are aromatic vegetable substances (dried seeds, fruits, roots, bark or
substance) caracterized as a class by containing some essential or
volatile oil which gives taste and individuality to the material. They
are composed of mineral matterand the
various nitrogenous and non-nitrogenous compounds found in all
plant bodies. Spices
are used in nutritionally
insignificant quantities as a food
additive for the purpose of flavoring, and indirectly for the purpose
of killing and preventing growth of pathogenic bacteria.
distinguished from herbs, which are usually leafy, green plant parts
used for flavoring purposes. Herbs,
may be used fresh or
dried, and are commonly chopped into smaller pieces. Spices are dried
and usually ground into a powder.
are secret "friends" of every serious cook. We usually don't
see them on the table. They never played leading roles in front of our
friends or family such as those of
the meat, salads or favorite dessert. But, they are very important
members of "the cast" which performed the
small, yet important part in the production of the pleasing tout
ensemble of soup, stew, sauce, salad or any other popular dish.
They make that unforgettable taste what lingers in our memory long
after the main actors are forgotten.
TIP: Try using spices and herbs to
season your food and cut down the amount of salt you use without
affecting good taste of food.
you want to learn how to add exotic flavors and variety to your
no further than our spices section:
Against Consequences Of High Blood Sugar
and spices are rich in antioxidants, and a new University of
Georgia study suggests they are also potent inhibitors of tissue damage
and inflammation caused by high levels of blood sugar.
Researchers, whose results appear in the current issue of the Journal
of Medicinal Food,
tested extracts from 24 common herbs and spices. In addition to finding
high levels of antioxidant-rich compounds known as phenols, they
revealed a direct correlation between phenol content and the ability of
the extracts to block the formation of compounds that contribute to
damage caused by diabetes and aging.
“Because herbs and spices
have a very low calorie content and are relatively inexpensive, they’re
a great way to get a lot of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power
into your diet,” said study co-author James Hargrove, associate
professor of foods and nutrition in the UGA College of Family and
Hargrove explained that when blood sugar
levels are high, a process known as protein glycation occurs in which
the sugar bonds with proteins to eventually form what are known as
advanced glycation end products, also known as AGE compounds. The
acronym is fitting because these compounds activate the immune system,
resulting in the inflammation and tissue damage associated with aging
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