Spoons filled with herbs and spices

Part 6: Lift Your Spirit — Support Healthy Aging By Adding Herbs & Spices To Your Plate — Try Turmeric

Our ongoing Purposeful Nutrition Series discusses ways to harness the energy of nature, draw it into our daily lives, and become one with it as we age. If you’ve been following along, you know that you can accomplish this by eating food that provides life and energy: Plants!

Eating a rainbow of colors will support your health goals.

You can make every cell in your body glow through the divine energy offered by fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and herbs and spices. Today, let’s focus on the herb and spice powerhouses.

Most people season their food with salt and pepper, but many may not be aware that using a variety of herbs and spices can offer extra flavor and a lengthy list of health benefits. Herbs and spices boast impressive pigment power due to their amazing phytonutrients called flavonoids. The gorgeous kaleidoscope of colors can turn your cooking and dining experience into an enjoyable multi-sensory event.

Technically, there’s a difference between herbs and spices. Herbs come from the leafy part of the plant, and spices come from the non-leafy part of the plant — the root, stem, bulb, bark, flower, and seed. But for the purposes of this article, we don’t need to be overly technical. I’ve combined herbs and spices into one grouping of culinary favorites. Some of the items on our list have been used medicinally, as well. For example, ginger tea has been used for nausea and to improve digestion.

Sample list of culinary herbs and spices:
Cinnamon, sage, turmeric, basil, cayenne pepper, ginger, rosemary, oregano, garlic, nutmeg, cumin, thyme, coriander, dill weed, clove, saffron, peppercorn, cardamom, vanilla, paprika, and many more…

Top benefits of herbs and spices:
Besides adding flavor to your food, herbs and spices contain essential vitamins and minerals; support digestion; enhance mood; and boast antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, and immune-boosting properties. This impressive list of benefits provides many reasons to line the shelves of your spice cabinet with natural flavors. Plan to experiment with a new spice every month.

Check out an article in medicalnewstoday.com called “10 of the healthiest herbs and spices and their health benefits” to get you started.

Feature Focus: Turmeric
Are you planning to include turmeric in your recipes? Then also invite black pepper and fat. Curcumin is the key active component in turmeric that’s responsible for its gorgeous yellow color and its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Piperine, the active compound in black peppercorn, is responsible for its spicy flavor. Curcumin’s bioavailability is enhanced when paired with black pepper. And since turmeric is fat soluble, a healthy fat will boost curcumin’s absorption rate. So when using turmeric in your favorite dishes, sprinkle on a little pepper and add a little coconut oil or olive oil to reap the amazing benefits of curcumin.

The flavor of turmeric is intense, and a little goes a long way. So begin with a dash to 1/8 of a teaspoon, and adjust the amount to your individual liking. If I’m using an orange in my morning smoothie, sprinkling a little turmeric in the blend adds a warm flavor to my drink. Also, turmeric will brighten the color and flavor of your rice dishes.

For recipes and more ideas on using ground or fresh turmeric, check out an article from today.com called “How to cook with turmeric: 16 easy recipes to get you started.”

Remember: Health is an action — we must practice mindful living in order to reach mastery.

Consider This
Herb your enthusiasm! It’s thyme to reflect before you curry on. Ha!

Four Steps to Nourish, Transform and Flourish
• Set a loving intention to add herbs and spices to your plate this week.
• Begin by selecting herbs and spices you like, and find out more about how they are used.
• How will including more colorful choices to your menu improve the quality of your life?
• Close your eyes and visualize how this lifestyle change can prepare you for your amazing second half.  

Need help with meal planning?

It can be challenging to maintain momentum on your own.  My Sprout Your New Life™ course will give you the tools and the strong spiritual foundation to make lasting change in your life.  Click here for more.

In love, peace and health--
Your feminine glow guide,

T. Kari Mitchell, M.Ed.
Motivational Speaker
Certified Holistic Health Coach