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Ask Eliza: What are some health benefits of herbs and spices?

Ask Eliza: What are some health benefits of herbs and spices?

One of the spices I love most is cayenne pepper which has capsaicin in it. Capsaicin is shown to help increase your metabolic rate! It does this by increasing your internal body temperature which in turn makes you burn more calories. So the spicier food you eat... potentially the faster your metabolism. Think about like harissa or other spicy additives to food that can up those internal body temps! 

Herbs on the other hand have a lot of micronutrients and antioxidants in them which can help your heart and lower “bad” cholesterol levels. For example, mint has vitamin A in it. We had to genetically modify rice in eastern cultures (it’s called golden rice) to be able to provide enough vitamin A to certain communities. But drinking mint tea can also provide a lot of those micro nutrients! 

Another good thing about spices and herbs is that they add more depth of flavor to your food, helping you feel more satiated. If your palette is sensing sweet, spicy, herbal, salty all at once on a piece of chicken rather than the natural saltiness of meat, your body is less likely to experience cravings for those other flavors making you head to the fridge for something more. 


If you’re looking for more information, or recipes, here are some instagram accounts (and their accompanying websites) I recommend:

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Eliza Enterline is a project manager for a clinical research organization and holds a degree in nutrition from North Carolina State University. When not working, she is busy reading, listening to good music, traveling the world and making new friends. Send her your nutrition questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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