Tag Archives: herbs

Boost Your Health With Holiday Spices

If you’re looking to eat healthier this holiday season, you may not need to look further than your spice rack. Not only can some of your favorite seasonal spices add a little holiday cheer to your favorite dishes, they can also increase the nutritional benefit of each bite that you take.


Historically, ginger has been credited with settling an upset stomach; however, the benefits of ginger go far beyond occasional stomach relief. In fact, ginger contains very powerful anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These compounds have been shown to reduce pain in those with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis when consumed regularly. Gingerols may also help inhibit the growth of human colorectal and ovarian cancer cells.

To get more ginger in your diet, try Broiled Nectarines with Ginger Syrup


Nutmeg is a flavorful herb that enhances the flavor of potatoes, chicken, fish, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage dishes. In a recent study, nutmeg has been shown to play a role in tooth decay prevention due to its antibacterial properties.

To get more nutmeg in your diet, try Greek Yogurt with Honey Roasted Figs


12 Anti-Aging Herbs and Nutrients for Better Health

By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com

Trying to maintain a youthful appearance but don’t want to undergo the knife, Botox, or some other invasive procedure? Natural herbs and nutrients can help. Here are 11 of the best ones for anti-aging:

1. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA): ALA is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your body from free radical damage. It also helps to recycle other antioxidants like vitamins E and C, giving you greater protection against free radicals. Free radicals are to blame for aging and disease, including skin damage and wrinkling.

2. Bilberry: Packed with antioxidants, bilberry is potent medicine against many age-related concerns. It is helpful to preserve vision and prevent degenerative eye diseases.


Summer Produce: What’s Up with Herbs?

With farmer’s markets across the country in full swing, you might be wondering how in the world you’re going to navigate the overflowing stands of fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs.

With more leafy greens than you can count and basil plants that seem to be bursting at the seams, how does a produce novice manage to take home fruits and veggies that will make it to your table and into your meals and snacks?

This week, we’re taking you through some of the herbs – popular and obscure – that you might encounter at your farmer’s market. Because fresh herbs sold at outdoor or indoor local markets are typically fresh and free of preservatives, you’ll need to use them pretty quickly.


Winter Soup Swaps and Additions To Maximize Nutrition

Especially this time of year when Old Man Winter is in full force, there’s nothing I love more than a bowl of soup as a meal. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or even a snack, soup is filling (hello Volumetrics!) and you can pack so much nutrition into a single bowl. Not to mention that soup is pretty fool-proof one-pot dish to make, and usually keeps well as leftovers.

Over the years, I’ve found that no matter what soup recipe you’re following, you can almost always up the nutrition and lower the fat and sodium with a few easy swaps and additions. The best part, because all the flavors in the soup meld together, as long as you keep the proportions right, no one usually notices the healthier changes!


Make Your Own Takeout: Thai Spring Rolls

Ordering takeout can be fun and convenient, but from a caloric perspective, it can be any dieter’s nightmare. To lessen the calorie blow that most take-out food delivers, opt to make your own at home.

While some dishes, like vegetables and stir-fry, can be easy to make on your own, some won’t compare to the restaurant-quality versions you know and love.

If you’re a fan of Thai spring rolls, you’ll love these tips from our friend Lynn who blogs at The Actor’s Diet.


Lovely Lavender- The Health and Recipe Benefits

Last weekend I had the pleasure of going to a local lavender festival where every vendor, baked good, sandwich, and craft heralded the beauty of this multi-purposed purple-hued herb.

Over the course of the afternoon, I learned about all the different uses of lavender. Lavender is much more than an aromatic scent that is added to shampoos and soaps. In fact, it has been long used for medicinal purposes as well as a kitchen staple.


Here is a list of just a few of the things you can do with lavender:

Relieve stress: If you’ve ever taken a deep breath of fresh lavender, your senses are immediately swept away by its soothing fragrance and its almost instant ability to caste a wave of peacefulness over you. It should come as no surprise then that many aromatherapists use lavender essential oil as a way to calm nervous conditions like anxiety or stress.  But you don’t have to make an aromatherapy appointment to reap the calming effects of lavender. Burn a lavender candle or add a few drops of lavender essential oil into a carrier oil like olive oil and apply a fingerprint-sized drop onto your wrists or on your clavicle. Take a deep breath and relax.

lavender sugar cookiesBake with it: The next time you are baking a batch of cookies or shortbread, add a tablespoon of dried lavender leaves to your batter. Your cookies specked with soft purple leaves will not only look extra beautiful, but everyone will be begging you for the secret ingredient that turned your basic sugar cookies into an aromatic culinary delight.

Ease skin ailments: If you suffer from eczema or acne, research shows that lavender oil has antiseptic and antifungal properties making it a favorite natural treatment option for skin disorders, scars, cuts, sunburns and psoriasis.

Treat hair loss: In one study, people with alopecia areata, a kind of disease that is characterized by patchy hair loss, those who massaged their scalps with lavender oil  had significant hair re-growth in comparison to those who didn’t use any oil.

Catch some ZZZs: Getting a good night’s rest is a privilege that far too many of us don’t enjoy. Rather than relying on over-the-counter sleeping aids, studies have shown that having a massage with lavender essential oil may improve sleep quality, lift spirits and contribute to a solid’s night rest.

Bug Off!: With summer in full swing, mosquitoes and other pesky insects can ruin an evening’s barbeque or a star-gazing night. To naturally protect your skin, add a few drops of lavender oil to one teaspoon of carrier oil and apply to your skin. The insect-fighting magic bullet in lavender comes from the compound, geraniol, which helps to ward off biting bugs. But since lavender does increase skin’s photosensitivity, make sure you stay in the shade.

Relax sore muscles: Whether you pushed yourself too hard at the gym or pulled up too many weeds in your garden, rather than popping a few over-the-counter pain relievers, try massaging lavender oil onto your achy joints to ease pain. Just the smell of the lavender oil alone, will help to take your mind off of your tired muscles.

Here’s one last tidbit before you go out and purchase lavender: “Lavender” comes from the Latin word, “lavare,” which means to wash. The Romans first used lavender to scent bath water and they believed that this ancient herb was also able to replenish the skin.

Do a bit of research around your own town. Lavender festivals are popping up more and more during the summer months in part due to the beauty and many uses of this cherished purple herb.