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Weekly Wisdom

Topic 29:

GET SPICY!

Herbs and spices do more than add flavor to food. They let you cut down on some less-healthy ingredients such as table salt, added sugars, and saturated fat, and some have inherent health benefits! In India, where spices tend to be used by the handful, incidences of diet-related diseases like heart disease and cancer have long been low. But, when Indians adopt a more Western eating pattern, the rates of those diseases rise. We can put some of the blame on the meatier, fattier nature of Western diets, but it’s also believed that the lack of spices means a loss of protection those spices were conveying. Pretty much all spices are approved on plan, just make sure you read the label on the back for hidden sugars. What are the healthiest spices to eat? Here are some suggestions:

  • Chili Peppers: may help boost metabolism due to capsaicin, the compound that gives chilies and spices like cayenne and chipotle their kick.
  • Ginger: may help soothe an upset stomach and fight arthritis pain. It’s packed with inflammation-fighting compounds such as gingerols.
  • Cinnamon: may help stabilize blood sugar. Some studies show that it can lower post-meal blood sugar spikes.
  • Turmeric: May help fight inflammation and inhibit tumors thanks to a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to relieve pain, and preliminary studies have shown that it suppresses enzymes that activate carcinogens.
  • Saffron: may help lift your mood and may lessen the symptoms of PMS and depression.
  • Parsley: may help inhibit breast cancer-cell growth thanks to the compound apigenin.
  • Sage: may help preserve memory and soothe sore throats.
  • Rosemary: may help enhance mental focus and fight foodborne bacteria.

-Kerri-Ann Jennings, “8 of the World’s Healthiest Spices & Herbs You Should be Eating”, Eating Well,Nov 23, 2001

Live life with a little spice!

Did you know?

Inhaling cinnamon essential oil can possibly help keep cravings away and has the potential to make you feel full faster.

Recipe of the Week!

BBQ Spicy Shrimp

Ingredients:
1 lb med shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tail shell intact
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cajun seasoning
½ Tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
2 packets Stevia
1 lemon or lime, sliced in wedges for garnish
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, toss together the shrimp with the olive oil, Cajun seasoning, Stevia and chopped chipotles in adobo sauce. Mix well to fully coat.
2. Cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
3. Barbecue shrimp until they curl up and turn pink.