Herbs and spices add flavours to food. Those who are looking at healthier options, choose herbs and spices! They are better alternatives to sodium-loaded condiments such as table salt, soy sauce, oyster sauce or MSG.
In addition, some herbs and spices are best known for their immune boosting benefits:
Garlic contains a compound called allicin that gives its distinctive smell, taste. It has antiviral properties, which may help to fight off common cold and flu. Meanwhile, it is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, selenium and manganese, which is essential for healthy immune functions.
How to use: Use to flavour foods like salad dressings, marinades, sauces, vegetables, meats, soups and stews.
Thyme, a herb from the mint family, it adds a hint of sweet minty flavour to your dish. It is known for its antibacterial properties and may be blended with water to create a natural cough remedy. Drinking hot thyme tea may alleviate cough and sore throat.
How to use: Use in soup, sauces, stew, marinades and salad dressings or brew into hot thyme tea.
Being one of the immune boosting superstars, onion is not only a quality source of Vitamin C, it also contains quercetin (a kind of flavonoids) that possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Selenium, a trace mineral found in onions, helps to lower oxidative stress in the body.
How to use: Use in pasta, pizza, salad dressings, popcorn and marinades.
Dill is commonly used to elevate flavour of various dishes. Both its seeds and leaves are rich in antioxidants such as terpenoids, flavonoids and tannins. It may protect our body against various diseases. Another antimicrobial and antioxidant compound known as Tannin is also largely present in Dill.
How to use: Use whole or crushed in pickles, bread, soup, vegetable dishes, salad dressings or brew into dill seed tea.
Rosemary is a member of the mint family along with other herbs like oregano, thyme and basil. Its strong lemon-pine aroma and warm bittersweet flavour makes it a great addition into various culinary dishes. It also contains an abundance of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are integral in immune boosting.
How to use: Use in moderate amount for strong flavour meat, marinades or barbecue dishes
* Avoid using too much and cooking for too long as rosemary can overpower the other flavours.
- ‘Lakadong’ turmeric
Typically spotted in Indian cuisine, turmeric possesses antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-aging properties attributed to its curcumin content. Study has shown that curcumin potentially activates cells of the immune system. ‘Lakadong’ turmeric is one of the best varieties and contains higher curcumin (6-7%) than the other of its kind (<5%).
How to use: Add into your food and beverage like curry, rice, soup, oatmeal, milk, smoothie or make into tea.
Cinnamon is a warming spice that has a sweet, pungent and mild bitter aftertaste. Antioxidants found in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to fight against infections and repair damaged body tissues.
How to use: Add into baked goods, porridge, oatmeal, smoothie or brew into tea.
Ginger is a spicy, pungent spice commonly used in Asian cuisine. Its main bioactive compounds, gingerols and shogaols have anti-inflammatory properties that help treat and sooth sore throats. In addition, ginger tea is one of the best home remedy that helps relieve stuffy nose.
How to use: Use as seasonings for dishes or bakery goods, add into juice, milk or make into tea.
- Black pepper
As one of the most commonly used spices worldwide, it has numerous benefits. It has a series of medicinal properties ranging from anti-inflammation, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, antipyretic to immune-enhancement.
How to use: Add into salad dressings, various savoury dishes. (Tip: Black pepper makes a good combination with turmeric as piperine in black pepper enhances curcumin absorption in turmeric.)
Cumin is described to have a strong, nutty and spicy flavour. Its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties help to ward off mild cold and flu. Cumin seeds are also excellent decongestive agents that clear mucus.
How to use: Add into meat dishes, gravies, stews, soups or curry.
Simply Natural Herbs & Spices are sourced directly from Morarka Foundation Rajasthan, India and SEKEM group from Egypt. They are well known for their organic farming method and biodynamic agriculture system. These spices are traditionally enjoyed both domestic as well as in international markets. Proud to work with them, Simply Natural Herb & Spices ensures 100% organic ingredients and are absolutely free from artificial additives or preservatives.