Sunday, November 16, 2008

Warming Winter Spices

Aromatic, flavorful herbs and spices add to the delicious taste and health benefits of The Fat Resistance Diet. We use many of these generously throughout our book. In addition, you can add these to meals, snacks and beverages as you like. Their warming effects feel especially good in winter. Here are some of the superstars:


Turmeric


This mild Indian spice has been scientifically studied for its protective effects against inflammation and cancer. Turmeric’s health benefits and yellow color are due to a group of flavonoids called curcuminoids. Medicinal uses of turmeric include the healing of stomach ulcers and the relief of oxidative, free-radical stress in patients with inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and cancer of the colon. Turmeric powder is readily available in the spice section of most supermarkets. Add a few shakes of it to soups and stews, or try the recipes in The Fat Resistance Diet.

Ginger

The tangy taste of ginger adds zest to soups and sauces. Sliced or grated, ginger awakens the flavors of meat, chicken and fish and contains some of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory substances known. Ginger extracts and teas have been used to treat arthritis, vertigo, migraine headaches and various digestive problems, especially nausea. Buy ginger either as whole ginger root (refrigerated, in the vegetable isle) or as powder (in the spice section).

Cinnamon, cardamon and cloves

The sweetness of cinnamon blends nicely with almost any food or beverage. We like it in oatmeal, applesauce, yogurt and tea. Powdered cinnamon, about a half teaspoon a day, may prevent diabetes or reduce blood sugar in adults who have diabetes. One study found that cinnamon reduced levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in people with type 2 diabetes. Our recipe for Slim Chai Tea combines green tea with cinnamon and two other warming winter spices: cardamom and cloves. In experimental studies, cinnamon and cardamom were found to prevent cancer in animals and to enhance detoxification by the liver. Cloves owe their piquant flavor to eugenol, a potent anti-inflammatory phenolic.

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