More than just a colorful garnish, paprika is a delicious spice that boasts many health benefits! Paprika is originally from South America although it is commonly used in many Spanish and Hungarian meals. It’s taste can range anywhere from smoked to sweet to very hot! I personally love using the Smoked Spanish Paprika from My Spice Sage. Yum! Paprika is typically sold in powdered form and is actually a ground pepper similar to bell peppers and chili! This tasty spice is loaded with vitamin C, a nutrient that is important for keeping our immune system strong and aiding in the absorption of iron. Paprika also contains an antibacterial protein to help keep those “bad bugs” at bay. In addition to it’s antibacterial properties, paprika can aid in improving circulation in the body. This is important for maintaining a healthy heart and normalizing blood pressure. Paprika can also improve digestion by stimulating the production of saliva and stomach acids.
– Paprika is the national spice in Hungary and is enjoyed it a variety of dishes including goulash, chicken paprikash, cheese, eggs, fish and pasta salad.
– The capsaicin found in paprika has anti-inflammatory properties, which can ease arthritis and joint pain.
Did you know that the Greeks and Romans thought of dill as a sign of wealth and held it in high regard for it’s healing properties? Dill not only adds flavor to your dishes but it has amazing health benefits. Dill is full of volatile oils and phytonutrients that fight-off “bad” bacteria in our bodies. Due to it’s rich content of antioxidants, dill destroys disease-causing free radicals while boosting our immune system. In addition to it’s antibacterial properties, dill has been shown to offer antimicrobial protection, preventing the overgrowth of bacteria. It is a very good source of iron, manganese, dietary fiber and calcium. Add some dill to your Greek yogurt, fish dishes, or salad dressing!
Thyme is everywhere! Did you know that there are over 100 hundred varieties of thyme of these little herb? The one thing that they all have in common is the volatile oil called thymol, a powerful antiseptic that kills harmful germs. If you ever get a nasty cough or a sore throat, try brewing some dried thyme leaves as a strong tea. You can even add a little raw honey for some more powerful nutrients. Thyme has also been shown to help prevent tooth decay and cold sores, making it a dream herb for dentists! This herb is also known to help prevent cancer, ulcers, and heart attacks. It is also a dream-herb for those trying to slow the signs of aging. Thyme pairs well with basil, bay leaf, rosemary and sage. It is a delicious addition to casseroles, sauces, chicken and fish dishes. Check out the fabulous thyme from MySpiceSage.com. You will love it!
– Dried thyme can be used in potpourris to repel moths!
– Studies have shown that by adding thyme to a high-fat diet can reduce the the formation of blood clots, a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
References:Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal. Sterling Publishing Co, 2011. New York, NY.
Did you know that allspice is a common flavor found in ketchup, barbecue sauces, and even chewing gum? This spice also adds flavor to some liqueurs and Mexican chocolate. Allspice has a peppery kick to it which makes it a great spice to add to a variety of dishes. It pairs well with a variety of other spices including cumin, cinnamon, onion, and oregano. Studies have shown that allspice may help with high blood pressure and certain menopause problems. This spice is loaded with antioxidants that help to fight cell oxidative damage and it aids in boosting the immune system. It has anesthetic and analgesic properties which makes it a great spice for offering some pain relief. When used as an essential oil, allspice has been found to help with sore muscles. It’s antifingal properties make it a great spice for relieving athletes foot (just sprinkle the spice in-between the toes).
FAST FACT: Allspice is used in many Jamaican dishes, including delicious jerk chicken!