Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for our families, friends and the ability to share what is meaningful. One of the most important gifts to share is health, and there’s no better place to do that than at the dinner table.
The great thing about being a conduit for healthy living is that you can do it without much fanfare. Make sure your main course and dessert platters and pies are laden with health-vitalizing spices, many of which are loaded with antioxidants. Studies demonstrate that many herbs containing plant compounds called polyphenols are full of health benefits and may decrease inflammation in the body.
Here are spices and herbs to add to your family’s Thanksgiving meals:
Thyme. A staple in stuffing, thyme (Thymus vulgaris) adds a woodsy flavor and a pungent green aroma to savory dishes. It’s a great ingredient to include in mushroom dishes.
Cardamom. Often referred to as the “Queen of Spices,” cardamom is a seed native to India and Sri Lanka. Its intense flavor adds extra depth to rice, fruit pies or cooked fruit, and adds an exotic twist to brewed coffee and tea.
Chamomile. Even the ancient Egyptians and Greeks knew about and used chamomile for its relaxing and soothing properties. If you’ve eaten too much or had a stressful day, caffeine-free chamomile can ease minor stomach discomfort and occasional sleeplessness.
What’s the one spice you turn to add flavor and health to your meals all year round? Share it with us in the comments below.
Laurie Steelsmith, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health. She is the co-author of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine and co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness.