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15 Herbs and Spices You Should Be Eating

Chili Peppers

Who doesn’t love chili peppers? They’re one of the more well-known ways to give your food some kick! But in addition to spicing up your food, they also have some major health benefits. They fight inflammation, boost immunity, reduce your insulin levels, kickstart your metabolism, and protect your heart. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, so give this powerhouse of a spice a try sometime soon!


Cinnamon is amazing. It goes in our drinks, desserts, and entrées! Its unique flavor fits a diverse number of foods, but people often seem to forget about its health benefits. It helps your heart and supplies you with antioxidants that help slow down the aging process. In addition, it helps prevent chronic problems like diabetes, cognitive decline, and cancer. Use this spice as often as you can!


Turmeric is super popular right now, and that’s because we're just now beginning to figure out all of its amazing health benefits. It fights long-term inflammation, increases your body’s antioxidant capacity, and improves your brain function, among many, many other things. Add this to your eggs, veggies, or rice for a dash of flavor!


Saffron comes from a beautiful purple flower, and should definitely be eaten more often. Saffron contains more than 150 compounds our bodies need, things that prevent diabetes, improve circulation, and relieve anxiety. Saffron shines when you throw it in rice dishes.


Parsley, that little cluster of leaves, is pretty much a superfood. Some people even say it’s one of the best superfoods. It’ll help you fill your requirement for vitamin K, which prevents blood clots, and it will control your appetite. Add this to a number of soups and pasta dishes. You won’t regret it.


Sage is a member of the mint family, getting its name from the Latin word “salvere,” meaning “to heal.” And heal it does. It kills harmful bacteria in meat, provides easily absorbed oils your body needs, fights common health problems like colds and stomach issues, and helps relieve muscle aches and rheumatism.  It even helps your memory improve! You can brew this plant into tea or add it to pork or beef for some extra flavor.


Rosemary’s biggest health benefit is to improve your memory, and who doesn’t want that? In addition, it checks off a number of important “anti-” health needs, like antibacterial uses, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory uses. It goes great with soups, breads, pastas, and even your sweet teas!


If you’re not feeling so hot, ginger's got you covered. It’s a root that's known to cure nausea, digestive problems, and common sicknesses like the cold and flu. It even helps with arthritis! So the next time you're feeling rough, throw some ginger into your tea, fruit and veggie mixes, or even into a stir-fry.


Garlic gets a bad rap, mainly because of what it does to your breath, but as long as you brush regularly, your life would greatly improve if you threw some garlic into the mix! It’s full of the vitamins and minerals we need on a daily basis, but it also fights common and chronic illnesses, from the common cold to Alzheimer’s, reduces blood pressure, and gives you energy! Throw it in your spaghetti sauce, on some bread, pizza, salsa, or salad. There are so many great options.

Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle is one of the lesser-used plants on this list, but it should definitely be used more! Once it’s cooked, it loses it stinging hairs and makes a great tea for allergy relief. It’s anti-inflammatory but has been proven to help respiratory problems as well. It can even help relieve joint pain and bleeding.


Chives' best-known health benefit is the prevention of cancer, which it does really well thanks to the organosulfur compounds this herb has. It doesn’t stop there, though. It can also help you sleep better, improve your mood, and strengthen your bones. So next time you cook some fish, throw some chives into the mix!


Coriander seems to fix a lot of the major problems with the typical American diet. It lowers your blood sugar, functioning as a natural treatment for diabetes, decreases blood pressure, and improves your cholesterol. It also helps digestive and urinary problems, menstrual health, and food poisoning. This spice is so diverse it’s baffling that we don’t use it more. To incorporate it into your diet, throw it on foods you already use salt and pepper on.

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are native to the Mediterranean region of the world and have frequently been used since the Roman times. Naturally, they work great with most Italian and Greek dishes. These leaves can fight diabetes, lower harmful inflammation in your body, protect your heart, prevent cancer, and reduce stress. What’s not to love?

Dandelion Leaves

You know that little weed you blow on to make a wish? Well, if you pluck those leaves off, you can saute them with your dinner! They’ve got plenty of calcium and vitamins and contain more iron than spinach. They help your immune system, fight cancer, and lower inflammation.


Thyme is an herb that’s part of the mint family, and it goes great with lamb, veal, and eggs. It will help soothe your sore throat, lower blood pressure, help your cholesterol, and boost your mood! Plus, it’s antibacterial and antifungal and is full of vitamins A and C.