Are you interested in finding ways to add more flavor to your meals without the high sodium, extra fat, or weird additives? Give spices a try! Incorporating these into your dishes can bring your food to life while improving your life, all while adding a fresh spin to traditional and untraditional meals. 

What Is A Spice?

Take a look at your a spice cupboard, you might be surprised to know that of the dozens of spices you have, only a tiny handful have origins from the Americas. In fact, some of the most common kitchen spices are from across the globe!

Italy – basil, oregano, rosemary, and parsley

France – thyme, sage, and mint

Greece – dill, lemon, and fennel

Spain – cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, and paprika

Mexico – cilantro, chili powder, and Mexican oregano

India – curry powder, cumin, and turmeric

China – five-spice powder, star anise, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon

Africa – nutmeg, cardamom, and saffron


 Spices can be harvested from bark, buds, flowers, fruit, roots, seeds, even stems from plants/trees?


Using Spices

You don’t have to be boring. The next time you are cooking dinner or baking a dessert, sprinkle in some spices to complement your plate and awe the tastebuds. Check out some hows and whys below…

  • Toasting
  • Grounding down
  • Adds flavor
  • Adds aroma
  • Enhances the taste of food by bringing out the natural flavors
  • Change the color of food

Spices For Health

To make spices even cooler, there are some that carry therapeutic properties! A number of research studies have been published about spices medicinal and remedy use in protecting us from acute and chronic diseases. In fact, ample evidence suggests certain spices possess “…antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumorigenic, anticarcinogenic, and glucose- and cholesterol-lowering activities as well as properties that affect cognition and mood”.

If you’re looking to reap the health benefits from your kitchen, pick these spices up the next time you visit the grocery store:

Cinnamon can…

  • help fight inflammation
  • lower cholesterol and triglycerides
  • lower blood sugar levels (by slowing the breakdown of carbs in the GI tract)
  • improve insulin sensitivity

Turmeric Curcumin has been shown to…

  • improve brain function
  • fight oxidative damage
  • boost the body’s antioxidant enzymes
  • dramatically improve inflammation

Cayenne Pepper may…

  • improve weight loss
  • help alleviate pain
  • boost metabolism
  • aid in digestive health

Oregano helps…

  • prevent cell damage caused by free radicals
  • decrease inflammation
  • improve heart health
  • fight infections


Aubree “Aubs” Shofner

Balanced Body Foods

Balanced Habits Coach & Creator

PN1 Certified Nutrition Professional

[email protected]