Herbs and spices have been used for thousands of years to support health, and now science is starting to catch up with traditional wisdom. Cooking with fresh or dried herbs and lots of spices is one simple way to boost your defenses as the seasons begin to change. After all, the best defense is a good offense! Here are three spices to keep in your kitchen.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric is a pungent, bright yellow powder, it’s also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It's been shown to be antimicrobial, antifungal and play a role in inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells.

Turmeric is best absorbed when paired with a fat, which makes it perfect to cook with. You can also add turmeric to your smoothie with a scoop of coconut oil.

2. Cayenne

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Cayenne packs a nice kick and most of us use it to add a bit of heat to dishes. That kick also carries some great health benefits and cayenne is known to be anti-inflammatory, metabolism booster and cancer fighter.

Research suggests that the capsiates (or non-spicy substances) found in many pepper varieties target a variety of pathways involved in cancer development and inflammation.

3. Oregano

Commonly associated with Italian dishes, oregano is a fragrant herb that's been shown to have exceptionally high antioxidant content.

Research suggests that adding a mixture of herbs, including oregano, to meat can reduce the formation of oxidative stress markers that naturally occur with cooking. This is important because those markers are known to play a role in the formation of carcinogenic and atherogenic forming compounds.

Cooking liberally with herbs and spices will improve the taste and depth of your dishes while adding considerable health benefits to each meal.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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