You know that feeling of dissatisfaction when you’re either at home or out to eat and you’re ready to indulge in that first bite of food of which looked full of flavor but instead after that first bite you mutter “pass the salt”? And oh hey! While we’re at it, let’s talk about the even worse feeling when the food still tastes so plain that you gotta pull a “pass the pepper”. Before you know it your food is covered in more salt and pepper than George Clooney’s head! You try to boost the flavor as much as you can but you realize it’s a lost cause. Your food was most likely plain from the start due to the lack of variety in ingredients and spices, so next time this happens to you at a restaurant pass some oregano, cayenne and basil the chef’s way because he needs it! Actually, so do you! Not only do spices add flavor but they add nutritional value and can boost your metabolism! Here’s some of the top few spices that are used to enhance your meal’s nutritional value along with how to consume it/what it goes good with.
1.) Cinnamon: This is one that I personally utilize the most and consume pretty much every day, in fact I had a little cinnamon shaker in my dorm room. It’s very easy to pair with, I add it to my oatmeal instead of brown sugar, and also to tea, coffee, and if I want to fight a sweet tooth I’ll cut up a banana and top it with honey and cinnamon. I am a big fan of the honey and cinnamon combo because it’s so tasty but turns out it also fight arthritis pain! Cinnamon is a natural remedy to headaches and migraines! It also stabilizes blood sugar, which is great for weight loss!
2.) Oregano: Another easy one to pair, I use this for eggs, pasta sauce, salad, tofu, quinoa, grilled tomatoes and much more. You can pretty much trust that oregano with pair nicely with any savory or salty-like dish. Nutrition expert Dr. Bazilian says that “one teaspoon has as much antioxidant power as three cups of chopped broccoli (but don’t ditch the broccoli- have both!)” It’s among the highest in antioxidants of dried herbs!
3.) Cayenne: This one is a hit or miss for some people, because spicy food is not everyone’s cup of tea. But did you know that this spicy food can be a cup of tea? Combined with lemon juice and honey, it is an excellent morning beverage for a total detox. But besides that if this spice is too spicy for you try adding a pinch of it to similar foods that you would combine oregano with, such as eggs. Also, it goes great with avocado! I personally love Cayenne, I try to sneak it into foods as much as possible to get all of the many benefits that it obtains. Studies show that those who had cayenne pepper in their breakfast had less of an appetite and therefore less caloric intake throughout the day. Cayenne is also a great metabolic booster, and aids in burning excess amounts of fats.
4.) Sea salt: While salt should not be over used, it has many health benefits! Sea salt even more so than table salt, since it is obtained directly through the evaporation of seawater. It is usually not processed so it still has minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium and other nutrients! It is effective in reducing inflammation in the respiratory system. Most surprising of all, sea salt can also help you lose weight by creating digestive juices so the foods you eat are digested faster.
So next time you are cooking and you come across a step in your directions that says to “add salt to taste” don’t stop there! Think of all of the benefits you can get from just a pinch of one of your favorite spices! Also get creative with it and think of all the ways you can incorporate these spices and what you can replace with spices such as salad dressing, sugar, and table salt! Make a habit of using these super ingredients and spice it up!
“It’s a good day to have a good day!”
-Alena Purpero ♡