20 Anti-Aging Herbs and Spices to Add to Your Diet Now

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Among other
things, the holidays are a time of national dysnutrition: the disease
of excess. Dysnutrition happens even in the most developed countries
when food is plentiful but the overall diet is based on eating all
the wrong balance of foods. Sound familiar? The typical American
diet that is high in simple carbohydrates – white flour, white
salt, and processed food – is aging us. We are getting all
the bulk without the nutrients, plus adding to our propensity for
developing real food cravings. So whether you are a vegetarian or
an omnivore, you can start to reverse aging by simply choosing to
eat the right foods to keep you full of vim, vigor, and vitality,
especially over the holidays.

The easiest
way to make sure you are getting more nutrients into every meal,
even when you are grazing at the office cocktail party or the neighborhood
potluck dinner is by choosing foods that are loaded with spices.
Every time you flavor your meals with herbs or spices you are literally
"upgrading" your food without adding a single calorie.
You are taking something ordinary and turning it into something
extraordinary by adding color, flavor, vitamins, and often medicinal
properties. Here’s why:

Spices and
herbs maximize nutrient density.

Herbs and spices contain antioxidants, minerals and multivitamins.
At the cocktail party, choose the Thai chicken satay stick over
the tried and true fried chicken strip.

and herbs create a more thermogenic diet.
Because spices are
nutrient dense, they are thermogenic, which means they naturally
increase your metabolism. As your metabolism revs higher you will
burn more of the food you have already eaten as fuel, and store
less as body fat. At the dinner party, finish off the meal with
coffee or tea sprinkled with cinnamon, which contains dozens of

Some spices
and herbs increase your overall feeling of fullness and satiety,
so you’ll eat less.

One study conducted at Maanstricht University in the Netherlands
showed that when one consumes an appetizer with half a teaspoon
of red pepper flakes before each meal, it decreased their calorie
intake by 10–16%. If you’re planning a holiday menu, think
of starting with a tomato soup sprinkled with red pepper.

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29, 2010

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