Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme — and ginger and cumin and cloves: You can’t go wrong with the beauty benefits of fresh herbs and spices. Spicing up your meals could be the easiest way to amplify their beautifying benefits.

Here are 16 of the essential herbs and spices in my eat pretty pantry:

1. Basil contains flavonoids that protect your cells from oxidative damage.

2. Cardamom relieves indigestion and detoxifies the body.

3. Cayenne boosts immunity and metabolism, and helps curb cravings.

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4. Cinnamon keeps blood sugar steady, preventing insulin spikes that lead to wrinkles and blemishes.

5. Cloves aid in digestion and contain a strong anti-inflammatory oil.

6. Cumin is a good source of iron and a digestive booster.

7. Fennel seeds are high in the UVB-protective phytochemical quercetin.

8. Ginger is a proven reliever of muscular aches and pains brought on by exercise.

9. Mint eases indigestion and promotes detox.

10. Nutmeg helps you achieve more restful beauty sleep.

11. Oregano has antioxidant, antimicrobial properties that make it a popular cold-fighter.

12. Parsley is packed with iron and is a blood cleanser.

13. Rosemary boosts mood and memory.

14. Sage helps regulate bile flow for healthy digestion.

15. Thyme contains powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory compounds.

16. Turmeric reduces inflammatory pain and speeds up healing.

Excerpted from Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out by Jolene Hart, courtesy of Chronicle Books.



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