Spice Up Your Health 0

Posted on 29, January 2018

in Category Tips

Spice Up Your Health/tips February is American Heart Month and how we season our food has a tremendous, direct impact on our heart health. Nutritious foods don’t have to taste bland. Use vibrant, herbaceous spices and seasonings to add a flavor punch to your next dish without going overboard with the salt shaker. Many herbs offer a host of heart health benefits. The American Heart Association’s Simple Cooking with Heart© Program offers the following ways to add flavor to your healthy heart cooking.





  • Tastes somewhat sweet, earthy.
  • Anti-inflammatory. Source of vitamin K. Phytonutrients protect cells.
  • Delicious Pairings:Any Italian food like meatless lasagna or pasta with red sauce, Thai food like a stir fry with lots of veggies and sprinkled with peanuts, fruit like berries, peaches or apricots
  • Extra Tip:Add dried to dish at least 15 minutes before they are done cooking for full flavor. Add fresh right before serving to avoid flavor loss or wilting.


Curry Powder

  • Is a blend of spices usually including coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, cumin, and others.
  • Contains turmeric, powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial
  • Delicious Pairings:Indian food like lentil potato stew, breakfast veggie and egg scramble, whole grains like brown rice or quinoa with cilantro, and tuna with celery and no added sugar low-fat yogurt for a delicious sandwich
  • Extra Tip:Some curry powder can be hot and spicy. If you prefer a milder one (or a hotter one) look up a recipe online and make your own mix from spices in your spice drawer.



  • Tastes toasty and earthy with a little spice.
  • Promotes healthy digestion, immune function
  • Delicious Pairings:Mexican food like black bean salsa or refried beans, fish such as tilapia, especially in fish tacos and root vegetables
  • Extra Tip:Cumin is also part of the Indian spice mix garam masala. Delicious when paired with coriander in Mexican or Indian food.



  • Tastes woody.
  • Anti-inflammatory, antioxidants that support memory
  • Delicious Pairings:Roasted meats like chicken, pork, lamb or salmon, mushrooms, raw or cooked, whole grain breads, and butternut squash or pumpkin
  • Extra Tip:Long sticks of fresh rosemary can be used to brush marinades on meat or as a skewer stick for grilled kabobs.



  • Tastes earthy.
  • Rich in antioxidants, potassium and manganese support heart health
  • Delicious Pairings:Any bean dish, blends well with bay leaves, parsley, or lemon zest, and roasted vegetables
  • Extra Tip:Lightly crush dried leaves between your fingers when adding to a dish to release the flavor.



  • Tastes sweet and spicy.
  • Helps with blood sugar regulation, antiviral, antioxidants
  • Delicious Pairings:Whole grain muffins, waffles, pancakes or breads and fruit crisps with oatmeal topping. Greek meat dishes like lamb or beef stew with oregano and onions
  • Extra Tip:The natural sweetness means you can cut the amount of sugar in some recipes.