Eating fast foods has become part of the American Way. But as consumers become more aware of healthy eating, the food industry is changing and responding to new expectations. Consumers may or may not be aware that some of the ingredients that make hamburgers and fries so tasty are actually full of nutrients. The rich spices used to season to them are often powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants inhibit oxidation of stored foods and remove potentially damaging agents in a living organism. Oxidation produces free radicals, articles that fly around looking for something to attach to, such as cells and tissue. Adding spices to fresh foods, especially dark, leafy colorful vegetables, provides a savory, nutritious boost to any meal.
So the creative cook, conscious of what to eat and what to avoid, sprinkles these same spices on healthfully prepared foods that mimic the great taste found in their favorite restaurants.
- Craving a big cinnamon bun for breakfast? To a slice of 9 grain bread, spread a thin coating of butter, then sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and a tablespoon of honey. Toast for an aromatic healthful start of your morning. In addition to its taste cinnamon has been used since ancient times to manage blood sugar levels, aid digestion and a help fight colds.
- For lunch, mix chili powder with your veggie burger before broiling and top it with avocado spread and multicolored peppers. Chili contains the compound capsaicin that gives chilies their heat. It is good for relieving pain, boosting heart health and is a good source for vitamins A and C.
- For dinner, enjoy breast of chicken prepared with garlic sautéed with turmeric, the yellow spice found in curry. Turmeric contains curcumin. Studies show that curcumin may inhibit the growth of cancer. It is used as an anti–inflammatory in the treatment of arthritis and as a protection against Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Love your pizza? Shake on some oregano to that delicious slice. Oregano is a major source of thymol and carvacol, two antibacterial agents that fight off infection.
What do these simple meals have in common? They taste good and are healthful choices. We have become a spice nation, reaping benefits in more ways than one.