Herbs and seasonings add flavor and taste to meals and offer many health benefits. Fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano, peppermint, parsley, and rosemary soothe your colon, improve concentration, and fight inflammation. They contain essential antioxidants and other nutrients.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs are a great addition to many meals, including soups, sides, and main dishes. Mustard seed, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, and garlic are added to a variety of meals. They also offer health benefits, whether you are on a diet or not. Garlic, for example, helps balance blood sugar levels, high insulin, and high cholesterol. Garlic is high in nutrients such as calcium, vitamin C, and iron and low in cholesterol, trans fat, and saturated fat. It is also a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, and selenium. You can add garlic to different meals, including garlic scape pesto, asparagus with garlic and anchovies, salmon with Brussels sprouts, and others. Cinnamon is also added to many disserts and meals. Cinnamon contains manganese, calcium, dietary fiber, and vitamin K. It is low in sodium and cholesterol. You can add it to different dishes and desserts, for example, low carb pancake crepes, cinnamon thin crackers, cinnamon and vanilla pecans, flax muffins, and others. Ginger is also a spice and an effective diuretic. It helps boost gastric mobility and prevents the absorption of cholesterol. Ginger is a good source of nutrients such as manganese, copper, potassium, and magnesium. It is very low in sodium, cholesterol, and trans fat. You can prepare sautéed chicken with ginger and fresh herbs, ginger scones, ginger glazed salmon, and other dishes and desserts.
Salt and Pepper
Salt and pepper are added to most soups, sides, and main meals. However, many low carb diets recommend using limited amounts of salt. Pepper has many beneficial properties and is added to different dishes. It boosts nutrient absorption, improves digestion, and enhances metabolism. Pepper contains nutrients such as manganese, copper, iron, vitamin K, and dietary fiber.
Other Herbs and Spices
Different spices can be added to stews, soups, casseroles, salads, and main dishes. The spices of choice depend on the meal and cuisine. The Chinese cuisine, for example, uses herbs and spices such as cinnamon, Szechuan pepper, fennel seed, star anise, cloves, and others. The Mexican cuisine is rich in unusual flavors and spices such as chile powder, cinnamon, and cocoa. The Italian cuisine is usually associated with pasta, spaghetti, and other dishes that are high in carbohydrate content. However, there is plenty of choice when it comes to low carb options. Italians use spices such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, and basil. In fact, there is a seasoning mix that is based on these ingredients. Italians use both fresh and dried herbs and spices. The Greek cuisine is based on seafood, olives, fresh vegetables, dairies, olive oil, and fresh herbs. Spices that are commonly used include curry, cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom. Other spices to use include cloves, anise, pepper, nutmeg, mustard powder, and saffron. In Greek cooking, spices are used to add flavor to different dishes and desserts. Cinnamon, for example, is used to make candies, custards, sausages, meat sauces, and roasts. Cardamom is used to prepare fish marinades, lemon cakes, and salty and sweet pastries. Coriander is used to make stuffed cabbage, cakes, mushrooms, pork, and more. Other spices that are associated with Greek cooking include vanilla, sumac, mastic, and Mahlab. The Japanese cuisine uses different toppings, pastes, sauces, and condiments and spices. The basic spices are soy sauce, rice vinegar, and mirin. Soy sauce is made from salt, water, roasted grain, and soybeans. Soy sauce is a keeper if you are on a low carb diet. The same goes for sauces, dips, and dressings such as pesto, capers, sugar-free dressings, and salsas. Check the nutrition label if using Worcestershire sauce or rice wine vinegar.
For more information on herbs and spices visit: http://www.expatrecipe.com/spices-herbs/
For more information on low carb visit: http://www.lowcarbfoods.org/