Antioxidant Spices Information

The World's Best Antioxidant Spices

Spices are a delicious way of adding a sumptuous richness to many recipes.

Could there be more to these tasty spices and herbs than meets the tongue? Research is now showing that many of the world's most commonly-used spices are also chock full of health-promoting antioxidants.

While most people commonly think of pomegranates, berries and leafy greens as holding the most antioxidants, knowing that spices have antioxidant levels comparable to many popular "super foods" will allow us to season our foods with more awareness. This article offers a "best of" list of the world's healthiest antioxidant spices, as well as some quick ideas on how to incorporate them into your next meal.

Spicy Statistics

Did you know that half a teaspoon of dried oregano has the same amount of antioxidants as a quarter cup of almonds? And that same amount of oregano has the same antioxidant punch as nearly four cups of fresh spinach!

Studies show that curcumin, the part of turmeric that gives it its vibrant yellow color, may engage one the key enzymes involved in protecting the brain against cellular oxidation. This brain oxidation is believed to be a major cause of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as aging in general. A recent study from the International Journal of Food Microbiology found that cinnamon's antimicrobial properties were so strong that it could be used as a natural form of food preservative, inhibiting the growth of many food-borne pathogens.


References and Other Resources:

  1. Tsai, Tzung-Hsan et al., "Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Activities of Several Commonly Used Spices," Journal of Food Science, 2005, vol. 70, no1, pp. C93-C97 (37 ref.)
  2. Shakila, R.J., et al., "Inhibitory effect of spices on in vitro histamine production and histidine decarboxylase activity of Morganella morganii and on the biogenic amine formation in mackerel stored at 30 degrees C.," Z Lebensm Unters Forsch, 1996, 203:71-6
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