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The best herbs and spices to grow at home

When you think of kitchen fixtures, it’s hard to deny that the spice rack is among the most commonly appearing appliances in any home.

There’s a good reason for this.

Herbs and spices are an age-old, safe and effective way to enhance the flavour of any dish and to contribute to enhanced health of you and your family.

So often Canadians rely on these herbs and spices simply as a means to completing a recipe, perhaps not truly realizing the true health benefits that they offer.

In today’s article, I will outline some of the most potent herbs and spices that anyone can use to enhance their kitchen, share insights into their super powers and provide resources for those who may be interested in growing these plants in their own home.

An Intro To The Health Benefits Of Herbs & Spices

On a fundamental level, herbs and spices are simply just components of plants, and we know that foods of plant origin generally offer vast health benefits to humans.

Many of these benefits stem from the antioxidant capacity of the compounds found in plants.

When we think of antioxidants, we often think about fruits and vegetables, and rightly so, but my clients are often surprised to hear that herbs and spices also tend to have an incredibly high antioxidant content, among other benefits.

Some of the most commonly available and potent herbs/spices include cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and parsley.

With that in mind, today’s article will explore each of these more closely and provide insights into benefits, usage and even home growing strategies for these healthful herbs and spices.

Cinnamon

herbs and spices to grow at home

Everyone’s favourite breakfast spice is a great addition to any cereal or oatmeal dish, but can also be used to great effect as roasted sweet potato seasoning ( with a touch of maple syrup).

In addition to being a significant source of antioxidants, there is some evidence to suggest cinnamon plays a modest role in helping control blood sugar levels.

Have you ever considered growing your own?

 

Turmeric

Perhaps best known for being one of the common components of curry powder, turmeric is a vibrant yellow spice that packs not only a serious anti-oxidant punch, but also boasts anti-inflammatory capabilities and may play a role in supporting both digestive and liver health.

Owing to its yellow colour, it lends itself well to egg dishes including scrambles and frittatas and goes great with roasted veggies as well.

Did you know that you can grow your own turmeric indoors?

Ginger

Ginger is well known not only for its antioxidant content but also for its ability to soothe an ailing stomach. It is often used to make tea or added to stir fries to expand the flavour portfolio and add an extra level of healthfulness.

Ginger is also rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that may contribute to good joint health and arthritis relief.

Have a look at this helpful instructional video if you aren’t sure how to prepare ginger from its root.

Parsley

The most popular herb on the planet is also arguably the healthiest as well. It contains a wide array of vitamin and minerals (including vitamin A, K and C) while also being rich in a number in  healthful compounds known as volatile oils. Chopped parsley is a signature component of a number of dishes including Tabouli and is a fundamental ingredient in many sauces and meat rubs.

Have you ever considered growing your own?

 

Final Thoughts

Herbs and spices are an overlooked but important component of your kitchen.

Although they are most commonly thought of as dish-enhancing luxuries, they also have a role to play in supporting good health and longevity.

Don’t overlook the role they play in completing your kitchen and if you find them to be out of your current budget, consider growing your own.

 



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