Blueberries, pomegranates and dark leafy veggies like spinach and kale are commonly known as “super foods” with powerful antioxidants, but spices and herbs like cinnamon, oregano and rosemary are packed with antioxidants and other healthful compounds, too.
In fact, a study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found oregano and rosemary contained compounds that could work to lower blood glucose (blood sugar) much the same way as prescription diabetes medication. Additionally, researchers from Ball State University in Indiana found that blood glucose levels could be lowered by adding cinnamon to breakfast cereals.
With each pinch and dash, oregano, rosemary and cinnamon can help manage diabetes and boost the antioxidant power of practically everything throughout the day, from snacks and entrees to soups and beverages.
Here are a few tips to help you add more spice and antioxidants to your life.
For a twist on the typical grilled cheese, prepare sandwich with sliced mozzarella cheese, sliced tomato and 1/4 teaspoon Oregano Leaves. For Italian flare add oregano to pizza, spaghetti sauces, and other tomato-based sauces. Use Mexican oregano – found in chili powders to add flavor to chili con carne and other Mexican dishes.
Dress up ready-to-bake rolls. Just before baking frozen dinner rolls or ready-to-bake rolls, brush tops with olive oil then sprinkle with crushed Rosemary Leaves and Sea Salt before baking.
Perk up your morning coffee with Ground Cinnamon. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon over ground coffee before brewing. Add a dash of cinnamon to oatmeal, yogurt, milk, toast, baked apples or pears; quinoa, couscous or barley salad.
Quench your thirst with Ginger Lemonade. Add 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger to 1 quart freshly squeezed lemonade. Ginger can also be added to fruit smoothies, cereals, yogurt, and sweet potatoes.
Wake up your taste buds with Herbed Scrambled Eggs. Beat 1/8 teaspoon Thyme Leaves into 2 eggs before scrambling.
Create a spiced Curried Pilaf by adding 1/2 teaspoon Yellow Curry to 2 cups hot cooked rice. Add flavor and texture with a handful of shredded carrots, peas, raisins or toasted sliced almonds.
Add a kick to store-bought or homemade hummus or guacamole by stirring in 1/4 teaspoon Ground Red Pepper or Crushed Red Pepper. Or, try sprinkling in a little Paprika.
Visit the BlackDoctor.org Living with Diabetes center for more articles.
Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN, is an award winning registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and past spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is the author of The African American Guide To Living Well With Diabetes and Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes. Learn more about her work at www.constancebrownriggs.com and follow her on Twitter@eatingsoulfully