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8 Herbs and Spices You Can Grow in Your Kitchen

As the weather warms up, lots of us feel the urge to spend more time outdoors and live a healthier lifestyle. For many Americans – 117 million in 2017 to be precise – this means tending to their garden. Gardening provides a wealth of health benefits, such as exposure to sunlight, physical activity, and access to healthy food. But what about people who can’t garden because they don’t have the room? Don’t discount an herb and spice garden in the kitchen window!

These plants are easy-to-grow, are great for boosting the flavor and nutrients in any dish, and let you flex your green thumbs. Here are just a few of our favorites:

1. Chives

Chives are wonderful because they’re a breeze to grow – simply water them regularly and leave them on a sunny windowsill. Even better, they’re in the allium family of vegetables which have been shown to help prevent cancers – including prostate, esophageal, and stomach.

Chives are easy enough to add to your diet – their light, versatile flavor goes great with eggs and cheese making, them a perfect addition to any breakfast.

2. Mint

Mint is a common flavor in our lives – from toothpaste to chewing gum to candies, we know it well! But did you know that mint has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food? These factors contribute to mint’s decongestive properties and its ability to increase people’s pain tolerance. That’s why menthol is such a common ingredient in cold remedies.

An easy way to add more mint to your diet is by using it to spruce up your water or tea. For a heartier snack with all that great kick, make chopped mint the secret ingredient in a salsa!

3. Parsley

You may be used to finding parsley on your plate at a restaurant, but there are plenty of reasons to start finding it in your household. Parsley can help improve digestion and reduce intestinal discomfort. It’s also provides high levels of vitamin C which helps strengthen your immune system.

Parsley can help bring new life to a tired sandwich, add new flavor to pesto for your next spaghetti squash dinner, or work as a great garnish for meat. Be sure to start bringing that restaurant flair home!

4. Cilantro

For those of us who love cilantro, this herb adds a delightfully citrusy flavor reminiscent of Mediterranean and Mexican dishes. It is best known as a tasty source of vitamin A, vitamin K and fiber. These are all associated with promoting bone health and an improved immune system, but studies show cilantro also helps lower anxiety and promote sleep.

For these benefits (and more!), try adding cilantro to guacamole, on top of fish, or blended into a tasty smoothie with your other favorite vegetables!

5. Thyme

Are you looking for your food to start taking care of you? Well, how does a reduced blood pressure, a lower risk for colon and breast cancers, and fewer sore throats sound? Then it’s time for thyme to shine.

Try adding this spice to soups, baked fish, or sautéed vegetables – it can bring out the best flavors in all of them! Some people even add thyme to their tea if they just can’t get enough.

6. Ginger

Raw ginger is often spotted on a plate of sushi, but it’s so versatile – it’s a delicious addition to fresh smoothies, vegetable juices, soups, and salads. Ground ginger, meanwhile, works wonders in baked goods, as well as spice rubs and marinades for white meat, especially chicken.

Ginger is a well-known natural cure for the effects of nausea, but it also can protect against stomach ulcers, lower cholesterol levels, and relieve joint and muscle pain. Make sure your kitchen is always stocked up on ginger by growing your own!

7. Bay Leaves

Many of us use bay leaves only on occasion, adding them rarely to soup stocks, sauce, and baked seafood dinners. But there are great reasons to use this spice more frequently.

Bay leaves are full of vitamins A and C, and boast high levels of calcium, potassium, and iron. This unique combination of nutrients helps to balance blood sugar levels, reduce arthritis-related pain, and ease congestion. Try using bay leaves in your next culinary masterpiece!

8. Rosemary

Rosemary is another popular herb that provides its own unique flavor palette and health benefits. This herb is packed with iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6 and can improve memory, lessen muscle pain, and boost the circulatory system.

Whether you use it to marinade your meats, mix with yogurt for a sandwich spread, or to spice up an incredible vegetable dish, get rosemary growing in your kitchen!

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When it’s time to start a successful weight-loss journey, it’s time to call NYBG! We’re the best practice around and our numbers prove it:

  • 9 skilled surgeons who are leaders in bariatrics
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  • Since 2000, we boast 18 years of success!

Our commitment to patient success and excellence has earned us accreditation from the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This prestigious achievement recognizes only the top bariatric practices. Stop waiting; start achieving better health today.

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