No meal or snack should be naked. That’s what dietitian Monica Auslander Moreno tells her clients. “Herbs and spices make food tastier while boosting your wellbeing,” says Moreno, an adjunct professor of nutrition at the University of Miami and a dietitian for the Miami Marlins. “You ought to be cooking with herbs and spices regularly — and, when possible, using several at the same time.”

Herbs, like basil, will be the leaves of any plant, while spices, like cinnamon, are usually made from the seeds, berries, bark, or roots of an plant. Both are being used to profumi sapori e fantasia food, but research shows they’re chock-full of healthy compounds and could have health advantages. “Herbs and spices fight inflammation and reduce harm to your body’s cells,” Moreno says. “That’s because each one is rich in phytochemicals, that are healthful plant chemicals.”

Adding herbs and spices to your diet has another benefit: “Because they’re so flavorful, they make it better to cut back on less healthy ingredients like salt, sugar, and added fat.

Choose the Real Thing
You might have noticed that some herbs and spices are sold as supplements (oregano oil or capsules of cinnamon extract, for example). Unless your physician recommends otherwise, “it’s best to eat the herb or spice rather than taking it in pill form,” Youdim says.

She says there aren’t many regulations about supplements and there’s little government oversight. So a capsule might not exactly have the amount of something it claims to, or it may have unhealthy additives.

“Food is an army,” Moreno says. “Compounds from herbs and spices as well as the other food stuffs you’re eating interact to provide health benefits. We don’t know if you find the same derive from going for a single ingredient as a supplement.”

If you’re not used to cooking with herbs and spices, Moreno recommends trying a pinch at the same time to figure out which ingredients and flavor combinations you like.

Here are some standouts to take into account adding to the next meal:

Cardamom. This sweet, pungent spice is in many pumpkin spice mixes. It’s recognized to soothe an upset stomach, and lab studies show it could also help fight inflammation. Yet another perk? “Of all spices, cardamom is especially saturated in minerals like magnesium and zinc,” Moreno says.

Chili peppers. Fresh, dried, or powdered, chilies gives your meal a kick. In addition they may boost your metabolism and help to keep arteries healthy. One possible reason is capsaicin, the compound that makes them spicy.

Cinnamon. “Cinnamon is great because it’s sweet but very low in calories and sugar-free,” Moreno says. “Plus, it’s no problem finding and not expensive, and you will add it to just about anything, including coffee and tea.”

Lab studies show that cinnamon also can help with inflammation, fight free radicals that may damage your cells, and fight bacteria.

And some research suggests it could lower blood glucose in individuals who have diabetes or are likely to get the disease, but other studies don’t back that up. “It’s rather a part of an healthful diet, but don’t mistake it for a diabetes cure,” Moreno says.

Cocoa. It may seem of cocoa as the key ingredient in chocolate, but it’s a spice with many health perks. The cocoa bean is chock-full of flavonoids, that are antioxidants that contain been proven to improve heart health. Flavonoids seem to play a role in lowering cholesterol and blood circulation pressure and helping keep coronary (heart) arteries healthy, among other activities.

Cumin. Used worldwide and known as an integral ingredient in many Indian dishes, cumin is naturally abundant with iron. It could are likely involved in weight loss, too. One study of 88 overweight women found that those who ate a little significantly less than a teaspoon of cumin every day while on a low-calorie diet lost more fat and weight as those on the same diet who didn’t add cumin.

Garlic. This plant has a robust compound called allicin. Lab studies show that it could lower your likelihood of getting cardiovascular disease. As well as other research implies that eating garlic regularly may help with raised chlesterol and high blood circulation pressure. But to get the huge benefits, you have to chop or crush the clove: Allicin is formed only following the cells in the garlic have been cut or crushed.

Ginger. Yes, ginger can really improve an upset stomach. “They have a calming influence on the liner of your digestive tract and can ease nausea, too,” Moreno says.

Lab studies also show that ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and could are likely involved in stopping diseases like cancer.

Rosemary. An ultra-fragrant herb, rosemary is abundant with antioxidants that prevent cell damage, Moreno says. Even sniffing it could be good for you. One study found that individuals who got a whiff of rosemary performed better on memory tests and other mental tasks, weighed against those who didn’t. Researchers think one of its compounds, called 1,8-cineole, may boost brain activity.

Turmeric. This yellow spice gets a lot of hype, and once and for all reason. It’s a good source of curcumin, an antioxidant that eases inflammation. Research shows that curcumin can help ease pain. As well as other research implies that eating even smaller amounts of turmeric regularly can help prevent or slow down Alzheimer’s disease, possibly by helping avoid the brain plaques that lead to dementia.