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nutrients in christmas spices

A Nutritious Christmas: Which Spices to Include

It is the most wonderful time of the year! Whilst there is plenty to look forward to over the holidays, there is also plenty to do. Often, through sheer busyness, our best intentions (nutritionally) seem to fly away with Santa and his reindeer. As a result, I have compiled a list of simple spices that maximise flavour and nutritional value without compromising the joys of your festive feast! 

One of my simplest tips for elevating your food’s nutrient status is choosing foods, loaded with spices. When you flavour your food with herbs or spices, you are “upgrading” your food without adding a single calorie. You are taking something ordinary and turning it into something nutritionally extraordinary by adding colour, flavour, vitamins, and often medicinal properties. 

How Does this work?

* Spices and herbs maximise nutrient density. Herbs and spices contain a range of antioxidants, minerals and multivitamins.

* Because spices are nutrient-dense, they are thermogenic, (naturally increasing your metabolism). Your metabolism revs higher, and you will use more of the food you have eaten as fuel, storing less as body fat. A simple way to implement this is to finish your meal with coffee or tea sprinkled with nutrient-packed cinnamon.

* Certain spices and herbs increase your overall feeling of fullness. One recent study demonstrated half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes eaten with a starter before a meal could decrease calorie intake by 10-16%. So, I recommend starting with a tomato soup sprinkled with red pepper.

* Spices and herbs have real medicinal properties. Cinnamon, for example, has been proven to lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity – both of which are key to the process of anti-ageing. Higher blood sugar leads to inflammation which underlies many chronic diseases associated with unhealthy ageing.

Traditional Christmas Herbs and Spices and Their Nutritious Benefits

Cinnamon – lowers blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity 

Nutmeg – a potent brain booster, increasing circulation improving concentration. Nutmeg also stimulates the cardiovascular system and is an effective liver and kidney detoxifier.

Cloves – an anaesthetic with antibacterial properties. Effective against superbug MRSA when combined with eucalyptus, lemon, thyme, tea tree and alcohol. It also helps with flu, colds, and bronchial congestion.

Sage – tea made from sage leaves is excellent for sore throats.

I sincerely hope you enjoy this festive period and all of the glorious food accompanying it. By implementing these few, nutritional tips when making decisions, we can remind mindful of our health and make the best decisions for our bodies. For more exclusive advice, visit my website, or reach out on one of my platforms. I adore hearing from you. 

All my love,

Jayney

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