Herbs don't have to be a snoozefest. Really -- they're a fun way to flavor up food without adding tons of fat and calories! Read on for the 411...
Facts 'n Stats: This yummy, sweet spice is an herb action hero! Known to have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it's also a great source of magnesium, fiber, and calcium (those help to keep you feeling full and your bones strong). Recent studies suggest cinnamon can help control blood sugar levels, which could potentially make it a diabetic's dream spice. And research has shown that cinnamon (when sniffed or eaten) may boost brain function. So, spice up your diet with cinnamon for a cleaner, less inflamed, sugar-controlled, smarter YOU!
Facts 'n Stats: Not only does this herb fend off bad bacteria, it's also one of the most antioxidant-packed foods around! It's full of nutrients including fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, and even omega-3 fatty acids (who knew?!). And these nutrients can stabilize cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Tips 'n Tricks: Oregano isn't just for pizza (although it does ROCK on pizza)! Toss some into your morning omelette, add some to chunky chili (like HG's Bocalicious Chili), or sprinkle chicken and fish dishes with the stuff.
The Miracles of Mint
Facts 'n Stats: People have long associated peppermint with its tummy-soothing, muscle-relaxing abilities. But mint also helps alleviate allergy symptoms. Plus, it's packed with disease-fighting vitamins A and C, fiber, iron, and B vitamins.
Tips 'n Tricks: A sprig of fresh mint gives fruity dishes a fun touch. Add some to fresh fruit, fruit smoothies and nonfat yogurt, or try some with our Super-Simple Sorbet! Also try adding it to low-cal beverages like sugar-free lemonade and flavored water or seltzer!
The Basics of Basil
Facts 'n Stats: Basil's got a lot in common with two unexpected others: dark chocolate and aspirin. Like dark cocoa, basil's packed with flavonoids that offer valuable cellular protection to your body. And just like aspirin, basil has an anti-inflammatory effect, which can ease pain caused by arthritis, intestinal problems and a slew of other health issues. It's also a rich source of vitamin K, a disease-fighting powerhouse. Go, basil!
Facts 'n Stats: Red peppers are loaded with vitamin A, which is known to protect the body from infection. Pepper is also known for its pain-relieving properties and energy-boosting ability. Plus, cayenne can alleviate flu symptoms like nasal congestion (if you don't believe us, try taking a giant whiff of the stuff next time your nose is stuffed up!).
Tips 'n Tricks: Our favorite use for this spicy seasoning is to up the heat in Mexican dishes. Use some in recipes for guilt-free nachos, layered dips, and even add it to homemade cheese sauce! It also adds some unexpected spice to otherwise ordinary chicken and fish dishes. And try adding it to the 'breadcrumb' mix in our fiber-fried foods, like our popcorn shrimp and chicken strips. Hot stuff!
CHEW ON THIS: April 27th is National Prime Rib Day. Prime rib is often served in huge pieces and it's also a fairly fatty cut. An average serving can contain 1,000 calories or more, so be careful!
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