Add some serious ORAC to your diet with these 5 spices

SuperSpices-oreganoAs a follow-up on our earlier article about ancient uses of common herbs, modern science has provided some up-to-date breakdowns of just what herbs and spices do for our health, over and above the fact that they add a lot of flavor to many dishes (prepared by people who still cook).

It is a well known fact in the natural health world that spices are a rich source of polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and help boost the immune system.

The potency of anti-oxidants are measured by their ORAC value. ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorption capacity.

Many herbs and spices were measured for their antioxidant capacity. Today we present the top five antioxidant-potent herbs, according to ORAC measurements (the measurements are courtesy of The Mediterranean Zone, by Dr. Barry Sears):

OREGANO is number one, with 175,295 ORAC/100 grams.

Oregano is associated with Italian and other Mediterranean dishes, but it blends nicely with numerous foods. Oregano oil has been found to alleviate many medical conditions, and oregano oil and leaves can be used in hamburgers and other meats to kill ‘bad’ bacteria.

ROSEMARY is number two in antioxidant potency. It has 165,280 ORAC/100 grams. It, too, can be used in many recipes and is especially tasty with oven roasted root vegetables, and with lamb, fish and chicken.

THYME is third, WITH 157,380 ORAC/100 grams, and enhances the flavor of almost any cooked dish, as well as salads and salad dressing.

TUMERIC and SAGE rate fourth and fifth, with 127,068 ORAC/100 grams and 119,929 ORAC/100 grams respectively.

Tumeric is a fundamental feature of Indian cooking and blends well with other spices such as coriander, cumin, ginger and garlic. It is used abundantly in meat, fish, egg and lentil dishes.

Sage is a staple in home stews and soups, especially chicken.

Take advantage of your taste buds and imagination for the use of these herbs and spices. Nutritional benefits are much greater if they are used on a regular basis!

More information can be found at Care2.com here.

 

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