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Monday, June 12, 2006 

Use Spices to Add Flavor and not Fat

An article from Family Circle has some tips on using spices, and gets specific on what spices are going to really improve the taste of your food.

Chili powder -- Capsaicin, found in chile peppers, works as an appetite suppressant. Capsaicin has also been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory, a potent antioxidant and a promising cancer fighter. Sprinkle chili powder on tomato soup, macaroni and cheese or corn on the cob, or add hot sauce to eggs and omelets.

Garlic -- Garlic has earned fame as a powerful health helper. It's rich in organosulfur compounds with high levels of antioxidant activity and releases the antibiotic allicin when chopped or crushed. Sprinkle chopped or crushed garlic on pizza; or roast whole cloves and spread on a loaf of bread instead of butter.

Rosemary -- This "pine-y" flavored herb boasts high levels of antioxidant activity, thanks to two powerful free-radical eliminators -- carnosol and rosmarinic acid. Research shows that rosemary may help fight cancers of the breast, lung and skin. Mix it in an aromatic marinade for grilled chicken; spruce up stuffing with a couple of teaspoons or use fresh sprigs as skewers for shish kebabs on the grill.

Curry powder -- Turmeric, an ingredient in curry powder, contains curcumin. This phytochemical helps thwart cancer by "switching off" proteins that cause cells to multiply and by inducing cancer cells to self-destruct. The spice may also reduce risk of Alzheimer's disease, psoriasis and arthritis. Add it to bean-based soups, stir into plain yogurt for an exotic dip or sprinkle on pineapple slices and grill for a tasty side dish.

The piece also looks at Oregano and Cumin.