When you think about foods that you crave or long to eat, they are often those loaded with fat, sugar or salt. Learning how to use herbs and spices is a great step towards making healthy food taste delicious.

Mint leaves
There are several varieties of mint that are not only delicious in savoury summer cocktails but can be added to salads, vegetable dishes, chicken and yogurt dips. It grows very easily in a garden of flowers and is packed with vitamins A, B2, C and several minerals. Mint is also useful in calming your digestive system and combating bad breath.

Cayenne Pepper
A little cayenne goes a long way. It’s deceptively mild aroma packs a firey kick to your food. The capsaicin within the pepper helps to reduce inflammation, manage cholesterol and speed up your metabolism. It is often added to dips and curries. It also pairs well with proteins such as meat, cheese or eggs.

Italian parsley is flavourful and withstands cooking. It is loaded with vitamins and contains more vitamin C than most fruits. It’s perfect to add to a meal with garlic and onion as it will help to chase away your bad breath. Try adding fresh or dried herbs to salad, rice or soups. You can also add it to stuffed fish or chicken before baking.

Cumin is a herb long known for its digestive properties. It is rich in iron and is said to be a good general tonic and stimulant to the body. It is a must to add to meat dishes like chilli and pairs well with barbeque sauce or citrus marinated meats. It also pairs well with rice, couscous and roasted potatoes.

This sweet spice can help support digestion, balance your blood sugar and lower high blood pressure. Besides adding it to baked goods, you can add it to yogurt or cereal. It can even be sprinkled on stewed apples or pears to satisfy your sweet tooth. It is also useful in beef or lamb marinades.

I often prescribe this to treat nausea and improve circulation. Chopped or grated ginger mixes well in a stir fry, curry or Chinese style soy sauce marinade. Boiling chopped ginger can also make a delicious tea.

Try choosing one new herb or spice per week to incorporate into your cooking. Before you know it you will be working with a whole variety or satisfying flavours!

For more great tips, such as these, follow along with our Oakville clinic’s Facebook page! Our team of Naturopathic Doctors and Registered Massage Therapists are always cooking up great, tasty ideas.