IVGID Tip: How to enjoy the taste of eating right | SierraSun.com

IVGID Tip: How to enjoy the taste of eating right

Get creative in the kitchen and use herbs and spices every day.

EDITOR'S NOTE: "Tip of the week" is a periodic feature running in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, in partnership with the Incline Village General Improvement District, providing locals with various tips pertaining to the recreation opportunities and services the district provides.

Pump up the flavor and promote good health by incorporating herbs and spices when you cook. Herbs and spices wake up your taste buds, have health benefits, and can help you enjoy eating healthy.

Fresh herbs and spices contain significantly higher levels of antioxidants than dried. Active compounds degrade over time, so if you have spices in your cupboard from the last decade, it is time to toss them.

Here is a sampling to get you started:

1. Curcumin: Found in turmeric and curry, it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Try turmeric or curry powder in egg salad, chicken and seafood dishes, and add it to water when you cook rice.

2. Cinnamon: This spice has been studied for its antioxidant and antimicrobial effects. Studies have also shown that cinnamon can lower blood glucose levels. Add it to oatmeal, smoothies, or add a cinnamon stick to a cup of tea.

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3. Hot Pepper: Cayenne pepper is a concentrated source of capsaicin. This powerful photochemical gives chilies their heat and may have cancer preventive activity. Capsaicin is also a powerful analgesic and is used in pain relieving ointments and gels. Use it to crank up the heat of salsas, soups and eggs.

4. Garlic: Garlic contains many substances that may have anticancer effects, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and have anti clotting properties.

5. Oregano: This herb has very high antioxidant activity. Add to eggs, dressings, pasta sauces, veggies, and sprinkle on pizza.

6. Ginger: Ginger contains many active compounds including beta-carotene, capsaicin, curcumin, and salicylate. It is now studied for its benefits in reducing nausea and vomiting and relieving pain. Add grated fresh ginger to stir frys, muffins, cooked carrots and smoothies.

7. Rosemary: Rosemary has antioxidant and anti microbial activity from its high polyphenol content. Even its fragrance has been studied for relieving pain and improving mood. Rosemary is wonderful with roasted vegetables and many meat and chicken recipes.

This tip was provided by Jill Whisler, MS, RD, who is an expert in the field of nutrition, fitness, and wellness. She is a registered dietitian through the American Dietetic Association and is available for nutrition counseling at the Incline Village Recreation Center.