Health-boosting Holiday Spices!

gingernutmegcloves-300x226Certain spices are so strongly linked to the holidays that with a single whiff, we practically start whistling “Jingle Bells.”

Cloves, nutmeg and ginger do more than impart tantalizing flavor and aroma to cookies, eggnog and other holiday treats. Their powerful health benefits make them worthy of a starring role, not just a yearly cameo. Here’s how to enjoy them year-round:

Cloves: Rich in flavonoids — compounds that reduce inflammation in the body. And, like cinnamon, they may help regulate blood sugar levels. Pierce onions with a few whole cloves and use them in broths, or try cloves (and many other spices) in Moroccan Sweet Soup.

Nutmeg: Offers an unforgettable fragrance and powerful polyphenols that reduce inflammation. And, like other warming spices, it may help keep blood pressure in check. Try it in Mashed Turnips with Apples.

Ginger: Known to aid digestion and reduce inflammation, ginger adds a delicious zing to savory and sweet foods alike. Grate the fresh root into stir-fries and soups (try Carrot Ginger Soup). Or make a soothing ginger tea: Simmer a few slices in water for 10 minutes, strain, add a touch of honey if you desire, and enjoy.

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