Senior Health A Beginner’s Guide to Herbs and Spices 5/14/2020 | By Seniors Guide Staff Do you have an entire drawer of spices – or a fresh bunch in your fridge – but no idea how to use them? Not only are herbs and spices a low-calorie way to add zest to your meal, but they also have a slew of potential health benefits. Try these 10 easy-to-use herbs and spices in your upcoming meals. Basil Health benefits: Basil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial characteristics. It also contains some magnesium. How to use it: This popular Italian seasoning is best used fresh. It’s great in pesto, on white meats, combined with fruit (such as raspberries and strawberries) or added to stir-fries. Just remember to add it at the end — cooking it ruins the flavor. Cayenne Pepper Health benefits: Cayenne may work as a natural pain reliever. It also contains vitamin A and may help reduce cholesterol. How to use it: Sparingly. Its hot and spicy flavor is great in vinegar-based sauces, can be combined with lemons in marinades, and works well with all types of meat. Dill Health benefits: Dill contains iron and calcium. Its oils may help neutralize carcinogens. How to use it: This aromatic herb is best with salmon, added to borscht or other stews, sprinkled on a variety of vegetables (especially carrots and cucumbers) and even mixed with yogurt. Cilantro Health benefits: Fresh cilantro’s green leaves pack disease-fighting phytonutrients, as well as vitamins A and K. How to use it: From the same plant as coriander seeds, cilantro shines in salsa and guacamole and combines well with lemon and lime for marinades. Coriander Seeds Health benefits: Coriander may help control blood sugar, cholesterol and free radical production. How to use it: Ground coriander seeds are great added to soups, fish dishes and smoked meats, like turkey. Coriander blends well with cumin. Rosemary Health benefits: Rosemary contains some fiber, iron and calcium. It may also increase circulation and improve digestion. How to use it: Its woodsy flavor works well with roasted chicken, pork and salmon or mixed into sauces for a more subtle taste. It also complements tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms. Sage Health benefits: Sage contains acids that function as antioxidants. And the term “wise sage” may have some truth – research suggests it may be a memory enhancer. How to use it: Sage is great with sweet fruits and veggies, like apples and squash, but it also adds a punch to sausage and a variety of cheeses. This powerful herb’s flavor holds up well when cooked for long periods of time. Thyme Health benefits: One teaspoon of dried thyme contain about 10% Daily Value of vitamin K, an important nutrient for strong bones. How to use it: Add it to bean, egg and veggie dishes. If you’re a meat-lover, try it with lamb. It blends well with bay seasoning and parsley. Turmeric Health benefits: Turmeric is a good source of manganese and also contains some iron. It may also provide relief for arthritis. How to use it: This colorful spice is most commonly used in curries, but it also adds flavor to many other dishes, including stir-fried veggies, rice and golden milk. Parsley Health benefits: Parsley contains vitamins K, C and A, and heart-healthy folate. How to use it: These versatile herbs are best fresh. Try in pasta dishes, sprinkled on fish and chicken, or added to potatoes. (Health delivers relevant information in clear, jargon-free language that puts health into context in peoples’ lives. Online at www.health.com.) Read More Seniors Guide Staff Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible. Related Resources Sleep Reduces Risk of Dementia Andrew E. Budson, M.D., of Harvard Health Blog, discusses two studies demonstrating that sleep reduces risk of dementia, studies that ... [Read More] 5/14/2020 | By Andrew E. Budson, M.D. Safely Reduce Daily Pill Count Three in five older adults take five medications per person. Besides possible benefits, taking a large number of medications comes ... [Read More] 5/14/2020 | By Howard LeWine, M.D.