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Top 4 Superfood Spices - Ginger, Oregano, Basil, Garlic

Spices, fruits, and vegetables; tomatoes, onions, peppers, coconut, chickpeas, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, oregano

There Are 4 Superfoods You Probably Have in Your House Right Now!

You may have heard the term superfoods lately; let's dig in and see what it means. These superfoods have a balanced amount of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that will help nourish and nurture your body with high nutritional value. There are no rules to classify what is or isn’t a superfood, but they are typically plant-based. This blog will focus on herbs that have been regarded as superfoods throughout history.

Most herbs come in the superfood category, packed with antioxidants and minerals. Herbs, as food, provide the body with various nutrients that are usually unavailable in the average diet. Some of the most beneficial herbs are garlic, ginger, oregano, and basil.  Let's talk a little about the health advantages of these herbs.

Ginger

Ginger is a flowering plant native to Southeast Asia. It is one of the healthiest spices in the world and is used in various forms. It's a popular ingredient in many recipes. One of the main bioactive compounds in ginger is gingerol. Studies have shown that gingerol has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. For example, it helps reduce oxidative stress, which results from excessive amounts of free radicals in the body.

Interestingly, ginger helps relieve nausea and vomiting. A review of 12 studies involving 1,278 pregnant women found that 1.1 to 1.5 grams of ginger can considerably reduce signs of nausea. Some other health benefits of ginger include weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and treating chronic indigestion. 

Oregano

In Greek, oros means mountains, and ganos mean joy. The Greeks and Romans associate oregano with bliss and euphoria. It’s primarily used in Mediterranean cuisine to enhance the flavor. People use oregano as a dietary supplement and aromatic oil. Similar to ginger, it has antioxidants that help eliminate free radicals from the body. Oregano also helps improve muscle aches, cramping, diarrhea, and regulating blood sugar and lipids.

Images of herbs such as ginger, oregano, basil, garlic

Basil

One of humankind's oldest herbs, basil's healing, and health-promoting properties are among the most valuable knowledge in the world. Here are some facts that you may not have known. The benefits of basil leaves range from a healthy gut to an improved immune system. Basil strengthens the digestive and nervous systems and is an excellent remedy for headaches and insomnia.

The eugenol in the basil leaves has an anti-inflammatory effect on the digestive tract. This can help people with IBS and IBD. Basil also helps balance acidity and restore the proper pH balance in the body. Basil contains two important water-soluble antioxidants: orientin and vicenin. These powerful antioxidants strengthen the immune system and protect cell structure and DNA, enhancing longevity.

Garlic

Garlic belongs to the leek family and contains phytochemicals such as allicin and organic sulfur compounds. These phytochemicals (or botanical compounds) are great for heart health, immune support, and reducing inflammation. Garlic stimulates nitric oxide synthesis, which helps dilate the blood vessels and inhibits the activity of ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme). Garlic also helps lower blood pressure and reduce blood cholesterol.

These easy-to-use superfoods have many advantages. Most recipes have one or more of these ingredients already in them or one will make a great addition while adding some flavor!

Resources
  • Han, X., & Parker, T. L. (2017). Anti-inflammatory, tissue remodeling, immunomodulatory, and anticancer activities of oregano (Origanum vulgare) essential oil in a human skin disease model. Biochimie Open, 4, 73-77.
  • Mashhadi, N. S., Ghiasvand, R., Askari, G., Hariri, M., Darvishi, L., & Mofid, M. R. (2013). Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: review of current evidence. International journal of preventive medicine, 4(Suppl 1), S36.
  • Morihara, N., Sumioka, I., Moriguchi, T., Uda, N., & Kyo, E. (2002). Aged garlic extract enhances production of nitric oxide. Life Sciences, 71(5), 509-517.
  • Nisar, M. F., Khadim, M., Rafiq, M., Chen, J., Yang, Y., & Wan, C. C. (2021). Pharmacological properties and health benefits of eugenol: a comprehensive review. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2021.
  • Oboh, G., Akinyemi, A. J., & Ademiluyi, A. O. (2013). Inhibitory effect of phenolic extract from garlic on angiotensin-1 converting enzyme and cisplatin induced lipid peroxidation–in vitro. International journal of biomedical science: IJBS, 9(2), 98.
  • Viljoen, E., Visser, J., Koen, N., & Musekiwa, A. (2014). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting. Nutrition journal, 13(1), 1-14.
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    Top 4 Superfood Spices - Ginger, Oregano, Basil, Garlic

    Most herbs come in the superfood category, packed with antioxidants and minerals. Herbs, as food, provide the body with various nutrients that are usually unavailable in the average diet. Some of the most beneficial herbs are garlic, ginger, oregano, and basil.
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