If you have been following Chef Marshall over the years, you know how much he loves using herbs and spices in his cooking. Not only do herbs and spices make your food pop with flavor, aroma and eye appeal, but they have significant medicinal benefits including help in reducing inflammation.  If you want to take advantage of this powerful, drug-free solution, here are five spices chef recommends you incorporate into your cooking:

  1. Oregano – Oregano has a strong aromatic, pungent, earthy flavor with a hint of mint. Used in Italian, Mediterranean and Hispanic cooking. It has anti-inflammatory compounds, that can help ease swelling and digestion. Try it in Chef Marshall’s Five Spice Blend.
  2. Thyme – Thyme has a pleasant aroma, subtle yet earthy, slightly pungent with a hint of mint flavor. It is excellent in savory dishes. Thyme tastes great in roasted vegetables, soups, Italian cooking, pork, chicken, beef and in marinades. Its anti-inflammatory compounds can help relax blood vessels, and ease swelling and nausea.
  3. Turmeric – Turmeric gives food a bright yellow/orange color. It provides a floral, earthy flavor and is used in a variety of Indian and Asian recipes and salad dressings such as Chef Marshall’s Turmeric Balsamic Vinaigrette  Its anti-inflammatory properties may help lower blood pressure, which helps support one’s cardiovascular system.
  4. Cinnamon – Cinnamon is excellent in a variety of dishes from pancakes, oatmeal and sauces, to fruits like this fun frozen treat, Frosty Banana Pops. The antioxidants in cinnamon can help relieve inflammation, which may help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and blood pressure.
  5. Cumin – Cumin has a hearty, earthy, warm flavor with a dash of citrus. It is used in Hispanic, Indian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cooking. Use it with beef, lamb, and vegetarian dishes. Cumin can serve as a digestive aid, and is a must-have anti-inflammatory spice. Try Chef’s Zaatar Chicken to experience the great taste of cumin and the accompanying spices.

Thorough scientific research verifies much of what people have known for centuries—herbs and spices are effective in preventing and treating many chronic health issues.

For many reasons, spices should be a part of your food world. They make your food taste great and add appeal, plus they provide health benefits that improve your quality of life. Start simple and, as you improve your skills and gain confidence, expand the spices you use. Before you know it, you will love what you are cooking, and you will love the way you feel!