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  • Writer's pictureHealth Coach Laura

Top 7 spices to have on your spice rack

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

The spices in your spice rack can help you create more flavorful meals that will make everyone want to come to the table. In addition, certain spices can add tremendous flavor to your dishes, while others can help boost the nutritional value of your meals.

Here are seven of the most essential spices to have on hand in your kitchen.

1. Cardamom

This spice is used in Middle Eastern, Indian, and Southeast Asian cuisine. Cardamom is related to ginger and presents a slightly sweet taste with a hint of earthiness. It’s wonderfully aromatic and brings an appealing flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. As it is anti-inflammatory, you’ll want to add it to your dishes with lentils, carrots, or even with things like apples and pears.

2. Oregano

Related to mint, oregano is used in Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines. The Mediterranean style is more floral and sweet, while the Mexican oregano tastes more pungent. Pair this spice with garlic, and you’ll bring out the best in your meals. Oregano of all kinds is a match with tomato-based dishes and can be added to marinades, vinaigrettes, and more to boost your antioxidant intake.

3. Ginger Powder

Ginger is commonly used in Asian and Indian cuisines, giving foods a spicy-sweet yet pungent taste. You can add it to your baked goodies just as easily as you can for savory meals. Ginger is known for helping digestion and reducing inflammation.

4. Cinnamon

Whether you choose Cassia or Ceylon cinnamon, you’ll add antioxidants with inflammation-taming powers to your foods. Both types of cinnamon can help you create sweet and savory dishes, rounding out the flavors for curries and chicken dishes. A little sprinkle in your morning coffee can make it even more enjoyable without adding cream or sugar.

5. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a bit feisty, adding medium heat to your sauces, marinades, and dressings. Put it in your tomato-based enchilada sauce or salsa, or mix it into hummus or mayo to spread more spiciness onto your foods. It has capsaicin which can boost your metabolism.

6. Rosemary

Like oregano, rosemary is related to mint. It has a woodsy flavor and aroma that brings more complexity to any meal while helping fight inflammation through an abundance of antioxidants.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric adds a brilliant hue to your meals. As it’s related to ginger, it is similarly pungent yet more earthy in flavor. This spice is used in curries in Indian, Middle Eastern, and South Asian cuisines. Step up the nutrition of your broths and sauces while getting more curcumin, a potent antioxidant to help reduce inflammation in your body.

If you’re not using the spices on your spice rack, make it a point to experiment with them more. It’s the best way to get more nutrition and restaurant-style flavor in every bite.


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