around 60 (thanks to the tamatos). Substitute spaghetti for whole grain spaghetti and add some carrots or mixed veg to your sauce and you can shoot that number up to around 150 (Veggie depending). However, add a sprinkle of dried oregano to the dish and BAM – You have yourself a meal of around 260 antioxidant count, and the extra flavor. With little to no effort you have increased the nutritional value of your spaghetti dish 300%.
How about breakfast. Take your morning oatmeal/granola (Or whatever your cereal of choice is) adding half a teaspoon of cinnamon can increase the antioxidant count by 100 units, just from a bit of cinnamon. Want to increase that too? Try sprinkling some nutmeg and a tiny dash of clove (Clove has a strong flavor so only a dash is needed) to your oatmeal and you have taken your breakfast from an original count of 16 to around 180. Wow, what a start to the day.
Try adding a tea spoon of cinnamon and a dash of clove to your mashed or roasted sweet potato and immediately you have yourself a side dish or snack with the antioxidant power of 240 – More than most Americans get in a day, and this was only 1 side dish.
*Statistics show people who follow the Standard American Diet (a.k.a SAD diet) consume around a total of 50 antioxidants a day. Shocker!
Whatever you are cooking, ask yourself, “How can I make this dish healthier?” it may be as simple as adding a dash of dried herbs and spices.
Here is a list of some of the most antioxidant rich herbs and spices per teaspoon:
Oregano 154 (Great on veggies, pizza, pasta)
Cinnamon 200 (Add to your breakfast, coffee, etc)
Marjoram 240 (Great on veggies, pizza, pasta)
All Spice 261 (Add to apples, baked desserts)
Lemon Balm 326 (Makes a lovely tea)
Peppermint 418 (make tea, sprinkle on salad)
Clove 721 (Add a dash to breakfast cereal, curries)
My absolute favorite herbs and spices I incorporate into my daily meals are:
Paprika (Smoked Spanish paprika is my preferred spice)
Need simple ideas on how to increase the nutritional value of your meals? Contact me so together we can spice up your life and unleash an UNLIMITED YOU!
Recommended Reading: The Antioxidant Food Table