Spice Antioxidants

The A List: Antioxidant Spices

Herbs and spices are the very best way to add flavor and dimension to a dish without adding fat, salt or calories. In fact, some herbs and spices already include a little something extra, like antioxidants.

Antioxidants are substances in your diet that slow or prevent the oxidative process in which cells are damaged by free radicals, which can lead to cell dysfunction.

These powerful nutrients have been linked to the prevention of heart disease and diabetes, improving immune function and lowering the risk of infection and even some cancers.

While you hear a lot about the antioxidants found in dark chocolate and red wine, spices like ground cloves, oregano leaves, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and yellow mustard seed are the real antioxidant all stars – delivering a higher concentration of antioxidants per 100g than dark chocolate, wine, even blueberries and whole grain cereal. Plus, they have none of the calories found in chocolate or the drawbacks associated with alcohol consumption. When preparing recipes with these antioxidant spices, feel free to interchange between our 100% organic and non-organic herbs and spices in any recipe.

The National Institutes on Health recommends getting antioxidants from dietary sources. With The Spice Hunter’s wide variety of herbs and spices, it’s easy to incorporate these A listers into a host of tasty dishes.

Antioxidant Spices

Ground Cloves

Cloves

The top antioxidant performer, ground cloves aren’t just for desserts – they can be sprinkled on oatmeal, added to ground coffee, used in a glaze for carrots or ham and much more.

TIP: Add sparingly to coffee grounds, stews, marinades and beef & lamb dishes.

RECIPES: Apple Cobbler Spice Cake, Baked Ham with Clove Mustard Glaze, Spiced Waffles, and Curry Spiced Braised Lamb.

Oregano Leaves

Oregano

The savory flavor of oregano complements healthy meal choices like chicken, soups and pastas.

TIP: Add to your favorite prepared pasta sauce or sprinkle on pizza, eggs, garlic bread and roasted potatoes.

RECIPES: Chicken Cacciatore, Lemon Shrimp Pasta Salad, Turkey Chili, and Orange Chicken with Buttered Noodles.

Ground Ginger

Ginger

Adds a spicy, Asian-inspired twist to teas, sweet potatoes and rice pilaf.

TIP: Add zest to stir-fry, salad dressings, soups, cookies, fruit salads and pies.

RECIPES: Ginger Pear Roasted Pie, Chicken Donburi, Cheddar Ginger Sauce for Cauliflower, and Lemon Ginger Holiday Nut Cookies.

Ground Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Well regarded for its health properties, cinnamon is a versatile spice that can be used in sweet and savory dishes and to enhance most hot beverages.

TIP: Sprinkle on fresh apple slices, oatmeal, winter squash, French toast or mix into coffee & hot chocolate.

RECIPES: Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles, Sourdough French Toast, Yogurt Dip, and Spiced Candied Walnuts.

Ground Turmeric

Turmeric

This brightly colored but mild spice is often used in Indian cooking and goes well with beans, chicken and lamb.

TIP: Add to your favorite soups, stews, curries, rice and potato dishes.

RECIPES: Chicken Tajine, Elegant Saffron Soup, Spiced Basmati Rice, and Sweet Potato Puree with Caramelized Tomato.

Ground Yellow Mustard Seed

Mustard

A tangy addition to deviled eggs, salad dressings and glazes for meat or poultry.

TIP: Make your own homemade mustard by combining Ground Mustard with enough vinegar, beer or wine to make a thin paste. Use right away if you like it spicy or refrigerate for a few hours or days to let the flavor mellow. Add spices, salt, sugar or honey to taste. Add Turmeric if you desire a brighter yellow mustard and to increase the antioxidants!

RECIPES: Spinach Salad with Mustard-Raisin Dressing, Celery Seed Dressing, Deviled Crab, and Blue Cheese Burgers with Chives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes.

Sweet Paprika

Sweet Paprika

This sweet, aromatic and brilliantly hued spice is used in dishes from around the world including Spanish red sauce, chili and Hungarian stew, sprinkled on deviled eggs and incorporated into meat rubs.

TIP: Sprinkle on to add color to your favorite potato or pasta salads, deviled eggs, casseroles and dips.

RECIPES: Hungarian Stew, Seafood Paella, Paprika Cream Sauce, and Deviled Eggs.

Basil Leaves

Basil Leaves

This familiar favorite has a sweet and spicy aroma with a warm, minty and peppery flavor. It is a perfect partner for tomatoes and is used in various pasta, poultry, fish and vegetable dishes.

TIP: Combine basil with diced tomatoes and garlic, then drizzle a little olive oil & balsamic vinegar over the top for a quick & delicious salad.

RECIPES: Citrus Vegetable Frigate, Garden Ragout, Balsamic Chicken, and Focaccia.

Curry Seasoning

Curry Seasoning

Curry Seasoning, a blend of warm & savory spices, is essential to making curry, but is also great in dressings, cold salads and marinades.

TIP: Mix into everyday condiments like mayo, ketchup or mustard for a boost of flavor & antioxidants.

RECIPES: Curry Lentil Soup, Curry Chicken Salad, One Pot Mango Curry Rice & Chicken, and Shrimp & Chicken Curry.

Parsley Flakes

Parsley Flakes

One of the most versatile herbs, parsley is used to add color and subtle herb flavor to a multitude of dishes.

TIP: Sprinkle in sauces, dips, marinades, soups, meat & vegetable dishes for an antioxidant boost.

RECIPES: Onion Rolls, Panko Chicken, Slow Cooker Beef Burgundy, and Creamed Onions & Mushrooms.

Ground Black Pepper

Black Pepper

Black pepper is found in nearly every kitchen and can be used in almost all savory dishes you serve.

TIP: Keep the pepper handy and add a dash everywhere you can: in scrambled eggs, mayo for sandwiches, on top of salads, etc.

RECIPES: Lemon Herb Chicken w/ Roasted Potatoes, Leczo, 4 Bean Salad, and Island Chicken.

Chili Powder

Chili Powder

Most people only think of Chili Powder when making chili, but it can be used in place of paprika in many recipes, added to sauces, dressings and dips or even used in meat rubs.

TIP: Top baked potatoes with chili-spiced sour cream; combine 1 cup low-fat sour cream with 1 tsp. chili powder (or more to taste).

RECIPES: Spicy Pasta Salad, Baked Red Snapper, Chili/Chili Con Carne, and Spicy Corn Chile Muffins.

Sources
  • American Dietetic Association
  • American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 84, No. 1, 95-135, July 2006
  • National Institutes on Health

Antioxidant Conversions

  • Cloves1 tsp. of ground cloves has more antioxidants than 2/3 of a cup of fresh blueberries.
  • Oregano1 tsp. of dried oregano leaves has 3 times the antioxidants as 1/2 a cup of raw broccoli.
  • Cinnamon1 tsp. of ground cinnamon has almost 4 times the antioxidants as a sweet potato.
  • Tumeric1 tsp. of ground turmeric has more antioxidants than 1 cup of pinto beans.
  • Ginger1 tsp. of ground ginger has more antioxidants than 1 cup of honeydew melon.
  • Mustard1 tsp. of ground mustard has more antioxidants than 1 cup of raw carrots.
  • Paprika1 tsp. of paprika has more antioxidants than a 1 oz. serving of almonds.
  • Basil Leaves1 tsp. of basil leaves has more antioxidants than a cup of raw cabbage.
  • Curry1 tsp. of curry seasoning has as many antioxidants as a medium tomato.
  • Parsley Flakes1 tsp. of parsley flakes has more antioxidants than 1/2 cup of sliced cucumber.
  • Ground Black Pepper1 tsp. of ground black pepper has more antioxidants than 1 cup of diced watermelon.
  • Chili Powder1 tsp. of chili powder has 3x more antioxidants than 1/2 cup sliced radishes.
Sources
  • Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods- 2007
    Nutritional Status, Dietary Intake, and Body Composition:
    Bente L Halvorsen, Monica H Carlsen, Katherine M Phillips, Siv K Bøhn, Kari Holte, David R Jacobs, Jr, and Rune Blomhoff
    Content of redox-active compounds (ie, antioxidants) in foods consumed in the United States
    Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Jul 2006; 84: 95 - 135.

Antioxidant Grilling

Antioxidants and Grilling

Herbs and spices add a thrill to the grill with a variety of flavors to enhance meat, poultry, veggies (even grilled fruit!). For an extra boost of wellness, look for spices that offer the benefits of antioxidants like ground cloves, oregano leaves, ground ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and ground yellow mustard seed. As richer sources of antioxidants than even red wine or dark chocolate, these spices provide more than great flavor they also may improve your health without adding extra fat or calories.

Antioxidants are substances in your diet that slow or prevent the oxidative process in which cells are damaged by free radicals, which can lead to cell dysfunction. These powerful nutrients have been linked to the prevention of heart disease and diabetes, improving immune function and lowering the risk of infection and even some cancers.

GRILLING RECIPES: Chinese Five Spice Chicken, Eggplant Grill, Honey BBQ Salmon with Mache, Spicy BBQ Sauce, Short Ribs with BBQ Sauce, Barbecue Spareribs, BBQ Chipotle Ribs, Garlic Mustard Grilled Beef Skewers, and Grilled Butterflied Chicken.

Sources
  • American Dietetic Association
  • American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 84, No. 1, 95-135, July 2006

The information we provide about potential health benefits of certain herbs and spices has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. We do not provide any medical advice and we make no claim that herbs and spices can be used to treat, prevent, mitigate or cure any disease. For specific and individual nutritional and medical advice you should consult your personal physician or nutritionist.