Holidays mean plenty of fun gatherings – and plenty of extra helpings! This year, tweak some of your festive recipes to improve your health. How? Cook with flavorful spices and herbs that have amazing healing powers. This warming blend of herbs and spices helps increase your energy levels and the function of your metabolism, making it good for healthy weight management. It can also be helpful for insulin resistance and pre-diabetes care. Consider it the extra boost you need to start sticking to your resolution before the ball drops!
Spice & Herb Blend
• Ground cinnamon
• Dried kelp
• Garlic powder
• Ground mustard seed
• Red chili pepper
• Ground cumin seed
You can easily mix this tasty spice blend yourself. Fresh is best; when possible, grind your own spices from the original dry source (think cinnamon sticks, mustard seeds, an actual dried cayenne pepper). If a mortar and pestle is not your thing, use a coffee grinder and blend the spices together to taste. Store in a glass jar for up to a month. To use, simply add the spice blend to your meals just as you are finishing cooking the dish – about 1 minute before you turn off the heat. Add to your soups, stir-frys, fish and veggie dishes, and bean and grain dishes.
Cinnamon for Insulin Sensitivity
A standout ingredient is cinnamon, which has been linked to lowered blood sugar. Research has demonstrated improvement in insulin sensitivity with cinnamon polyphenols, as well as total and LDL cholesterol. It doesn’t hurt that it is tasty, too!
Kelp Is on the Way
Kombu is a subtype of kelp often used in Japanese cuisine. It is valuable for its high iodine content, which is needed to produce two important thyroid hormones that control the metabolism. A pigment in kombu called fucoxanthin may boost production of a protein involved in fat metabolism. Look for kelp powder or good quality thick, long brown kelp pieces in health food stores, Asian markets, and online.
Garlic for a Healthy Heart
Garlic has been used traditionally to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes-related conditions. And garlic has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. According to the National Health and Medical Research Council, consuming half to one clove of garlic daily may reduce cholesterol by nearly 10%. Your breath might suffer, but your heart will thank you.
Mustard Seeds Warm Up Your Metabolism
Big in spicy flavor, these small brownish-yellow seeds give your metabolism a boost, potentially helping you burn fat more quickly. Mustard seeds are low in calories and carbohydrates, but high in fiber, which gives the feeling of fullness.
While this spice blend will help you along, of course it is still essential to make healthy choices about the foods you eat.
This herb blend is meant to support your health, but you should not treat it as a cure-all or replacement for medication. Some herbal supplements may interact with drug medications. As your health strategies change and evolve, never stop taking prescription medications without first speaking to your physician.