Using herbs and spices in cooking dramatically improves the taste of food while reducing the need for additives and preservatives. Who would have thought that certain herbs and spices could help extend a food product’s shelf life and diminish the risk of contracting foodborne diseases such as Salmonella, E. coli or Listeria?

But thatâ??s not all herbs and spices can do for you!

Herbs and spices that could boost your health

Herbs and spices pack a healthy punch so when you cook supper this evening, consider ways to incorporate some of the following herbs and spices in your favourite dishesâ?¦

  • Coriander – This herb has a stimulating effect on the endocrine system and stimulates the production of insulin. This results in increased insulin in the blood which helps aid proper assimilation and the absorption of sugar, and lowers the blood sugar level

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  • Cumin – Cumin is a spice that has antiseptic properties that assist in boosting oneâ??s immune system. Cumin is also a source of iron and assists with the control of indigestion

  • Bay leaves – Often used in curries, bay leaves have traditionally been used as an anti-inflammatory, especially for arthritis. Bay leaves are also believed to be a remedy for upset stomachs and other digestive problems, as the leaf contains enzymes that can break down protein and promote digestion

  • Cayenne pepper – If youâ??re trying to lose weight, boost the flavour of your healthy meals with cayenne pepper as this spice increases oneâ??s metabolism. It is also great for the stomach and intestinal tract as it stimulates the peristaltic motion of the intestines

  • Cinnamon – This naturally sweet-tasting spice has properties that help with insulin resistance and stabilising oneâ??s blood sugar level. Cinnamon also has antioxidant properties, makes a great natural disinfectant and may keep one alert

  • Black pepper – Instead of salt, flavour food with black pepper – itâ??s a powerful antioxidant.

The bad news about herbs and spices

Many conventional herbs and spices sold in mass markets are sterilised using ETO (ethylene oxide) or irradiated. The bad news is that consequently, herbs and spices may be contaminated with pesticide residues and genetically modified ingredients.

But there is good news!

Fortunately Natural Herbs and Spices have an extensive range of 100% natural, steam pasteurised, preservative and GMO-free range of herbs and spices and theyâ??re available in South Africa.

â??Naturalâ??s range is manufactured in a modern, BRC-accredited factory, where our products are exported to some of the most quality-conscious markets in the world. Markets include Japan, Australia and the USA. Some European markets demand a competitive offering, which Natural has more than proved that it is able to meet.â? says Gary Neill, Director for Natural Herbs and Spices.

Using German-designed, Swedish manufactured equipment, hundreds of tonnes of spice is dry steamed to a high pressure and moderated over heat in the Natural plant each month. This steam-sterilised process ensures that the raw product is depleted of microbes, but still retains its natural colour, flavour and nutrients. No genetically modified organisms or methods are used during the farming of Naturalâ??s ingredients and none of its products contain preservatives, colourants or monosodium glutamate (MSG).

â??People who like to make informed choices â?? those who scrutinise the list of ingredients on the label â?? will love Natural Herbs and Spices. We offer a high-quality, healthy product that meets international standards, and elevates each meal to gourmet status, with the simple flick of a wrist,â?

Consisting of 29 grinders, six salt seasonings, 12 sachet seasonings (including pestos and bread dippers), 27 herbs and blended spices, and ceramic grinder options that last up to 10 times longer than conventional ones, you are able purchase Naturalâ??s offerings from Pick n Pay, Spar, Wellness Warehouse and Dis-Chem.

Recommended reading: Why ginger is so good for you

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.