Simple pantry items that may improve your health

While good health is a lifestyle and not just an "instant fix", I do have some top health secrets I have learned over the years. Here are a few of my favorites easy pantry options to spice up your diet. These spices promote health and wellness in your entire body not just in a particular area. Treating the "whole person" is why I believe these spices can benefit you so greatly. Little changes can add up to make beautiful health benefits. Try incorporating a few of these tips in your diet to possibly add years to your life and most definitely put a little bounce in your step.

Turmeric is one of my top favorite foods to add to my diet. Curcumin, which is found in turmeric, is a POWERFUL antioxidant which decreases inflammation and improves joint and connective tissue health. It can improve cholesterol levels and kills bacteria that causes cold and flu. Turmeric is a healing food that displays strong anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-microbial characteristics.  Some reports indicate that turmeric contains a number of healing agents that block the formation of beta-amyloid, the substance responsible for the plaques that slowly obstruct cerebral function in Alzheimer's disease.

Try adding fresh turmeric to smoothies, salads, herbal teas, fresh juices, and soups. I love to sprinkle turmeric on my mashed cauliflower. Trust me, this is a better side dish than mashed potatoes.

Ginger is another top visitor in my home.  It’s an incredible anti-inflammatory, organ cleanser, and a digestive aid.  It's highly useful for stimulating your digestive enzymes and helping with all kinds of nausea such as motion and morning sickness.  I recommend ginger to many of my clients with G.I. distress, gas, bloating, IBS, and reflux issues.  It’s easy to have fresh ginger on hand at all times. Cut the skin off the roots, chop or lightly blend in blender, put in a bag and freeze. Ginger thaws in less than 15 minutes and is ready for use.  There have been some good studies with gingers’ positive effect on prostate cancer protection.

Cinnamon is high in selenium, an antioxidant that helps reduce oxidative stress from the free radicals in the body.  It also reduces inflammation by inhibiting production of chemicals produced from immune cells. Cinnamon supports insulin sensitivity by slowly raising blood sugar and moving glucose into cells more efficiently.  Add liberally to beverages and food such as coffee, herbal tea, smoothies and sweet potatoes.