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The Herbal Cook April 13, 2022 @ 4:55pm

Did you know that you’re adding more than flavour to your diet every time you cook with herbs and spices? You’re also adding nutrients and medicine. All herbs and spices contain compounds beneficial to your health, and it’s easy to include them in your diet when you see them as more than flavour.

What’s the difference between herbs and spices? Herbs are the leafy parts of the plant, and spices are the roots and seeds. In terms of health benefits, fresh is best. There are several variables between fresh and dried within individual varieties and how you cook with them. Generally, you can cook with flavour in mind and still reap the benefits.

Let’s start with the king of spices - garlic! I could talk about garlic for days but let’s keep it simple. Garlic (Allium sativum) is a vegetable used as a spice. It contains the compound allicin, which is chocked full of benefits. Most notably, it may help boost immunity and lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol while protecting against cancer. It may also aid digestion, prevent blood clots, improve heart health, reduce inflammation, and serve as an antibacterial. No matter how you prepare garlic, you will reap the benefits of allicin, even in dried form. We tend to throw whole cloves of garlic in many dishes with wild abandon; however, allicin becomes available in its entirety when fresh garlic is cut, chopped, or minced. Try to expose your garlic for a few minutes before adding it to your dishes. Keep in mind that the more you process it, the shorter time the allicin is available. This is why our frozen garlic is minced coarsely and not pureed. Our August article will delve deeper into the remarkable garlic plant.

Ginger and turmeric are roots I would love to grow myself someday when I have the greenhouse of my dreams. Until then, I was thrilled to procure these two heroes from an Alberta organic grower. You can learn more about them and ten more common herbs in our Eat Your Medicine chart on our website.

Lorna Lumb, Owner

Twilight Herbs and Garlic

Twilight Herbs & Garlic is 20 minutes NE of Stettler and is a market garden specializing in growing and processing biotic herbs and garlic with a level of quality that is rare in Canada.

Disclaimer: This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation or an endorsement of any medical or health treatment. Consult with a qualified practitioner when using any herbal product to treat specific conditions.


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