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Tweak of the Week: Spice Up Your Diet

Posted Dec 14 2008 10:26pm

What's the first thing you do when you sit down to eat? Do you grab the salt shaker to add some flavor to your food? Although salt is great for flavor, it can be dangerous for people with high blood pressure. Studies show a direct link between sodium and blood pressure levels; more sodium equals higher blood pressure, which can lead to a multitude of health problems.

You shouldn't just stick with salt. There are so many seasonings and spices that will add flavor to your food while providing great health benefits. Try using these spices for great taste and better health:

Black pepper is an antioxidant that has antibacterial effects. It also improves digestion and helps stimulate the breakdown of fat cells. Isn't it great when something you use anyway turns out to be so good for you?

Cayenne pepper fights inflammation, prevents stomach ulcers, boosts immunity, offers pain relief, has cardiovascular benefits and helps clear congestion. It will spice up your food while improving your health -- plus it carries a healthy dose of vitamin A.

Cinnamon contains healthy compounds that have been shown to relieve pain, improve circulation, fight inflammation and thin the blood. Research suggests it may also help to lower blood sugar levels, helping to manage type 2 diabetes.

Ginger contains antioxidants that could help prevent certain diseases. It has been shown to be a good treatment for nausea associated with travel sickness, pregnancy and hangovers.

Turmeric is rich in antioxidants, which may help in the fight against cancer. It also contains inflammation-fighting compounds that may help to prevent Alzheimer's disease and joint inflammation.

Still want more spice?

Check out this video of Dr. Steven Pratt, author of the SuperFoods series, as he explains which spices are best for your health and why.
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