Along with the rise of a western eating lifestyle, there has been a great rise of diet-related health risks across the world. Aside from eating excessive amounts of fat, sugar and artificial chemicals, most of our modern food choices (which contain little or no nutrients) have slowly reduced our body’s ability to perform well and be able to prevent disease. However, there are easy ways to gradually add more nutrients to your diet without drastically altering your regular fare. One way is to add herbs and spices to your regular diet that contain a salvo of health benefits.

Cinnamon. Several studies have shown that cinnamon has an effect on controlling blood sugar and might eventually help patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes.

Serving suggestion: Add a teaspoon of cinnamon to warm beverage or fruit shakes. You can also sprinkle a bit on any type bread.

Tumeric. Well known for wound healing properties, turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities. It is also known to help patients suffering from respiratory problems.

Serving suggestion: Add turmeric to viands, soups and sauces.

Laurel or Bay Leaves. Contains a generous amount of vitamin A, C, calcium, potassium and iron. Bay leaves are also know to help soothe body aches and joint pains.

Serving suggestion: Add bay leaves to stir-fry dishes, soups or stews.

Oregano. Long known in natural medicine, oregano is used to help treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal problems and menstrual cramps.

Serving suggestion: Add oregano to soups or sauces. It can also be applied topically to treat acne and dandruff.

Mint. Widely accepted natural treatment for sore throats, flatulence and indigestion.

Serving suggestion: Add mint to hot water as a beverage or add to fruit juices or shakes.

Coriander. Cilantro or coriander is recognized to help alleviate symptoms of hay fever and allergies. It is also known to help the body fight against salmonella based diseases.

Rosemary. There is growing evidence in some studies that rosemary can boost mental focus and fight bacterial infections.

Serving suggestion: Add rosemary to soups, salads, rice or viands especially to fish and chicken.

Saffron. Saffron has long been known in Persian medicine as a mood lifter. Studies suggest that saffron may also help relieve pain symptoms and mood swings due to PMS.

Serving suggestion: Use saffron as tea or add it to rice or viands.

Parsely. Studies that suggest parsley may help inhibit the growth of cancer and tumor cells due to nutrient known as apigenin.

Serving suggestion: Add to salads and cooked viands

Chili pepper. Known to boost metabolism and satiety.

Serving suggestion: Add to chili pepper to soups, salads and viands in powder form, dried or fresh.