Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics invites individuals to learn about making informed food choices and develop healthful eating and physical activity habits. This year’s theme, “Celebrate a World of Flavors,” focuses on how utilizing flavors from cultures around the world is a tasty way to nourish ourselves and appreciate our diversity.
Using global spices in cooking is a fun and easy way to enjoy a world of flavors while enhancing your health. In fact, a study that analyzed the antioxidant capacity of more than 3,000 foods in the U.S. food supply found that many herbs and spices provide more antioxidants than other foods. And using more herbs and spices in your cooking also means you can go easy on the salt—another important part of any well-balanced diet.
Add more global flavor to your food with these spices.
Turmeric is one of the most recognizable spices in Indian cooking. The bright yellow color gives a gorgeous hue to the food it’s incorporated in. And even better- according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it can help with ailments from arthritis to digestive issues.
Oregano, an herb found in many Mediterranean recipes, ranked among the top 50 most concentrated antioxidant powerhouses. Just 1 teaspoon has more antioxidants than a whole bar of chocolate. These antioxidants may help fight off bacteria and viruses, potentially reduce the growth of cancer cells, and help alleviate inflammation.
Oregano and yogurt create a delicious dressing for this Sirloin Pita Salad Sandwich. And if you’re in the mood for grains, this Overnight Greek salad featuring oregano, vegetables, and feta is a great make-ahead recipe you can enjoy for lunch all week.
According to research, cumin, a spice often used in Mexican cuisine, can help jumpstart weight loss, decrease body fat, and improve unhealthy cholesterol levels naturally. Researchers believe that cumin, like other hot spices, temporarily increases metabolic rate. Cumin is also rich in phytosterols, plant chemicals known to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the body.
For a twist on traditional guacamole, try this cheesy recipe featuring cumin and another star ingredient, cottage cheese. Or take your next Taco Tuesday to the next level with fish tacos marinated in cumin and topped with mango-lime Greek yogurt sauce.
Visit our recipe page for more dairy recipes featuring global flavors.