Two Winter Spices to Include in Your Diet
I’ve highlighted two winter spices that will help keep you warm and toasty this winter season. Garlic and ginger are two of my favorite things to cook with- wintertime or not! Not only do they provide an enormous amount of flavor to any dish, they also contain beneficial compounds that help keep you healthy the whole year through!
Many people avoid garlic because of the strong taste it leaves behind, lingering in your mouth. But, believe it or not, that potent taste is what makes it so special! Allicin, is the name of the complex found in this aromatic bulb, which appears to deactivate viruses—Say goodbye to colds & flus! The National Cancer Institute reports that garlic produces anti-cancer compounds in the body called, interferons. Garlic also aids in lowering LDL “the lousy” cholesterol.
What’s the best way to eat it? Crushing it releases allicin, while sautéing activates other beneficial compounds. For that reason, it is best to eat it in a variety of ways. One of the reasons people tend to shy away from garlic is because of its pungent aftertaste. The next time you eat garlic, try chewing on some fresh parsley after your meal. Don’t have any of the fresh herb on hand? Look no further than your kitchen cupboard – and chomp on a few fennel seeds. These techniques have shown to quench that potent aftertaste!
Ginger is full of flavor and packs a strong and hot punch-which makes it a perfect warming addition in wintertime. Practitioners of Chinese medicine provide ginger to ease congestion in the body, particularly in the throat and lungs. This flavorful herb is also known for its tummy-soothing properties. Believe it or not, ginger also helps to alleviate inflammation in the body and may even ease symptoms of arthritis and other musculoskeletal ailments.
Enjoy ginger fresh, ground, as candied (crystallized) slices or pickled or Japanese-style. It’s all good!
Nicole Andrews, RD, LD/N
Nutrition Therapist & Lifestyle Educator