A Window into Healthy Cuisine: Spices, Seasonings, and Flavorings
Things you may not know about the spices we use in the kitchen every day.
Uses and qualities: A paste made from ground mustard seeds is very healthy. In organic quality, it is mostly only flavored with good quality vinegar, salt and spices. In non-organic quality it often comes with many additives. Among other effects, mustard seeds heat the body up, can stop the hiccups and are good food preservatives (they prevent bacteria and fungi from growing).
Uses and qualities: Cumin is great for seasoning potato-based foods and bread dough. It prevents flatulence.
Uses and qualities: An excellent source of healthy carotenoids, vitamin C and great taste. We recommend using paprika spice in organic quality, as well as all the other spices described here.
Uses and qualities: Pepper can make spicy dishes milder and sweet dishes spicier, be it salads, dressings, fresh pasta, meats, fish or even gingerbread. Pepper goes well with just about anything. It is best when ground or crushed just before using because the aroma is very short-lasting. Pepper is also a natural antibiotic.
Uses and qualities: Chili speeds up the metabolism very effectively – its abundance in Asian foods is sometimes stated as the reason why so few people in Asia are overweight.
The spicy flavor of chili is caused by the presence of an alkaloid called capsaicin. It can be dangerous in concentrated form and in some very spicy chili peppers it can even evoke a burning sensation not only on the tongue but also on the naked skin.
In reasonable concentrations, however, it has many positive effects on the human body. Among the main ones would be the already mentioned speeding up of the metabolism, which is invaluable mainly for athletes, because it prevents the body from storing undesirable fats.
But its other attribute – great blood circulation support – is also very beneficial because it increases blood supply to the muscles during physical stress. Apart from that, thanks to capsaicin molecules, chili peppers also destroy harmful bacteria.
They can be bought in organic and ‘fair trade’ quality, but they are fairly easy to grow and dry at home too.
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