1. Oregano
      • “One teaspoon contains not only six micrograms of bone-building vitamin K but also the same amount of antioxidants as three cups of spinach.” Source
      • “Oregano is a major source of thymol and carvacol — two antibacterial agents that fight off infection — and has quadruple the antioxidants of blueberries.” Source
      • “Oregano is a great source of Vitamins A, K, and C. Along with being a great source of calcium, iron, and manganese. Oregano can relieve migraines, aid insomnia, and increase appetite.” Source

      Use It: In soup, on pizza, with pasta, etc.

    2. Garlic
      • “Destroys cancer cells and may disrupt the metabolism of tumor cells, says Karen Collins, RD, nutrition advisor to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Studies suggest that one or two cloves weekly provide cancer-protective benefits.” Source
      • “As a staple of natural remedies and traditional medicine, garlic has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral effects, and some studies show that it can stop blood clots from forming in your arteries.” Source
      • “According to the National Library of Medicine3, part of the NIH (National Institutes of Health), USA, garlic is widely used for several conditions linked to the blood system and heart, including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high cholesterol, heart attack, coronary heart disease and hypertension.” Source

      Use It: In sauces, with pasta, on pizza, etc.

    3. Cayenne Pepper
      • “In a study at Purdue University, people who added half a teaspoon to their meal ate 70 fewer calories at their next meal and craved fatty, salty foods less.” Source
      • “Cayenne has become a popular home treatment for mild high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels. Cayenne preparations prevent platelets from clumping together and accumulating in the blood, allowing the blood to flow more easily. Since it is thought to help improve circulation, it’s often used by those who have cold hands and feet.” Source
      • “Cayenne is a known circulatory stimulant. It also increases the pulse of our lymphatic and digestive rhythms. By heating the body, the natural process of detoxification is streamlined. Cayenne also causes us to sweat, another important process of detoxification. Combined with lemon juice and honey, cayenne tea is an excellent morning beverage for total body detox.” Source

      Use It: In sauces, on vegetables, in soups, etc.

    1. Cumin
      • “One tablespoon of these aromatic seeds fulfills 22 percent of your daily requirement for iron, a mineral that helps keep your energy level high and your immune system in flu-fighting shape.” Source
      • “Cumin contains a heart-healthy antioxidant called curcumin, along with other compounds that provide health benefits. Cumin may support heart health, reduce your risk for anemia and help fight infections.” Source
      • “People take cumin for digestion problems including diarrhea, colic, bowel spasms, and gas. Cumin is also used to increase urine flow to relieve bloating (as a diuretic); to start menstruation; and to increase sexual desire (as an aphrodisiac).” Source

      Use It: In sauces, in stews, in curries, etc.

  • Black Pepper
      • “Apart from a great way to help you sweat and release all the toxins from your skin, it acts a great exfoliant. Pepper when crushed and added to a face scrub, helps slough off dead skin, stimulates circulation and helps deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the skin. The antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties help keep the skin safe from infections like acne.” Source
      • “When you eat Black Pepper, your taste buds become stimulated. They send signals to your stomach telling it to increase its production of hydrochloric acid. This acid helps your body digest food so you don’t suffer from indigestion.” Source
      • “According to a study carried out by the University of Michigan Cancer Center, black pepper was found to prevent the development of breast cancer tumors. They found that the piperine content of black pepper plays a key role in preventing cancers. It further stated that when combined with turmeric its anticancer properties are heightened. Apart from the piperine, black pepper also contains Vitamin C, Vitamin A, flavonoids, carotenes and other anti-oxidants that help remove harmful free radicals and protect the body from cancers and diseases. Other studies have suggested its efficacy in stalling the progression of skin cancers and bowel and colon cancer as well.” Source

    Use It: On salads, on burgers, in soups, etc.

  • Cinnamon
    • “Studies suggest that this aromatic spice can help boost brain activity, and can also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It seems that cinnamon is good for the mind now and down the road.” Source
    • “Recent studies have found that cinnamon may have a beneficial effect on blood sugar. One of the first human studies was published in 2003 in a medical journal called Diabetes Care. Sixty people with type 2 diabetes took 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon in pill form daily, an amount roughly equivalent to one quarter of a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. After 40 days, all 3 amounts of cinnamon reduced fasting blood glucose by 18 to 29%, triglycerides by 23 to 30%, LDL cholesterol by 7 to 27%, and total cholesterol by 12 to 26%. Source
    • “There’s also a recent meta-analysis concluding that cinnamon can help lower lipid levels, including LDL cholesterol (the unhealthy type) and triglycerides.” Source

    Use It: In desserts, in coffee, in oatmeal, etc.

  • Basil
    • “Basil, an excellent source of calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin C, and also small amounts of magnesium, manganese, and Vitamin A. Basil can help calm your nervous system, and aid in digestion.” Source
    • “Basil may be a flavorful addition to our kitchen cuisine, but it’s also rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoids , powerful antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage and cholesterol. Basil is also an excellent source of magnesium, improving blood flow, and promoting cardiovascular health and wellbeing.” Source
    • “Eugenol (one of basil’s volatile oils) can also help block the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) in the body. This is important because COX is the same enzyme that anti-inflammatory medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen are formulated to help block, making basil a natural anti-inflammatory.” Source

    Use It: On pizza, for pesto, with pasta, etc.

  • Cilantro
    • “It’s a good source of fiber, iron, and disease-fighting phytonutrients.” Source
    • “The School of Life Science in Tamil Nadu, India noted, after researching the activity of cilantro leaves and stem, “if used in cuisine would be a remedy for diabetes.” Source
    • “This flavorful herb also helps prevent urinary tract infections and has antibacterial effects on bacteria and fungi.” Source

    Use It: In dressings, in sauces, in burritos, etc.

  • Turmeric
    • “A new study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that curcumin — the potent antioxidant in turmeric — improves the effectiveness of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients and has potential to be developed into an adjuvant chemotherapy drug.” Source
    • “Anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric are great for treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, turmeric’s antioxidant property destroys free radicals in the body that damage body cells. It has been found that those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis who consume turmeric on a regular basis experience much relief from the moderate to mild joint pains as well as joint inflammation.” Source
    • “Epidemiologists have hypothesized that the turmeric that is part of daily curries eaten in India may help explain the low rate of Alzheimer’s disease in that country. Among people aged 70 to 79, the rate is less than one-quarter that of the United States.” Source

    Use It: In curries, in rice, on vegetables, etc.

  • Thyme
    • “Due to the essential oil, the herb contains bronchial antispasmodic and expectorant properties which makes it quite useful in treatment chronic as well as acute bronchitis, upper respiratory tract inflammation, and whooping cough. Thyme can also enhance the functioning of the bronchi’s cilia, also affecting the bronchial mucosa. Thyme’s terpenoids provide the herb with its expectorant properties while the flavonoids in the herb provide thyme with its spasmolytic effects. All members of the family of mint, such as thyme, contain terpenoids that are well-known for battling cancer.” Source
    • “Thyme combats parasites, such as hookworms and tapeworms, within the digestive tract. It is also useful to treat yeast infections.” Source
    • “When you think of a food rich in iron, thyme is probably not the first thing to come to mind. But 2 tsp of dried thyme –about the amount used in a cup of thyme tea– delivers 3.56 mg, or 19.8 percent of the recommended daily value of iron. Thyme tea is also an excellent source of vitamin K, vital to normal blood clotting, with 2 tsp supplying 48.01 mcg, or 60 percent of the DV. Thyme tea is also a very good source of manganese, supplying 12 percent of the DV, and calcium, providing 5.4 of the DV in 2 tsp.” Source

    Use It: On pizza, with pasta, in tea, etc.