Remember when food just tasted good? When your burger didn’t need brown fake-grill marks, and artificial fragrance spray to make it appealing. When your vegetables grew in healthy soil. Tomatoes were picked ripe and ready to be eaten; not green and ready to be shipped and later ripened with ethylene gas. Remember when you didn’t have psychological withdraw and tingly-mouth-syndrome after an afternoon snack (sorry Sour Patch Kids)?
In this day and age, mass food production agencies often resort to drenching processed foods in chemicals and artificial flavors to give them some (but not all) of the appetizing qualities that real food naturally possesses without a side-serving of diabetes or pancreatic cancer. Just a couple hundred “professional flavorists” are responsible for deciding what flavors to include in a majority of processed and packaged foods in the United States. The ‘pro-flavor-ists’ at Frito Lay build flavors from chemicals in quite the same way experts at Febreze build fragrances from other (hopefully different) chemicals.
The following list details 10 naturally-occurring, seasonal herbs that humans have been experimenting with since the beginning of time (or should I say thyme?). The list is in no order other than alphabetical. The variety will provide you with natural seasons for any dish and the flavors and health benefits will allow you to take off the gas-mask when exploring your pantry. Trust us, you’ve never had good food, until you’ve had real food.
This natural, pain relieving, headache suppressing leaf can be added to almost any soup or sauce for heaps of flavor.
For keeping things spicy, Cayenne Pepper has shown to speed your metabolism, aid in digestion, decrease skin pain (thanks to capsaicin), and believe it or not, treat headaches.
Probably already in your stored in your spice cabinet, cinnamon is a natural spice that compliments sweet as well as savory. This common baking spice contains antioxidants that can suppress insulin responses and stabilize blood sugar levels making it an ideal spice to pair with high-carb, insulin-spiking cookies.
Often served as raw leaves in a salad, in addition to a stir fry, or alone fresh off the steamer, Fennel is high in calcium, niacin, vitamin C, iron, and essential dietary fibers. It promotes a healthy heart, a healthy colon, and healthy, detoxed skin.
Perfect for when you break out the paleo-approved coconut flour for some baking in the winter months, Ginger reduces gastrointestinal stress and has carminative properties. Ginger-based baked goods are famously noted as home remedies for upset stomachs but is also capable of fighting joint pain such as arthritis.
There is a reason that parsley is the world’s most popular herb. Rich in vitamins C and K, it is known to inhibit tumor formation, nuetralize carcinogens, boost the immune system with anti-oxidants, and protect against arthritis. The folic acids in parsley are contain B vitamins that will help you sustain a healthy heart.
This Persian spice has traditionally been used for its emotional benefits. Usually steeped into tea or prepared with rice, Saffron is effective in lifting moods and relieving symptoms of depression and PMS.
Sage, often brewed into teas, is commony used as a home-remedy to soothe sore throats or gas pains. Studies also suggest that ingesting sage fights Alzheimer’s and boosts memory.
This insanely healthy traditional Indian spice is even regarded as medicine in parts of the world. Turmeric supports a productive immune system, lowers cholesterol, acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, and, like many other natural spices, speeds metabolism. It is commonly believed among doctors that nutrients in turmeric inhibit tumors and tumor growth. More turmeric – less tumors!
This herb is a staple of fine Italian cuisine. No wonder they live 18 months longer than Americans on average. Thyme is dense with vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, manganese, copper, healthy dietary fibers, and immune-boosting antioxidants. It also causes a reaction in the body that prevents mucous from forming in the lungs.
At one point in time, believe it or not, we had to work in harmony with our environment. We had to eat with the seasons. This practice gave us naturally tasty food. Still, sometimes the more culinary-sound-cavemen (Gorg Ramsey or Bobbie Flaystone) would spruce up their wild bison kill with a seasonal herb from the forest nearby. High-fructose corn syrup has only been a major ingredient in 75% of foods since the 70s!
So be bold and season with the seasons. Take a stand against artificial flavors and use your spice arsenal for the power of good! Enjoy better food and a better life, my friends.
This has been a back-to-basics culinary lesson.
Learn wild, live free,