Using simple kitchen herbs in your cooking is an easy way to work herbal healing into your life. Most kitchen herbs are used specifically to improve the flavor of our food, yet herbs not only enhance taste, but also support optimal health. Adding herbs to our food can heal, nourish and prevent disease. Herbs don’t have to be taken as pills, capsules, tinctures or teas, so they are a practical and natural supplement you can introduce to your daily life.
Most of us already have an extensive herbal apothecary in our kitchens and don’t even realize it.
Herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, ginger, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate and black pepper are but a few examples of the herbs that people commonly keep on hand to add flavor to their favorite dishes.
Many of these plants owe their appetizing aroma to their volatile oil content, which also aids in digestion and helps us relax. Without us even noticing, these herbs, when added to our food, aid our digestion.
Here are a few simple ways you can boost your nutrition using herbs:
1. Add garlic & onion.
Many cultures throw a few cloves of garlic or some chopped onion into the water used to boil rice and other grains to add flavor. This also enhances our nutrition as recent research reveals that when prepared with onion or garlic, the bio-availability of iron, zinc and other minerals in grains is enhanced. In addition, using herbs every day in cooking adds a wide variety of phytonutrients to our diets and many culinary herbs contain high vitamin and mineral content, aromatic oils and flavonoids which help heal our bodies.
2. Add thyme, black pepper & sage.
Thyme is an immune tonic for infections, bronchitis, hay fever and asthma. Black pepper improves digestion and blood circulation. Sage helps with diarrhea, helps in the early stages of a cold or flu and helps relieve congestion, inflammation and sore throats.
3. Keep ’em fresh.
To get the most out of the herbs you eat, make sure they are as fresh as possible. Growing your own herbs is a great way to do this, if you have the space. Second to that, there are other good options for keeping herbs in your pantry and in your meals all year long. Farmer’s markets and farm stands are great places to find herbs for all or part of the year, depending on where you live. Locally grown plants are the best whether from your garden or one belonging to a local provider.
Natural food stores and grocery stores are also a good place to get fresh herbs all year round, as well as good-quality dried herbs and spices. Look for the most vibrant, fresh herbs you can as even dried herbs retain much of the healing nourishing effects.
To Your Health,
Kim is a natural health enthusiast, herbalist and avid organic gardener who has completed two programs in herbology. As a Holisticate, she shares insights, wisdom and recipes from her journey toward wholeness to inspire and empower others to live a holistic and balanced life. Connect with Kim on Facebook.
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