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World’s Healthiest Herbs and Spices

These five flavorful ingredients are standouts not just for taste, but for their many well-documented health benefits.

| September/October 2015

  • Cloves are among the top 50 foods with the highest antioxidant levels, which makes them perfect for helping prevent heart disease and cancer.
    Photo by iStock
  • Add distinct flavors and an array of health benefits to each meal with these herbs.
    Photo by iStock
  • Garlic is an excellent prebiotic that supports healthy digestive function.
    Photo by Fotolia
  • Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been proven to protect against almost all bodily disorders.
    Photo by thinkstock

It’s solid health advice that we should all be eating lots of vegetables, but another group of health superstars in our kitchens tends to receive less attention. Pound for pound, some of the most nutritious and antioxidant-rich plants on the planet are humble culinary herbs. Plenty of research backs up the powerful nutrition of these plants. What’s even better? Some of the healthiest culinary herbs offer distinctive flavors that can amp up the quality of our meals.

Along with supporting general good health, eating herbs and spices regularly may help improve mental function and reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other major health issues.

Chances are many of the world’s healthiest herbs and spices are already in your kitchen. While we couldn’t possibly list all the healthful culinary herbs, here’s a short list of standouts. These five culinary herbs are backed up by a lot of recent research, which shows a wide range of health benefits.

And here’s a bonus: These herbs are all widely used in world cuisine, especially in recipes from Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean. If you want to eat more of any of these herbs, you’ll find plenty of inspiration by looking for cookbooks featuring foods from India, China, Italy or Morocco. 

Healthy Herbed Recipes

Vegetable & Lentil Bulgur Recipe
Fall Squash, Lime Bean & Mushroom Cobbler Recipe
Rogan Mushrooms Recipe

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