There was a time when spices were the most valuable thing in the world. Ships traversed treacherous oceans to get them. Wars were fought to retain them. Colonies were created to grow them. Yep, people became extremely food focused the moment we could visit new continents. And the food of choice has always been spices. They probably hated bland chicken breasts just as much as you do. This means foodie culture isn’t anything new, it’s just adapted and we’re still not aware just how powerful spices are for health. If you think spices all about flavor, you’re wrong. A paper in the British Medical Journal found eating spicy food regularly was linked to a lower risk of dying. This doesn’t mean you’ll clock up your hundredth birthday if you’re getting heavy handed with the rosemary. Instead, spices, when eaten regularly over time, expose your body to bioactive elements that improve your health. Just how they do this is incredible, because spices help fight a centuries old conundrum.
Spices To The Flame
Inflammation is the curse of modern living. It creeps into every part of you and when it permeates through your entire body then it gives a foothold for disease to grow. Whether you get inflammation from your stress-heavy job, pollution or poor lifestyle choices, there’s almost no way to get away from it. Fortunately, spices do offer a reprieve because a paper in The Journal of Nutrition found adding just six grams of spices to a meal that was high in fat and carbs created lower levels of inflammation, hours later. The research was done on obese people who didn’t change a single thing about their life. It was just the addition of the spices that helped them get just a little healthier, despite the poor lifestyle choices. Just a word the Colonels secret blend of spices don’t count towards these six grams.
Choose No MSG
If you absolutely love a spice or flavoring of something that you simply can’t put down, there’s a good chance it’s got some MSG hidden inside it. It tastes damn delicious but comes with a brutal cost. It can make you gain weight, trigger an asthma attack and even saddle you with a little neurotoxicity. Yum. If you’ve ever suffered with a headache, sweating, nausea or chest pain after a meal from a restaurant then there’s a good chance the cook gave your meal a few sprinkles of MSG. You probably loved the meal as you ate it, but it came with a brutal price. When buying a spice blend make sure none of this acronym is present. It’s not something you need in the home.
Go Low Sodium
Spice blends should always be low sodium because you can always add salt but can’t always remove it. It’s far too easy to have too much sodium in your diet, especially if you’re partial to eating out, so the spice blends you eat at home should be low in this mineral.
Go Gluten Free
You might love gluten. Hell, it can taste delicious. However, you never know who will show up for dinner or if the people you’re cooking for can have an adverse reaction to it. Most people can tolerate it, but there’s no need for gluten to be present in your spice blend. It should be nothing but the spices and flavorings that add value to our health.
When scouting for the spices that’ll make your boring chicken breast jump off the plate and into your mouth, always be sure to shop this three-point check list in mind. That way you can enjoy all the flavor while improving your chances of living to a ripe old age.
Photo by Pratiksha Mohanty on Unsplash.