Spice up your life with these superfoods
Spring is just around the corner — a perfect time to spruce up your spice rack and fortify your pantry with superfoods.
1. Walnuts: These banana bread staples are filled with heart- and brain-boosting compounds. A single serving provides a day’s worth of alpha-linoleic acid, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease and dementia. Walnuts also have high levels of vitamin E, fiber and healthy fats.
2. Turmeric: Besides delivering an exotic floral aroma to dishes like hummus and chicken tagine, this yellow-orange spice is chock-full of antioxidants and helps fight inflammation.
3. Black rice: Also known as “forbidden rice,” black rice can be used in any recipe calling for white or brown rice. It contains high levels of antioxidants, fiber, vitamin E and natural compounds called anthocyanins, which can help lower cholesterol.
4. Cardamom: This ancient Indian spice gives chai tea its unique flavor and has a host of health benefits: It’s anti-inflammatory and contains oils with antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
5. Hemp seeds: With plenty of protein in each serving (10 grams per ounce) and all 10 essential amino acids (including the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are difficult for vegans to find in whole-food form), mildly flavored hemp seeds can add nutritional oomph to smoothies, salads and baked goods.
6. Seaweed: Boasting a bevvy of minerals and vitamins including B12 and iodine (both important for metabolic and nerve cell health), kelp — a common type of seaweed — is one of the most sustainable crops in existence. Enjoy it in its dried form (nori) for a savory snack.
7. Lentils: These low-cost legumes are high in fiber and protein, fat-free, and take on the flavors of any herbs and spices added during cooking.