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Simple Steps Toward a Healthy Lifestyle
Date:5/5/2009

Antioxidant-Rich Spices and Herbs Can Enhance Your Daily Routine

HUNT VALLEY, Md., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Warmer weather is here, motivating many people to eat more healthfully and exercise to get in shape. A dramatic diet overhaul and change in routine can seem overwhelming. That's why the "small changes" approach is gaining popularity.

Shifting the focus to small, achievable steps is a concept that's currently being championed by a task force of the American Society for Nutrition, Institute of Food Technologists and the International Food Information Council. The group says small changes are more feasible to achieve and sustain - and they could add up to make an even greater impact.

"Making simple lifestyle changes to boost health is easier than people think," says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD, author of The Superfoods Rx Diet. "For example, taking a four minute walk or adding 300 steps each day adds up to an extra mile by the end of the week."

One of Bazilian's simplest - and most surprising - strategies to boost health and wellness is to add antioxidant-rich spices and herbs - like oregano, cinnamon and ginger - to meals, snacks and beverages. Instead of sacrificing taste when reducing some of those "off-limit" ingredients in the name of health, adding spices and herbs to foods enhances not only nutrition value, but also flavor.

Antioxidant Benefits Could Be Just a Sprinkle Away

While colorful fruits such as blueberries and pomegranates and dark leafy veggies like spinach and kale are commonly known as "super foods" with powerful antioxidants, certain spices and herbs are actually rich in antioxidants too(1).

"People might be surprised to learn that one-half teaspoon of ground cinnamon has as many antioxidants as two-thirds cup of almonds, and just one-half teaspoon of oregano has as many antioxidants as three cups of fresh spinach," Bazilian says.

Cinnamon and Oregano are two of the McCormick Super Spices highlighted for their antioxidant activity which is comparable to many fruits and vegetables, including today's "super foods."

"Because the seven Super Spices are commonly found in home pantries, they can be such an economical and convenient enhancement to a daily meal and snack routine," notes Bazilian.

Simple Steps for Wellness

Dr. Bazilian and McCormick offer simple tips to incorporate wellness into every day living:

  • Stay hydrated with water, green tea or lowfat milk throughout the day to keep up energy levels.
  • Add a flavor and a health-boosting kick to hummus or guacamole by stirring in 1/4 teaspoon Ground Red Pepper or Crushed Red Pepper.
  • Brown-bag it to work. Packing a lunch is one of the easiest ways to positively influence diet and avoid unhealthy temptations inside or outside the office.
  • Create sweetly spiced Curried Pilaf by adding 1/2 teaspoon Yellow Curry to 2 cups hot cooked rice. Add flavor and texture with a handful of shredded carrots, peas, raisins or toasted sliced almonds.

For more flavorful, antioxidant-boosting tips and recipes, plus information about the Super Spices and health, visit www.spicesforhealth.com.

About McCormick

With an extensive network of researchers, trend experts, chefs, home economists, food technologists, and sensory analysts, McCormick & Company, Inc. keeps its finger on the pulse of flavor. McCormick was founded in 1889 in Baltimore, Maryland. Today it is a global leader in the sale of spices, herbs and seasonings. McCormick sources high quality ingredients from far-reaching destinations to bring a world of flavors to consumers.

(1) Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods - 2007, Nutrient Data Laboratory USDA, November 2007, www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata/ORAC.


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SOURCE McCormick
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