Spice Up Your Health

This month has More Herbs, Less Salt Day — an occasion designed to encourage herbal intake and less sodium in your daily diet. Flavor your food with these feisty items:

Oregano. While it seasons your Italian dishes, oregano is also a natural anti-microbial agent — protective against viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Its rich anti-oxidant levels also may help prevent breast and ovarian cancers. Oregano oil acts as an anti-histamine and has cell regeneration properties. Try oregano in marinades, sprinkled over grilled chicken, or combined with garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese for a healthy bread dip.

Rosemary. This plant has anti-inflammatory properties. In tea form, it can help alleviate headaches and acts as a natural astringent. Research also shows it’s a free-radical fighter that may combat cataracts. Add rosemary to liven up sauces, or leave in its plant form as an indoor air freshener.

Mint. Found often in teas, this cool, crisp leaf soothes rattled nerves and can calm queasy stomachs — with studies suggesting it aids treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Mint may also help reduce tumor growth. Evidence shows that its potent phytochemicals may work to cut off blood flow that nourishes the tumors. It has external medicinal benefits too. Recent studies found that dousing a cold compress with mint oil and rubbing it over joints can relieve pain and discomfort associated with arthritis.

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