Culinary herbs and spices are edible parts of plants that are traditionally added to dishes and drinks. Some do not use them, others do not represent their diet without them, and still, others try to be treated with their help.
We figured out what the benefits of culinary spices and herbs are and how best to consume them.
What are herbs and spices?
Grasses are soft green or flowering parts of plants. They are used fresh or dried.
Spices or california herbs and spices are obtained from seeds, bark, roots and other parts of plants. For consumption, they are dried and ground.
Different parts of the same plant can relate to both herbs and spices. For example, coriander or celery leaves are herbs, and their seeds are spices.
What are herbs and spices useful for?
The main value of herbs and spices is to give food a taste, aroma, and appearance. They are not a necessary part of a balanced healthy diet but will help to diversify it.
Help diversify the diet
Using herbs and spices is a good tool when switching to a healthier diet. At the same time, we can give the dishes a new taste, minimizing sugar and salt.
Sugar in porridge or pastries can be replaced with cinnamon, and instead of salt add pepper and bay leaf to the soup.
May improve well-being
Some culinary herbs and spices contain substances that can have a beneficial effect on well-being, as some studies show.
For example, cinnamon can help lower blood sugar and have an antioxidant effect.
Curcumin – a component of turmeric – exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Some researchers suggest that ginger root may help cope with nausea, inflammation, and pain; garlic – lower blood pressure; Cayenne pepper and chili pepper – increase metabolism by increasing the thermal effect of food.
Herbs and spices (for example, black and allspice, mint, mustard seeds, garlic, etc.) contain polyphenols and alkaloids, which can exhibit antibacterial, antifungal properties. In traditional cooking, they are used as preservatives for products.
Scientists note that reliable data on the properties of culinary herbs and their components are still not enough.
Culinary herbs and spices are not suitable for treatment and are not medicinal herbs. For recreational purposes, parts of plants are taken only under the supervision of a doctor.
How best to use herbs and spices?
Experiment with different tastes and combinations, but follow the measure in the number of herbs and spices for one meal/per day.
As a seasoning for dishes
Combine herbs and spices with whole foods rich in nutrients – they are the basis of a healthy diet.
Sometimes arrange days without seasonings and salt to increase the sensitivity of the taste buds and to taste the taste of dishes and seasonings brighter after the return of additives.
For the preparation of herbal drinks
Herbal teas can be drunk year-round. In summer, like refreshing drinks, in the cold season – to keep warm and maintain energy levels.
For example, chamomile tea is known for its soothing properties, and rosehip infusion contains vitamin C and antioxidants.
To brew herbal teas, use water at 70–80°C to preserve their beneficial properties. Black tea leaves can be omitted or added very little.
When to use caution when using herbs and spices?
When introducing unusual herbs or spices into the diet, study their properties. For example, on the website of the American National Health Center. Try new herbs and spices gradually: start with a pinch and watch the body react. Remember that they can cause allergies.
Do not use herbs and spices for babies without consulting a doctor, carefully use in the diet of children, pregnant and lactating women.
Culinary herbs and spices should not be used to treat any disease. But for people who adhere to a healthy diet, they can be very useful: they diversify the menu, help you find new flavor variations, reduce the consumption of salt, sugar and other industrial additives and sauces.