Healthy Food and Spices

Guest Contributor
Dec 26, 2010

Everyone can benefit their overall health by switching to an organic heart-friendly diet. You can also supplement your core diet with powerful antioxidant-rich drinks, spices and fruits. We have chosen six such ingredients in the article based on affordability and availability.

Mortar with fresh rosemary, oil and dried spices

  • Green Tea

According to the Chinese tradition, green tea can cure headaches, body aches, depression and improve blood flow. Modern researchers have found that green tea contains powerful antioxidants called catechins which have disease-fighting properties. If you consume green tea, you will reduce the risk of several kinds of cancer, heart disease, and several other diseases. Green tea is very affordable as well. You can go to any grocery store and buy a box (roughly 10 packets in average) for under $5. You can also go to a Chinese grocery store and can buy several varieties of green tea such as ginseng green tea, jasmine green tea, ginger green tea etc. Green tea is easy to prepare as well. You can just put the tea packet in a cup of hot water and let it dissolve for 2-3 minutes. Now tea is available for you to sip.

  • Garlic

Garlic is considered to be a natural antibiotic. It contains a powerful antioxidant called allicin. Cultures in Asia believe that garlic can prevent you from common cold, flu as well as several other ailments. Scientists have found that garlic can lower your bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Due to antibacterial and antiviral property of garlic, you can take it in the flu season to reduce the chances of getting sick. Garlic is very inexpensive at any grocery store. If you want to get the full antibiotic effect of garlic, you can take two cloves of raw garlic with food. You can let the garlic sit for a few minutes after chopping or crushing it to increase the strength of antioxidants.

  • Ginger

Ginger helps your digestion, provides relief from gastrointestinal distress, reduces the risk of colon cancer, reduces pain and inflammation, and helps prevent ovarian cancer. You only need a small amount of ginger to experience the health benefits. Ginger can be mixed with your food to enhance the taste and aroma. It is highly affordable and it is widely available in any grocery store.

  • Turmeric

Turmeric is one of the ingredients used to prepare curry in most Indian dishes. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic properties as well. It contains antioxidants called circumin which can treat inflammatory bowel disease, reduce the risk of cancer, improve liver function, lower cholesterol and benefit your heart. Turmeric is also believed to protect brain cells and improve your memory. Turmeric can be bought in any Indian or Asian grocery store. Several large stores also sell turmeric powder or turmeric capsules. Since you only need a small amount of turmeric to achieve the health benefits, it can be considered an inexpensive way to improve your health.

  • Grapes

Grapes contain powerful antioxidants in the form of flavonoids, phenolic acid and resveratrol. They reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent blood clots, treat constipation, reduce bad cholesterol in your body, help maintain healthy blood pressure, and provide several other benefits. You can get the benefits of grapes by eating the actual fruit or drinking grape juice or red wine. Some scientists believe that red wine consumption helps explain the French paradox. The French eat a diet high in saturated fat but yet they have fewer heart problems. If you drink wine, make sure you drink in moderation to get the health benefits. Grapes and grape juices are widely available and affordable in stores.

  • Olive oil

Olive oil contains the good fat (monounsaturated fat) which helps to reduce bad cholesterol in the body. The popular belief is that all fat is bad and should be avoided. In reality, only saturated and trans fat are dangerous for your body. The least processed oil such as olive oil are extremely beneficial for your heart. According to FDA, you can decrease your risk of heart disease by consuming about 2 tablespoons of olive oil a day.

Mediterranean and Asian diets use several of the ingredients in the list above. As a result, most people in the Mediterranean and Asian region live a long healthy life and have fewer health problems. Obesity is not something anyone needs to worry about in these cultures. These foods provide you excellent health benefits without having to worry about side effects.

(The information in this article reflects the opinion of the writer and not the opinion of This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical or nutritional advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider or nutritionist to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.)

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