Spice Up Your Life in the New Year

Spice Up Your Life in the New Year

As we all head into this bright, shiny new year, many of you have probably started a New Year’s Resolution list, or even just thought about some ways to begin incorporating healthier habits into your routine.

Most of the time “EATING HEALTHIER” is in big, bold letters right at the top of our lists. And while all of us should make an effort to get more of those nutritious vegetables, fruits, and whole grains into our diet, there is another way to start eating healthier that you might not have crossed your mind.

Start cooking with more spices and herbs!

Increasing the herbs and spices in your diet will not only add some excitement and flavor to the healthier food you have resolved to cook, but can also add medicinal and nutritional value to your meals.

Herbal medicine had been used in many different cultures around the world for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. Unfortunately, the American cuisine does not often utilize herbs and spices in dishes and because of this, we understand very little of the health benefits they promote.

The term “herb” is technically defined as a plant without a woody stem, however, the term has also come to describe any plant or plant part that is used for medicinal purposes. Herbs are typically derived from the leaves and stems of the plant.

Spices, on the other hand, are any plant product that has aromatic properties or is used to flavor foods. Most spices are derived from the bark, fruit, seed or other parts of herbs, trees, and shrubs.

Although these are the technical definitions, many herbs can be used to flavor foods and most spices have medicinal properties, so the terms can often be interchangeable.