The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates is famous for coining the phrase “Let food be thy medicine”. Here at the clinic we place great emphasis on the value of the food we eat and the power it has to harm or heal. Most people know that eating a diet complete with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is good for them, but few realise that herbs and spices can also play an important role in improving our everyday health. These are some of nature’s finest gifts to mankind and modern day scientific studies are beginning to verify what health practitioners around the world have known for decades, that herbs and spices not only add extra zest to ordinary dishes, they may also help prevent chronic conditions such as Alzheimers and heart disease.
All herbs and spices are rich in phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants, and it’s so simple to add them to your dishes! Eating healthily doesn’t have to be a chore with these wonderful ingredients and with so much information readily available about how to cook with them, there’s no excuse not to experiment!
Here are a few of our favourites with some suggestions for how to include them in your diet.
Coriander is a common staple in the bustling kitchens of Asian and Indian chefs. Its delicate lemony flavour is used to flavour soups and stews, and the leaves are delicious eaten raw in a salad. It has an amazing ability to soothe and heal problems in the digestive tract and when eaten regularly, may be of help for people suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other digestive conditions. Use leaves as a garnish for home-made vegetable curries, or use the seeds in the poaching liquid when cooking fish.
Known as the “King of Spices”, black pepper was once more valuable than gold. It contains a volatile oil known as piperine, which is responsible for its sharp and pungent taste. Recent research has shown that regular consumption of black pepper may actually inhibit the growth of human colon cancer cells, and is also helpful for reducing inflammation in the body. It’s a useful condiment for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Olive oil, a pinch of salt, lemon juice and cracked black pepper make a delicious salad dressing. Always keep a pepper mill on hand instead of automatically reaching for the salt to flavour your food.
Cinnamon has properties which can help those with insulin resistance and recent studies have shown that it can also help control blood sugar levels. This may make it beneficial for people who are suffering with Type II diabetes. It also has an amazing ability to help combat yeast infections and so is a useful for people battling to control symptoms of candida overgrowth. Try sprinkling a little cinnamon over a chai latte or breakfast cereal, instead of using sugar.
Here at the clinic, we understand that making significant changes to your diet can be daunting if you don’t know where to begin. All of our naturopaths are trained to work with you to create an eating plan that will not only benefit your health, but will help you look at food in a whole new light. By adding plenty of herbs and spices to your dishes, following a new health regime will soon become a pleasure rather than a chore! Let us show you how!
For more information about diet and nutrition, or to book an appointment, call the clinic today on 07 5562 5211 and find out more about how we can help.