There are many examples of where small things can make a difference, such as the impact of a bright smile! Herbs and spices may be small things, but they too, can pack a nutrient punch. Among the benefits of using herbs and spices is that they provide antioxidants. These plant chemicals may play a role in helping prevent conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular conditions. Herbs and spices also serve as a salt substitute, making it easier to reduce sodium consumption.
The American Dietetic association (ADA) recommends that herbs and spices be used in place of salt to flavour and season food.
Why not try herbs, spices and seasonings that may be new to you? For instance, add dry mustard to lean mince for burgers or sprinkle chopped coriander on steamed vegetables.
Remember that all herbs and spices should be used in moderate amounts. Studies are exploring the therapeutic benefits of many herbs and spices, but much is yet to be learned about their effectiveness and safety.
The first of the ten South African Food Based Dietary Guidelines encourages all South Africans to eat a variety of foods so it is more important to eat a “super diet” than to concentrate on individual “super foods”. Eating a variety of herbs and spices can certainly help you to have a super diet!
Look out for some nifty ideas in the next blog entry on using common spices and herbs in new interesting ways.